Interview with non-fiction writer Michael Brecht about The Productivity Book

Today’s
special feature is an interview with non-fiction writer 
Michael Brecht, about his non-fiction time management book, The Productivity Book. 
During
his virtual book tour, Michael will be awarding 5 Doodle Premium Accounts for
Free to five lucky randomly drawn winners. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your
chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there,
too.
Welcome, Michael. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a
serial entrepreneur, have more than twenty years of experience in IT and
Digital Media and have held several international leadership positions in
Europe and AustralAsia.
Since the
beginning of 2014 I am CEO of Doodle – the world’s favourite online scheduling
tool. Together with my fantastic team we have integrated Doodle into the
Digital Portfolio of Tamedia AG, Switzerland’s largest media company. Our focus
is to grow the business into a global application while strengthening its
product offerings and continuing its successful monetisation. Doodle AG is a
highly profitable business with offices in Zurich and Berlin.
My
experience ranges from founding a start-up to various exits to multi-national
corporates and subsequent integration. I enjoy topics of digital transformation
and the leadership of highly innovative teams with a particular focus on
growing a business internationally.
Now that
digitalisation is increasingly becoming a topic for all businesses from
start-up to large corporate, I have decided to start my own blog. Here you’ll
find information on productivity topics, quotes about personal and professional
efficiency, my reviews of awesome apps I use myself and I am trying to present
a few stories that aren’t meant to be too serious too.
In my
private life I am married and our home comprises of four children and our dog
(an Australian Labradoodle). We are currently living in five different
countries and I myself carry a German and an Australian passport. I enjoy
sports, in particular football, swimming, tennis and all kinds of outdoor
activities and I am passionate about the discovery of great wines.

Please
share a little bit about your current release.
The Productivity Book
contains interviews with 30 time management experts I took over the past years.
These experts share their thoughts and recommendations of how to stay more
productive during your day. The secret is to work smarter, not harder. I
summarized the findings in an extensive afterword to help the reader find some
very concrete recommendations and tips for every day.

What
inspired you to write this book?

I started collecting notes from my encounters with these productivity experts
in the past years. As the CEO of online scheduling application Doodle, I travel
quite extensively and meet thousands of busy people. My aim is to give back and
share some of the information gathered.

Excerpt from the Productivity Book:
The
most common threat to productivity? The disruption caused by technology.
Ironically, this was in part due to the proliferation of time management apps,
as well as the devices they’re on. In addition to being a frequent distraction,
many users felt this has resulted in their information being spread too thinly
across multiple platforms. For the majority, the technology designed to help us
has become yet another balancing act – and one which can be done without.
In
addition to being tried and tested, there are several advantages to planning
with paper. There are no notifications or distractions; it never runs out of
battery; and after a day spent looking at a computer screen, it’s also easier
on the eyes. Striking a balance between the digital and physical was essential
– as was a high degree of selectivity. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon and
adding the latest app to your collection, determining what your needs are and
then doing research based on them was seen as central to making technology work
for you.
When
we asked our interviewees to share their favorite apps, we were surprised to
see that many of them stuck to familiar names.
So,
here’s a list approved by the experts themselves:
   
 Evernote
   
 Todoist
   
 Wunderlist
   
 Asana

      and of course Doodle 

What exciting story are you working
on next?

At the moment I am a frequent speaker at productivity events or on topics of
digital transformation and disruption. I share my findings on my personal blog www.michaelbrecht.com – I am fluent in
English, German and French.

When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
I always wrote a lot, published a children’s book in Australia and besides
managing my productivity blog also write a wine-blog called www.downunderwines.net with news on
wines, wineries and winemakers from Australia and beyond. What turned out to be
a hobby has become a great way of communicating with both the wine industry and
the many million wine-drinkers and enthusiasts from around the world.

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?

No, I am the CEO of Doodle, the global scheduling application, and have offices
in Berlin and Zurich. I manage a team of 20 staff and focus on global growth of
this productivity tool. I write my blogs and works on another topic in my
free-time.

What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I write as I speak, mostly based on my experience from writing blogs for
quite a few years now.

As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?

That is
dependent on the age: from football/star to university professor or coach, my
plans changed almost every year.

Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
My question would be whether they would like to contribute their tools for
staying more productive to be published on my blog. Digital tools? Which ones
do you use? Morning habit or evening routine – tell me about it.


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

Thank you
also, it is a real pleasure.


Links:
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