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  • Managing Oneself (Harvard Business Review Classics)
  • by Peter F. Drucker
  • Read: Aug 20, 2019
Managing Oneself (Harvard Business Review Classics) book cover

It’s really short, more of an essay really, so there’s no reason not to read it. It gives a couple of really good and fairly practical tips about what to find out about oneself in order to be effective and successful.

One of the things that definitely did strike me as interesting were Drucker’s points about taking notes and writing things down in general:

If I don’t write it down immediately, I forget it right away. If I put it into a sketch book, I never forget it and I never have to look it up again

I’ve had this experience so frequently, especially as a kid in school. That when I wrote something down (e.g. homework for the day) I rarely needed to look it up again but remembered what I had to do. Because I would also often remember it either way, I sadly drew the wrong conclusion there (namely that writing things down isn’t worth the hassle). Which stifled my note taking skills and a lot of my learning later on. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I realized that it was precisely that process of writing things down that made me memorize my homework.

A good part of the book also is about figuring out which version of yourself you want to be. Which I think is a really important aspect of maturing as a person and figuring out why you’re even trying to get better:

That is the mirror test. Ethics requires that you ask yourself, what kind of person do I want to see in the mirror in the morning?