Book Review: The Routine Machine by John Lamerton

The Routine Machine Review Today, I am kickstarting a new series of book reviews starting with a review of The Routine Machine by John Lamerton.

This is a book I have recently finished in audiobook form from Audible.

As part of a new series of book reviews, I am starting with this!

Over the last eight years, I have read and listened to lots and lots of books within the personal development space.

Normally after finishing each book (or audiobook), I have privately done (for myself) a kind of action plan – of things to implement from the book for my own life and business. In fact, this is even something recommended in The Routine Machine, doing an “after action” review of a book you have finished.

Although that’s great, I think (going forward) it will be even more powerful to put that into a blog post as I am doing now.

This way, you can get book ideas for yourself, and you can also see what I have taken away from various books.

Let’s be honest, there’s lots of books out there in the personal development space. There’s so much available for you to constantly be consuming them. It definitely helps to have some recommendations.

Let’s get started with this book review series, starting with The Routine Machine by John Lamerton.

What is it about?

John Lamerton is an entrepreneur with a lot of business experince over the last 2 decades running all sorts of different businesses. As he points out, he’s had a lot of successesas well as failures.

So, what is The Routine Machine about?

As the title suggests, it’s all about putting in new powerful habits and routines for your business and life in general.

Of course, in the personal development space, there are lots and lots of books about developing habits and routines.

Just off the top of my head, I think of books like Atomic Habits and The Compound Effect just to name a couple.

I’ve read lots and lots of books over the years about developing and bolstering new habits and routines, as well as productivity books. These are very popular topics in the personal development space.

With John Lamerton’s excellent book, it’s all about creating habits/systems/routines that allow you to succeed long term.

What did I think of the book?

routine machine john lamertonI thought it was fantastic and it was also what gave me the inspiration to start this book review series of blog posts!

I am someone who has read lots of books like this (about developing new habits and routines). I know the topic very well and this book really hit it out of the park.

I thought in particular, the narration (on the audiobook version) by the author himself (John Lamerton) was fantastic! It actually felt like very personal, like you were listening to a friend giving valuable advice based on his years of experience.

On top of this, he did a great job of referencing the training with anecdotes from his own life.

The content is fantastic as well.

There’s a lot of structure in the book and life stories/anecdotes to go along with his valuable advice (more details in the next section).

John Lamerton has a great way of explaining things: He gives lessons and talks about how he learnt the hard way to achieve success. As a reader/listener, you can really relate to him because the stories are very personal.

For example, he talks about how (in his early days of business) he was working extremely hard, whilst often neglecting his family. He reflects on that time and the burnout from it. These are the types of examples most people can relate to and learn from. As business owners, most of us have gone through some kind of burnout before and neglected aspects of our life.

There’s also lots of humour in the book as well!

Even when John is giving great practical advice, there’s also lots of jokes and funny stories! I found myself laughing out loud quite a bit. Like I said, the book felt personal and like you were getting 1-2-1 advice from a friend.

I think the personality of John really shone through.

Throughout the book, Lamerton also references various resources for free – things like a 90 Day planner. This was a great value add giving you useful tools to take action on the training.

I thought it was an absolutely fantastic read and I am going to talk about some key points/takeaways I got from the book.

Key Takeaways From The Book

john lamerton the routine machineFirst of all, I should state that the audiobook is a lot of content at 6.5 hours+ to listen to.

There’s clearly a lot of content and it would be impossible for me to cover everything within the book.

I’ve always believed that when you read one of these personal development books, it’s not about implementing every single sentence of that book, it’s more about taking away a few key things that will be helpful for your own life.

I am going to give some of my key takeaways that I got, but this is (of course) by no means exhaustive.

1. Having 90 Day Plans

John Lamerton talks about how it’s important to have a 90 Day Plan, and futhermore having 3 big goals for those 90 days.

What are the 3 core things that are most important in the next 90 days?

This allows you to plan each week.

Decide each week the “1 Thing/s” for each of your “Big 3” goals. You can then schedule them into the calendar first before all the slightly less important things like checking emails and admin.

I thought this was very powerful. I’ve explained it very simply here, but it’s explained in a lot more detail in the book.

Lots of personal development books talk about 90 Day Plans, but I thought that it was very well covered here. Lamerton goes in great detail and also references his own 90 Day Plan/Template as well as weekly plans.

2. Small Amounts Each Day

You don’t want to be aiming to do crazy amounts of work every day. It’s more about small things compounded over time.

This is obviously a popular idea in personal development covered in other great books (such as The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy).

To really achieve success over time, it’s not about killing yourself each day. It’s about just doing small amounts of things, but doing them every single day with consistency. Over time, this compounds to great results and success.

I found this very powerful. Even though I have done this for many years, it was so helpful to hear it explained by John Lamerton with lots of examples.

3. Not About Getting Up At 5:00 AM

One thing I really liked the book is that he Lamerton challenges the “hustle work culture” from others in the personal development space.

He challenges that idea that you’ve got to be getting up at 5:00 AM and ready to “hustle” until you pass out from exhaustion.

He talks about the importance of not burning yourself out and having no life, but rather creating a routine for your situation that is also sustainable.

For example, if you have a family (and kids), your routine is going to be different. It’s going to coincide with doing the school run and things like that.

John Lamerton takesa very nuanced view towards people and the fact they have different situations for their own life.

He doesn’t give a one-size fits all approach like some the “hustle harder” brigade do.

I loved this advice. I have always achieved success by working hard but it’s always been sustainable and not neglecting everything in my life.


4. Changing Things Slowly

This is something that has been well known for a long time. If you’re changing a habit such as fitness, diet or something else major, you don’t want to change lots of things all at once, because you’ll get overwhelmed and frustrated.

You want to change things slowly but consistently over time.

John Lamerton goes into great detail on this. He talks about how when he was trying to get healthier, he didn’t change absolutely everything at once, he changed one simple thing at a time. For example: drinking more water or getting more sleep.

To really change things, you have to start small with changes so you don’t get overwhelmed and give up.

Final Thoughts

I have read and listened to so many books on business building, productivity, habit forming and more over the years.

This will definitely be up there in the top 5. It was a great listen.

I’ve already said that John Lamerton’s narration was fantastic and it felt like having a friend in the room with you giving you sage advice from years of trial and error. There was lots of much needed humour it wasn’t deadly serious all the time which made it enjoyable as well. Certainly not boring.

I definitely recommend this book and I’ve got lots of actionable advice from it. I definitely recommend The Routine Machine by John Lamerton.