First things first I want to say a big thank you to Goodreads, because this is another book I won from their Goodreads First Reads competitions. I’ve been waiting for this book to come since Halloween, so as soon as it came in the post I read it straight away.
I wasn’t actually planning on writing a review for this ‘book’, because it’s twenty four pages long, so I didn’t think there would actually be that much for me to say. Surprisingly, however, there is a lot in this book that is just grating on my nerves, so I thought I might as well get it out somewhere so that I don’t feel all agitated for the rest of the day.
‘Organize Every Day…’ is a self-help book that is designed to help you organise your day so that you can get the most out of it, making you a more productive and therefore a more positive person. I agree with the concept completely, because since I’ve started formulating my own plans for my days I’ve been way more productive (hence the fact that I’m four books ahead on my reading goal and I have had time to relax and exercise as well). However, most self-help books give you a few options and detail some research that has been performed in the real world, to help you decide on a path that is both right for you and scientifically proven to work. This is not one of those self-help books.
The first chapter, ‘Each Day Starts The Night Before: Plan Ahead’ contains a couple of useful tips, such as deciding upon an outfit for work and getting it out of your closet the night before you have work, so that you don’t need to rush around deciding upon clothing choices in the morning. This, I agree with. However, for a chapter that is focused entirely on the premise that waking up in the morning can be difficult, there are no suggestions on how to overcome this. From research I did a few months ago into my own sleeping patterns, I’ve found that you get optimum performance if you sleep for seven hours, with your alarm going off to coincide with your seventh hour of sleep (which is only referenced in the last chapter, ‘There Is Tomorrow: Don’t Overwork’ and doesn’t even link in with the chapter that it’s mentioned in). If you get seven hours of sleep, you’re waking up naturally around the same time that your alarm is going off, so it’s not a violent jolt awake, it’s just a gentle nudge. Suggesting something like this could actually be more helpful for the people who need to organise their lives, because instead of going to bed late and waking up extremely early, leaving themselves rushed in the mornings, they would feel healthier when they awoke which meant that they could be more productive instantaneously.
Furthermore, I understand that a lot of people drink coffee in the mornings as a way to wake themselves up, but if you have a caffeine drink that early you will crash in the middle of the day, meaning you will actually be less productive in the time that could be your best working hours. By not offering an alternative suggestion, anyone who is averse to coffee is automatically left out of the equation. If there was a suggestion of a glass of water or orange juice it could actually kick-start mornings much more effectively, making people more productive throughout their entire days.
This book reads much more like a blog than a self-help book. It’s very specific to the author, who doesn’t seem to take other peoples personalities or preferences into consideration. It’s focused entirely upon being organised at work and in the work place, so if you’re looking to organise your day to day life of paying bills and keeping track of money, this is not the book for you. One of the most important things to tackle when writing a self-help book is to make sure you put yourself into other peoples shoes, allowing the book to have a wide impact on everyone who could choose to pick it up, and that doesn’t really happen here.
Relating back to what I said earlier, none of the scientific research that he mentions is referenced, meaning it could all be a lot of gobbledygook – I’d quite like to see the names of the researchers and the years that the work was carried out, so that I could look into the studies further and get more information about what makes people organised and productive. An example of this would be at the end of chapter four, when it’s stated that ‘research by U.S. psychologists explains that people who keep a clean working space tend to be more generous and have a healthier mind.’ I’ve definitely seen research into clean working spaces equating to increased concentration, but increased generosity is something I would like to look more into, if the research had been referenced. On the other hand, the quotes taken from books are referenced extremely well, but the standard should be kept up throughout, not just on one or two pieces of information. Similarly, the anecdotes that show his points in the real world are linked in well, making the theories seem more feasible and realistic, but, again, that’s just one man proving that what he’s saying works, and of course he’s going to support his own theories.
I’m sure, if people are going out and getting books on how to organise their days, they are quite desperate for advice, but I wouldn’t suggest getting it from here.