and other ramblings of a small business owner
Title: Organise Yourself
Author: John Caunt
Date Reviewed: 12th April 2018
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This is a book that I’ve had sitting on my shelf for some time. I probably picked it up on a book-buying splurge at some point. I think I may even have read it before. I’ve gone back to it now because I’ve been going through my usual beginning of the year “too much to do!” panic. I have been feeling like I’ve lost control of my workload and having to frantically run to catch up without getting anywhere. After all the time management books I’ve read, you’d think I’d know better by now, wouldn’t you?
So, I’ve been looking for something to help me get back on track and productively working. Browsing my bookshelves “Organise Yourself” jumped out – a bit of organisation is what I need to regain that control!
When it comes to writing the review of the book I’m feeling slightly uninspired. It’s a good solid book with good solid advice in it, but I’m not feeling blown away. Let’s use my three-question approach to reviewing:
1. Am I interested?
Most definitely. I love reading about time management and productivity. And the idea of organising myself is very appealing. What I particularly like about it is that as well as taking you through time management techniques and how to prioritise etc, it also includes some very practical advice about how to physically organise your office and filing system. This might sound a bit dull, but this is the sort of thing that you’re just expected to magically know how to do and being given some pointers can be a help.
2. Did I enjoy reading it?
Kind of. The book is really nicely set out with loads of headings and sub-headings and boxouts. This makes it very easy to flick through and find the section you want. And the writing is very clear and easy to follow. As I said above it’s a solid book. But I’m not finding it massively inspiring. You know what, I’m leaning more and more towards books where the author’s strong (and often quirky) personality comes through. I’m not saying that the author in this case doesn’t have a personality, but it’s just not that kind of book. It’s a bit more serious than that (it is a Sunday Times book after all). And that leaves me feeling like I didn’t dislike reading it, I just didn’t get the buzz that I’m looking for to drag me out of my Februrary fugg.
3. Will it help my business?
Yes. Because I’m a time management addict the techniques in the book aren’t necessarily new to me, but I think there is a lot to be said about revisiting ideas and having them explained in different ways. All the advice is very practical and I can see myself dipping into it to review particular subjects. For example decision making. Some people find decision making very easy and others really struggle with it. I like to think that I’m quite good at it – possibly too prone to snap decisions and impatient with more considered approaches. It’s something that I probably take for granted, but actually there is technique to making good decisions and thinking about the process more could help.
I would however approach the technology chapter cautiously. My copy of the book is the third edition which was published in 2010. Techology moves on very fast and what was probably great up-to-date advice in 2010 is already sounding a bit dated.
I’m glad that I’ve revisited this book and I’m sure I’ve absorbed some ideas from it which will help me. But I’m afraid it hasn’t been the inspiration that I’ve been looking for. One to keep on my shelf to dip into but not something to turn to when I’m in the depths of overwhelm.
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