This is an absolutely terrific, mind-blowing book! I thought it was going to be another manual on Getting Organized, something that teaches how to set up a filing system and schedule appointments. I read it anyway, because I like to keep up on the latest trends in my field. I thought maybe I’d recommend it to people with more of a sports or business focus. This is not that kind of tutorial. With each chapter, I was more and more impressed. I really wished it was the first organizing book I had ever read. What Organize Tomorrow Today has to teach goes far beyond basic time management and into life management.
The book does start with how we allocate time, and that makes perfect sense, because our lives are used up in one-second increments. The author, Dr. Jason Selk, recommends time maximization rather than time management. The idea is to make the best possible use of time by planning only three most important tasks for the day, and then choosing one of those as the 1 Must. Do the 1 Must first, even if it’s the only thing you get done all day. Do the next two important tasks after that. Pause at lunchtime to plan the next day’s three most important tasks. Everything less important can be fit in with whatever time is left. I’ve had big success focusing on the 1 Must, because if I try to make excuses for why I’m not doing it, it forces me to acknowledge that I’m giving in to resistance. Then I have to acknowledge why. Why on earth would I not do the single thing I’ve personally decided is the most important thing for me to do?
One of the most valuable concepts I picked up was to Win the Fight-Thru. This refers to those times when we’re tempted to drop a habit “just this once.” Gretchen Rubin has a long list of common loopholes, and Dr. Tim Pychyl calls this phenomenon “giving in to feel good.” We let ourselves off the hook, and by failing to live up to our own values, we let ourselves down and trust ourselves less and less. Selk recommends responding to this seductive call by doing 10% more on these days. In this way, we prove to ourselves that we do have what it takes, that this goal is important, and that we will keep our commitments to ourselves. I can’t emphasize enough how revolutionary I find this idea. This is going to be my “one thing” from the eight habits in the book.
Selk discusses the “Trap of the Viable Excuse,” and says: The more “reasonable” the excuse is, the more you’re willing to accept the failure and make it your new normal…. When you accept it, you’re accepting a permanent lowering of your personal standards.” [chills] This is a “performance virus.” Two others are “Focusing on What You Can’t Control” and “Giving In to Problem-Centric Thought.” Keys to the universe, right here!
I highly recommend Organize Tomorrow Today. The author recommends that his clients choose only one of the eight goals, moving on only when they master the first one they chose. He emphasizes over and over again that people get caught up in enthusiasm and try to do everything at once, what he calls the “honeymoon period.” Understandably, these habits are so obviously useful that anyone would want to try them all at once! Then, inevitably, they start to slip. This is also something I’m going to take very seriously. My credo is to Do the Obvious, and that means taking advice from smart people who get the results they set out to get. Even though I have no particular interest in team sports, I can recognize that these are successful people with clearly measurable goals. Like everyone else, they do better when they figure out something specific they aren’t doing well, and then work to improve that weak area.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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