Book Review - Self-Organization in 8 Weeks: Your Ultimate Guide to a More Organized and Productive Life by Simon Wright

Is one of your New Year’s goals to be more organized this year?  Do you feel like you spend too much time working and not enough time with family and friends?  If so, Self-Organizationin 8 Weeks: Your Ultimate Guide to a More Organized and Productive Life bySimon Wright may be the book to help you improve your organization, and, in turn, your life.

Book Contents

The book has nine main chapters.  The last eight are each separate areas of organization, one area for each week.

Benefits of Self-Organization

Becoming self-organized leads to many rewards like:

·         less stress,
·         more free time,
·         more energy and enthusiasm because large tasks will seem easier to handle,
·         fewer mistakes,
·         getting more things done, and
·         inspiring others

Wright recommends every reader keep a journal for the 8 weeks to monitor progress.  Ideally, each weekly challenge should turn into a habit.

Week 1—Time Optimization

For the first week, Wright asks that you find ways to be more productive and eliminate time wasters.  He suggests, among other tasks, that this week you get up earlier than you usually do.  Other suggestions include setting up your bills for automatic payment, outsourcing jobs, whether that be housecleaning chores for your kids or hiring a bookkeeper or virtual assistant, and using crockpot recipes so you spend less time cooking.

Week 2—Increase Productivity 
If you’re working more than you’d like to be, ask yourself if all of the things you’re doing truly need to get done and if you’re using your time wisely (without procrastination or distraction).  Wright gives a number of tasks to accomplish this week, but the two most valuable in my opinion are organizing your to do list by importance of tasks and identifying your peak productivity times.  Do your more difficult tasks, or the tasks that must get done, during your most productive work time.

Week 3—Plan Effectively

If you’re not naturally prone to writing to do lists, the activities in this chapter will be a challenge.  Specifically, Wright suggests that you not only make a list of things to do, but the specific steps to get each job done as well as a timeline for when you want to complete each step.

Week 4—Identify and Eliminate Distractions

Most likely, almost all of us could benefit from this chapter.  Wright asks you to identify your distractions and then limit them.  The most challenging?  Stay off your smartphone or Facebook except at times you specifically designate to check them.  He also suggests you only check e-mail twice a day.

Week 5—Get Rid of Clutter

Most of us deal with some form of clutter.  In week 5, Wright suggests that you tackle the clutter.  With each area that you clean, separate items into a save, not sure, and toss piles.  Then, he recommends you toss the latter two piles.  He also suggests strategies for keeping clutter at bay such as not buying something simply because it’s on sale and purging once a month for maintenance. 

The less clutter you have to deal with, the more efficiently you can use your time.

Week 6—Clear Your Mind

Do you let problems and concerns weigh you down?  If so, that can affect your productivity.  Wright suggests that you should write down, or talk with someone about, your problems.  He also suggests getting physical by taking a run or practicing meditation.

Week 7—Simplify Your Relationships

Wright would like to see people get rid of toxic relationships, so he suggests several ways to do that.  One of the most surprising suggestions is that he asks people to consider deactivating their Facebook accounts because of the way it can potentially negatively affect relationships.  If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, he says at the very least you should unfriend those you don’t talk to in real life.

Week 8—Balance Work and Play

The irony for many people, especially work at home moms, is that you work hard to provide for your family, but in return, you often neglect personal relationships because of your work.  Wright urges readers to eat dinner as a family, attend their kids’ activities, and take a vacation with family at least once a year.

Final Thoughts

Should you buy Self-Organization in 8 Weeks?  That depends.
This book is a very quick read, but reading is not the difficult part of this book—implementation is.  You have to be willing, every week, to do the tasks that Wright assigns.

There is not a lot of new information in this book, but the purpose of the book is to house all of the different organizational tips you may find on the Internet in one place.  For the price of $3.99 Kindle or $9.99 paperback, you may find this worthwhile.

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