Thursday, June 25, 2009

Off the Shelf: Ready for Anything

I'm not sure how or why I decided to pick up this book at the library, but I'm glad I did. David Allen's Ready for Anything is a book aimed at corporate executives and stay at home moms alike, a conglomeration of mini-tutorials on how to make the most of your brain and the organizational methods that support it through whatever life throws at you.

I am a creative type... not so much a natural organizer. I am not good about regularly maintaining the organizational systems I have created to keep family and business running smoothly. As evidence, I cite the facts that I clean for company and organize receipts when I'm about to do taxes. I'm managing now though I find my lax methods going down like a sinking ship as life gets more complicated and the business is growing. I'd like to nip this problem in the bud before it undercuts my personal goals and overall success. I'm led to believe that David Allen's style of productivity might be the trick to getting on track. He had previously written a book titled Getting Things Done whose enthusiastic reviewers indicate includes more of a formal plan for doing just that, and that is now on my reading list.

There's a lot of lofty talk in this book about clearing your head (onto paper) and your desk (into functional systems) to make room for creative thought, but that's the whole point, now isn't it? I think it is a worthwhile read even if you only take away a few generalities about how to be better prepared to take advantage of whatever comes your way whenever it happens. The quotes spattered through the book are interesting but distracting, and not all 52 of his items will necessarily apply to everyone. But if you can into his thick writing style, there's a lot of good stuff to get you thinking about how to make yourself more efficient and less stressed about the unknowable future. I give this book a B+ for content and an A for its clear descriptions of why each point is necessary to the plan, and I'm hoping that a read of Getting Things Done provides a more clearcut plan to implement these ideas.

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