Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management

by Mark Forster | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 0340909129 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingBookAmblerwing of Isle of Lewis, Scotland United Kingdom on 8/11/2006
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingBookAmblerwing from Isle of Lewis, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, August 11, 2006
In a nutshell… If you are a procrastinator and desperate to see the back of the Thief of Time then your search for a solution to your 'time management problem' has come to an end. You need look no further because Mark is your man. He understands. He is one of us. And yet, of course, he isn't, because he wasn't prepared to let procrastination (and the resultant stress it causes) take over his life. So he did something about it - wrote a book to help us lesser mortals. My advice is - read this book as soon as you can! (Won't take long - hard to stop once you've started it.)

Not convinced yet? Okay, then read on. Mark has spent many years observing and experimenting on himself. The first fruit of this labour was "Get Everything Done..." published in 2000. It is an excellent book and, in my opinion, has not been entirely superseded by the new book. (Actually, some of the most valuable ideas/ techniques are repeated.) However, as Mark found out, even faithfully practising the "Get Everything Done…" techniques there was still something lacking - which turned out to be a system or structure to hang it all on. And thus the new book has come to be.

Back in Spring 2005 I went to one of Mark's "Do It Tomorrow" seminars - I thought the whole concept was great but wasn't able to put the ideas into practice because I was extremely overcommitted at the time. (Cynics take note - nobody's time management ideas, not Mark's or anyone else's, will work if you are overcommitted.) So it took me the rest of 2005 to de-commit enough to cope when I was hit with (rather predictable) health problems. Now, as I gradually recover, the timing of the book release has been perfect for me. One thing I really like about the book is seeing what Mark has modified as the result of nearly 500 people - from all walks of life - participating in his seminars and giving useful 'real-world' feedback.

I purposely waited a month before reviewing the book. Having decided to commit seriously to a minimum of four weeks of the system, I admit I had to go through the 'resistance pain barrier' some days (don't worry, Mark tells you how).

What I’ve learnt so far;
  • not to be impatient – eg with backlogs, of which I have plenty :-(
  • that applying the concept immediately to all areas of life - work + voluntary work + personal stuff + domestic was probably overdoing it a little! Still no surprises there; procrastination does tend to attach itself to perfectionist-obsessive-compulsive types like myself :-)
  • that a (closed) list full of ticked items is very rewarding :-)
  • that it is hard not to add things under the (closed list) line!
  • that I can often get something completed because I tell myself "even if I only do it for five minutes I can tick it off" - and of course once you start something it's so much easier to finish it!!
  • that more opportunities and ideas present themselves - probably because you are in a much better position to 'see' them
  • that recognising the feeling of resistance - and dealing with it - is key to success
In fact it makes me laugh (cry?!) to think of some of the things I have put off for weeks on end (pre-D.I.T.)

How I have benefited so far;
  • email backlog gone and fully under control. Magazine and paper pile backlogs under control - new incoming items are no problem.
  • achieved 2-3 times what I would achieve without the system – and that includes the day’s when I haven’t even completed the list!
  • greater sense of control and therefore less stressed
  • stayed motivated even during the heatwave in July – pretty good going considering I’m self-employed and work from home
  • much better at following up tasks
If you want to read another book about organising physical things then I enjoyed " Organising from the Inside Out" by Julia Morgenstern. (Although it's a little too American and recommends American products.)

I hope that people don't dismiss the principle of "Do It Tomorrow" on the basis that it appears too simple to actually work - because therein lies its beauty. I have no idea if it can help non-procrastinating non-self-employed people who don't like ticking things off lists - but it certainly is working for me.

Journal Entry 2 by wingBookAmblerwing from Isle of Lewis, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 22, 2006
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