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150 of 151 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 1999
I find it very refreshing when a book gives me permission to use notes of paper rather than a planner, handle paper more than once when it crosses my desk, and allows me to actually have a desk with things on it. Why, they even let you have a junk drawer, or HandyDrawer for those things I just might need someday (as long as I clean it out once in awhile).
The authors of How to Be Organized in Spite of Yourself have done just that, and help us identify ourselves within the Ten Operational Styles: Hopper, Perfectionist Plus, Allergic to Detail, Fence Sitter, Cliff Hanger, Everything Out, Nothing Out, Right Angler, Pack Rat, or Total Slob. And we don't even have to fit perfectly into any one, so we can adapt our organizing system according to several different styles.
Time logs are not new to a student of organizational techniques, but the authors encourage us to analyze our logs and identify which tasks have the most value, could be delegated, interrupted, etc. Since most of us don't realize where the time actually does go, this tool forces us to document where and how we get things accomplished. Only then can we change our system and create a new workable one.
Full of tips for streamlining your tasks and working with those who have opposing operational styles from our own, this book is very effective in helping us recognize timewasters and helps establish new ways of saving time for the things that actually do matter at work and home.
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183 of 196 people found the following review helpful
I purchased this book based on the reviews it received and the comparitively low price. (I had to laugh when I saw that one reviewer was an air traffic controller too!) I am glad that this book has been helpful for some. For me though, I found "Organizing, Plain and Simple" by Donna Smallin, to be much more practical.
As a single mom I'm looking for suggestions and practical tips to becoming more organized across the board. This book seems more geared to organizing your desk and tasks at work. It involves documenting how you spend your time, etc. That was not helpful to me since I would spend the majority of my day documenting instead of doing. The book also uses a tremendous amount of space describing each time/space management style without giving very many tips on how to overcome your particular style.
I am not comfortable being critical of these author's, I mean I couldn't write a book! The fact remains I was disappointed with this particular book since I didn't find much practical advice here.
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2002
This book totally changed my outlook on all my junk. I've already cleared out half my house and I've only had it for 2 weeks. i've been a slob all my life and this is the first book on organization that actually inspired me to change. It helps you diagnose exactly what your problem is and how to fix it. Great for anyone ready to make a real change!
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77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2002
So often we wish we could be more organized; but, once the initial enthusiasm wears off (usually pretty quickly) we find it hard to follow through and stay organized. We can't understand why - when our intentions are good - we just can't seem to succeed in our quest for a more organized lifestyle.
When you read How To Be Organized In Spite of Yourself, you'll get a feeling of lightbulbs flashing in your mind. You'll recognize your organizing and time management styles when you read about the ten different styles described in the book. Once you understand how you may have been working against your style, it will be easier to tackle the next organizing effort. You are more likely to succeed when you adapt the methods most suited to your own personal style. So instead of working against yourself, you'll find it much easier to follow through and get things done.
Packed with tips, practical advice, charts and good case studies, How To Get Organized In Spite of Yourself is THE definitive hands-on reference to creating and maintaining new time and space managing habits.
As a Organizing Consultant, this is practically my Bible, it was the first book I recommended for the students in my organizing course at SuiteU. I also recommend it for my private clients to keep their motivation high after their consultation is over.
Very highly recommended.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 5, 2003
This book is one of the best I have read on its subject. One of the things I liked best is that after reading the opening chapters, I could go to the two chapters that describe the time and space management styles that are unique to me. The tips found there are very helpful!
I recommend this book to all busy administrators who want to get a better handle on their time and space management skills. It's a quick read, and will easily pay for itself through the time and money saved. Great buy!
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2001
I actually hold down 2 demanding jobs, as an air traffic controller and union representative. I share the union office with other people and I have limited time to get my administrative paperwork done. So I really needed advice that would be straightforward and useful. Ms. Schlenger's overview of time and space management styles, along with specific how-to's gave me what I needed to know, in a very readable format. I highly recommend this book to people who have to live or work with others who may have different preferences when it comes to getting organized. We can do things differently, and still get them done!
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2005
I really did get a lot out of this book... It is one of the few organizing books that have really helped me. (And I've bought a few!)

It was a spur-of-the-moment purchase at an airport bookshop, and wasn't terribly expensive. But I have since been highlighting my favourite bits, so I can keep looking back at it for reference. As it turns out, I have a very high "cliff-hanger" rating, and when it comes to space, I am an "everything-out" person. It's nice to finally know where I fit in.

Admittedly, it's probably more useful at work than at home. I have already implemented several of the suggestions at work, and it seems to have made a big improvement. Things are not getting lost all the time, and everything has a place!

If you have tried other organizing books, this one is a bit different. And it's working for me!!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2001
The thing I appreciate about this book is that there are many definitions and approaches to getting organized, and not just one way to do it. I don't have to force myself into a single-serving, one-size-fits-all mold. I can be myself AND get organized. In addition, I find that I actually employ some of Sunny's methods in getting organized, which means the suggestions are practical and do-able. This book is an enjoyable and easy read, which is an accomplishment given the potentially dry subject matter. Give it as a gift to your favorite Oscar Madison.
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56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2003
.
IMHO, self-help books should make it easy for me to find and understand the meat, easy to get to the particular information that pertains to me, and ideally have solutions that are effective for me personally. The first two are true and time will prove/disprove the third.
1) You can skip lots - if you score low on the intro test, skip the rest of the chapter. I.e., I am a distracted (20), pack rat (20), cliff-hanger (20) who is alergic to details (15). I am too low on fence-sitting to bother with it. I am precise but I am not a "perfectionist plus." My desk is a total mess (so I am not a "right-angle" type) but I am not a "slob" - my messiness comes from other sources. [I was able to skip half the pages! Hooray!]
2) The suggested cures are not esoteric (and shouldn't be). In my case I should use hourly chimes (help me notice time passing), break projects into mini-goals, create a daily plan, handle my magazine/book "to do" pile better, improve my time estimating, improve prioritizing, and have someone yell STOP at me occassionally.
3) Nothing really new, but you can see how I could identify the specific targets to focus on more effectively than if I had to just go down a list that included cures for risk-avoidance, for example.
THE BIG Q: Will it work? Will I adopt these practices? Will I keep them up?
OOPS - this isn't the "Whacko Ego Tripping" bulletin board...
If you are reading this, you should get the book, spend an hour, and then decide if it works for you. If YES, spend another couple of hours and emerge with a "To Do" and a "How To Do" list. It sure is a bargain.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 1999
WOW! What a helpful book!!! Ms. Schlenger and Ms. Roesch have identified several different types of organizers [including, like me, the organizationally challenged!] and developed methods for each type to become more organized. The book is full of examples and anecdotes, it's easy to read, and it WILL help you become more organized - in spite of yourself!!!
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