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Making Work Work: New Strategies for Surviving and Thriving at the Office Hardcover – August 31, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Whether in the executive boardroom or a windowless cubicle, the key to a more balanced, productive existence, according to organizer extraordinaire Morgenstern, is PEP (physical health, escape and people), the four Ds (delete, delay, delegate and diminish) and a healthy dose of reality about what is doable, and what is impossible, at work. Written in the same to-the-point approach as her Organizing from the Inside Out, this volume espouses a combination of philosophies that not only makes a whole lot of sense but is practical and applicable to the real world, no matter what the job or office setting. Each "competency" (as the chapters are called) includes scenarios taken from actual clients, bullet-pointed tips known as "grab-and-go-strategies," from getting away from wasteful e-mails to planning your day better and always dancing "close to the revenue line." Morgenstern promises readers a significant change in their workload, productivity level and all-around confidence if they refrain from reading, replying to or even perusing e-mail in the first hour of the day. This may be a hard sell for some desk-based professionals, but it's clear that Morgenstern knows her stuff. The habits of workaholics and perfectionists, she argues, are impractical and will render one unproductive. In accessible, encouraging prose, Morgenstern helps readers learn their boundaries, limits, strengths and weaknesses.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Until you change the way you work at things, the things you work at will never change. Julie teaches how to change those things and become more energetic and efficient at work. This book is a must for anyone who loves to work." -- Pat Riley, president, the Miami Heat

"Written in the same to-the-point approach as her Organizing from the Inside Out, this volume...makes a whole lot of sense [and] is practical and applicable to the real world." -- Publishers Weekly

Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and The On-Time, On-Target Manager This book is brimming with great ideas for making our working lives better. And when work is working for us, that's when we can serve ourselves and others best.

Brian Tracy, Author of Time Power Wow! What a great book. Here in one place you learn how to get organized and get more done faster than you ever thought possible. This is a handbook for personal success. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Fireside; First Printing edition (August 31, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413290256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743250870
  • ASIN: 0743250877
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Blaine Greenfield on April 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've long been a fan of Julie Morgenstern . . . her other books, ORGANIZING FROM THE INSIDE OUT and TIME MANAGEMENT FORM THE INSIDE OUT, had a big impact on me--and contained much useful information that I still use.

So it was with great anticipation that I obtained and devoured her latest, MAKING WORK WORK . . . it did not disappoint!

Morgenstern presents ideas and suggestions that apply to just about any situation . . . what she writes may sound basic, but it is the type thing that you need to read more than once . . . then begin to use.

For example, she urges you to begin conversations with:

"What can I do for you?" not "How are you?" As she notes:

"How are you?" is an open invitation to chat and warm up. "What can I do for you?" immediately focuses your interrupter on getting straight to the point. It's professional and gets you both down to business. This enables you to handle the interruption in the least amount of time possible.

There were several other memorable passages; among them:

The only real chance you have at choosing the most important tasks begins with keeping a complete list of everything you need to do in one place. After all, prioritizing is a matter of relativity--the true question is, What's most important in relation to the other things on your list? Taken one item at a time, everything can mask itself as a critical task.

Control Lateness: Use odd start times, such as 27 or 41 minutes after the hour, to control lateness. People are far less likely to be late for a meeting that starts at 11:27 than one at 11:30. Designate an official timekeeper to watch the clock for every meeting, and rotate that role among attendees.
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Format: Paperback
The last reviewer must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed the morning he decided to review this book, because even the cover of Never Check Email in the Morning states that it was "Originally Published as Making Work Work"...and does it really matter anyway?!

I can honestly say that Ms. Morgensterns' book has had a huge impact on my life...at work AND on my time off. First and foremost, her advice about never checking email the first hour of the day is genius. My first thought...wishful thinking. Being in sales I was initally hesitant to believe that this was possible in my position, and that I would lose out on client opportunities if I didn't check email immediately. But when I actually understood what my email addiction was keeping me from, was when I finally decided to give it a try. And I was AMAZED at the results. Because I am now able to use my first hour on strategic planning, my sales and client retention have actually increased!

But don't get me wrong, this book has much more to offer than email advice. In fact, any one of her "grab and go" strategies will directly increase your productivity and improve your relationship to your job. More than anything, her simple strategies allow you to take back control of your workday, which in this fast paced world seems to have slipped away. And possibly more importantly, she recognizes the need for a work-life balance, giving us permission to leave work at work and use our time off to refuel ourselves with what's most important to us.

I thoroughly recommend this book! It will not disappoint.
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Format: Hardcover
As a career consultant, I often find myself frustrated with mindless career advice. So it's a treat to open this book and find some truly original ideas that I can recommend to my clients and ezine readers. And, amazingly, Morgenstern's book will be appropriate to a variety of readers and career stages. It's not just for entry-level beginners or senior vice presidents. We can all read and learn here.

Happiness, says Morgenstern, means "liking what you're doing and being good at it, feeling connected, in control, successful and balanced." Now there's a realistic definition that we can work with!

I like Morgenstern's listing of nine competencies. Most are straightforward and you're heard some before, but they're presented insightfully. For instance, "organize at the speed of change" and develop an "entrepreneurial mindset" have become essential in today's world; you probably know you need to delegate and work well with others, but we can never hear this message too often.

Perhaps the most striking insight is, "Sometimes it's not you! Sometimes it's them holding you back." In working with live clients, I find that identifying this difference can be key to long-term career success, not to mention santiy.

Other messages I support wholeheartedly: "Your personal life is an investment in your work."

"Try neglecting one small task." (So true! Often nobody notices even when you neglect the big tasks!)


"Own your career so you're not a victim."

Well said.

This book's layout could be more visually appealing; it's not the author's fault, but the pages sometimes seem crowded. However, it's worth digging. I will be recommending this book on my ezine page and will encourage many of my clients to give themselves this book as a gift.
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