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One Year to an Organized Work Life: From Your Desk to Your Deadlines, the Week-by-Week Guide to Eliminating Office Stress for Good Paperback – December 2, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the natural follow-up to her bestselling "Zen organizing" primer One Year to an Organized Life, Leeds presents a comprehensive guide to office efficiency. Like its predecessor, this volume is a kind of self-help boot camp, complete with month-by-month and week-by-week guides, with themes ("January: Start Fresh," "March: Stop Paper Pileups"), habits ("Make your bed," "Be grateful," "Say no") and clearly-defined weekly exercises, including tips for dealing with everyday tasks like checking email and booking business travel. Leeds also makes them most of a helpful (if familiar) three-step "Magic Formula" for approaching clutter of any kind: "1. Eliminate 2. Categorize 3. Organize." Some readers may balk at her low-tech solutions: her section on calendar-keeping focuses almost exclusively on the pen-and-paper variety, and she suggests a highly detailed filing system for paper. Still, highly motivated readers should find plenty of smart, straightforward and rewarding ways to eliminate chaos from their work lives.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Shape, 12/08
“Use this guide to organize your office—and mind.”

Tucson Citizen, 1/8/09
“This guide provides the structure and the time frame to achieve the impossible: organization.”

Publishers Weekly (web exclusive), 2/2/09
“Readers should find plenty of smart, straightforward and rewarding ways to eliminate chaos from their work lives.”

Unclutterer.com, 3/24/09
“A practical resource for those in need of a complete organizational overhaul and for others who could use improvement in a few problematic areas.”

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books; 1 edition (December 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738212792
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738212791
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Keith Campbell on February 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
One Year to an Organized Work Life by Regina Leeds. I had previously reviewed two other books by Regina Leeds (the "Zen" Organizer) . Those were One Year to an Organized Life and One Year to an Organized Financial Life. Since both were excellent, I was really looking forward to the middle book in the series, dedicated to organizing your work life. After all, I spend a lot of time at work, and the consequences of being disorganize at work can be even more serious than falling to pieces at home.

I was not disappointed. This is a wonderful book on workplace organization - but even more, on integrating your work life and your personal life seamlessly. As with her other "one-year" books, Regina takes what could be a daunting subject and makes it manageable by breaking it down into easy weekly goals for a one-year gradual makeover. Follow the program and you end up with a complete organizational makeover for your work life. You can pick up the book and start the program at any time, as most of the assignments are not prerequisites of each other.

Each month also includes a work "habit of the month" and a HOME "habit of the month". What's really amazing is the range of topics covered in this book. It's not just another book on time management and paperwork. Sure, there are excellent chapters on those topics, but there are also a lot of topics that you don't often see discussed. How to pack for a business trip. How to prepare your office to run smoothly while you're on vacation. How to integrate your holiday plans with your work responsibilities. How to organize your computer, laptop and other virtual environments.

As usual, Regina devotes considerable time not simply to the mechanics of organizing, but to your mental attitudes.
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Format: Paperback
Follow Regina Leed's advice, and you will create miracles, even in the smallest of office spaces. I reduced the clutter in my small office cubicle and ended up relieving my mind of extraneous stuff too. Regina's empathetic, personal approach and keen appreciation for the positive power of new habits and affirmations made me feel that she was right beside me. Although it is written in a month by month format, don't let that stop you from jumping into Zen Organizing at any time of the year. What a delight to open a drawer or go to a shelf and have just what you need right at your command. A revelation for a person used to piles of papers and heaps of books everywhere. The same approach will work miracles at home too.

Much more than a simple "how to" book. Emphasis is on understanding behavior before starting new actions and sticking to newly created habits.
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Format: Paperback
I like parts of this book while other parts actually irritated me! I would like to have given this book 3.5 stars for that reason. It is not a 3 but it isn't a 4 either. I find this book works best for those working in an office or in corporate America. It's not as good for the self-employed or those in non-office (such as teaching) or alternative work environments. What I like about the book is the practical advice on organizing certain parts of your work life, such as your email and creating a filing system. Some of her quick tips and insights are great too, an example being that the reason why papers and emails pile up in your life is an inability to make decisions. That being said, I think that there is a lot of extra fluff in this book that isn't necessary and I found it difficult to get through. For example, I don't think that a book on organizing needs to instruct me to drink more water, eat nutritious food and make sure that I get enough rest. For some reason, reading that in this book irritated me. I felt like it was irrelevant to the subject and that health info should be left to another book.

My main issue with Ms. Leeds' books are that they are too emotionally "heavy" for me and they have too much extra "stuff" and personal information that I do not care to know (as an example, she mentions that she is a cancer survivor. While I feel for her and rejoice that she is in remission, having lost several people in my family to cancer, I do NOT want to be reminded of the pain I went through during that time of my life while I'm reading about organizing my work life)!

When I'm reading an organization book, I am looking for quick, easy and clear instructions on how to get organized.
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Format: Paperback
Struggling to be more productive at work? Take a minute to look at the big picture, says Regina Leeds in her newest book, One Year to an Organized Work Life.

One Year to an Organized Work Life leads readers through a 12-month plan for eliminating the workplace stress caused by disorganization. Each chapter introduces an important component of the organizational process for the month -- from making the most of your office space to dealing with priorities -- then breaks it down into four weeks of actionable steps.

Each month also includes two "Zen organizing habits" -- tasks for work and home that take just a few minutes and are worth cultivating. For example, Leeds recommends pausing each day to jot down three positive actions you took to make your work life easier. Periodically review your notes to celebrate your accomplishments and learn from your mistakes.

As each chapter of One Year to an Organized Work Life builds on prior tips and accomplishments, your best bet is to start from the beginning -- even if the calendar currently buried somewhere on your desk doesn't read "January."

So, where to begin? Step back and view your workspace with a critical eye, Leeds suggests -- similar to what happens when you receive a last-minute phone call from someone who wants to stop by your home on the weekend. Suddenly, you see your living room in a whole new light, don't you?

What does your workspace say about you? Are you energized and ready to get down to business the minute you enter? Or do you feel immediately overwhelmed by the chaos it contains?
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