Friday, March 14, 2014

Less Doing, More Living: Make Everything in Life Easier

by Ari Meisel
Tarcher Penguin     2014
124 pages Nonfiction

  It appears that I have come across Superman in the guise of Ari Meisel, a productivity guru, LEED contractor, Ironman, TED talker, and now author. He says his hobby is productivity. I received his book Less Doing More Living from the publisher who must have known my need. The book will be out in April, and I would suggest that nearly everyone can find some useful hints, particularly among the apps and services that he suggests. Less Doing, More Living is Meisel's approach to dealing with daily stresses of life "by optimizing, automating, and outsourcing all of my tasks in life and business." 

 The book is just as efficient as the man. In a spare 124 pages. it tells you the productivity tools that you need that will optimize your work week and your personal life. He uses nine fundamental principles to  efficiency, including the perennial problems with finance and organization. He suggests that once you perfect an optimization process--whether it be learning an app or hiring a virtual assistant--you can get the process out of your sight and out of your mind. He then tells you how to find the apps that you need to succeed at the task of doing less and living more.

I really liked the instructions for how to use Evernote and because I can use them immediately to keep track of the work I am doing for clients. Additionally, I have been using two different calendar systems; one for my personal life, and one for my business life. I am going to combine them--why didn't I think of that before. That certainly shows my efficiency needs!

Some things I found fascinating--the virtual assistant, for one. I can see how my husband could take advantage of that. At the same time, I was reminded of the virtual assistant in Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple who stole all of Bernadette's money. I was also intrigued by the idea of scheduling purchases of items like toothpaste and toilet paper from Amazon, so you don't have to think about running errands. Frankly, I found a lot more efficiency tools for my husband than for me; he is starting a new business and feeling a bit overwhelmed. As always, wives are good at finding things for their husbands more than themselves--with the possible exception of Ari Meisel's wife, who is probably going "enough with the apps already!"

Well, at any rate, if doing things more efficiently is your goal; this is your book. It is a quick read and rather fun. See what you can change in your life. Publishers Weekly says, "Meisel provides a concise and ingenious roadmap to doing less, getting more, and enjoying life."

The brief review in Publisher's Weekly:
Meisel's website:


1 comment:

Anne Johnsons said...

Looking forward to purchasing this book soon. Seems like it has all the productivity hacks I need to make my life efficient. If you are planning to hire a Virtual Assistant for your hubby, I'd recommend reading the 10 Qualities to Look for in a Virtual Assistant to avoid being 'Manjula Kapoor'-ed.