Welcome to my blog. I am Miriam Downey, the Cyberlibrarian. I am a retired librarian and a lifelong reader. I read and review books in four major genres: fiction, non-fiction, memoir and spiritual. My goal is to relate what I read to my life experience. I read books culled from reviews in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Bookmarks, and The New Yorker. I also accept books from authors and publicists. I am having a great time.
Hope you will join me on the journey.
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
toefficiency, 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
FollowUp.cc 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."