Sunday, November 8, 2015

Design Your Day by Claire Diaz-Ortiz

Days get away from us. “Days shouldn't live themselves, and this is a book about making sure they don't,” the author writes.

Her strategy is her Do Less Method. It is a productivity and goal setting model designed to get more done in less time and succeed more often. The book is in two parts. The first part concentrates on deciding what is important and what we really want. The second part is about organizing. It includes productivity strategies to reach SMART goals and includes the four steps of limit, edit, streamline, stop. (Decide, Organize, Limit, Edit, Streamline, Stop – DO LESS)

I liked her idea of brainstorming and free writing to get as many ideas as possible. We are to welcome unusual ones and withhold criticism. Then ideas are combined and improved upon, then structured into SMART goals. She suggests creating goals for the major areas of life: God/Faith, Family, Health, Personal, Work, Money.

But having goals is only half the process. She suggests we limit ourselves to work our best 20%. She helps us understand how to identify those activities. Next she suggests we edit the time we spend at work, like establishing specific work hours, and taking time off. She suggests we schedule our day and gives several strategies for doing our best work at our most productive times. She also helps us know when to stop working, that is, when to stop trying.

I really appreciated this book. It is a good book for anyone wanting to get more done in less time. The idea is not to work more but to work smarter. This might take some experimentation to find our best times and places for work. But the reward is getting more done with time left over.

This is a good introductory level book on living life more effectively. People who have read many productivity books may not find much new here. Diaz-Ortiz includes many ideas from other authors too. I've read many productivity books yet I was inspired again to write and review goals and plan my day better. She includes a good bibliography for those who would like to read more.

Diaz-Ortiz says her goal is, “...discovering why God put me on this earth at this particular time and place and then doing that thing He wants me to do.” If you have a similar goal, this book will get you well along the path.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Note: this book does not release until January 5, 2016.

Claire Diaz-Ortiz is an author, frequent international speaker, and technology innovator who has been named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. She was an early employee of Twitter and is the author of several books. She writes a popular business blog at She has an MBA from Oxford University and a BA and MA in anthropology from Stanford University. She is the cofounder of Hope Runs, a nonprofit organization operating in AIDS orphanages in Kenya.

Moody Publishers, 144 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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