Sunday, April 7, 2013

Review: From Frazzled to Focused


In From Frazzled to Focus by Rivka Caroline, the author shares many organizational philosophies and techniques on a room by room basis.

By reminding you that you do not to achieve perfection to become focused, she presents the concept of becoming organized as something achievable instead of a daunting, intimidating undertaking.  In fact, she says that perfectionism and procrastination are "evil twins."  Her philosophy is to simplify and de-clutter your life and home.  

In the book, which can be read in parts or cover to cover, Ms. Caroline shows how what you don’t do can actually be more important than what is actually on your to do list. She encourages you to make a TO DON’T list of activities that make you feel overwhelmed and can sabotage your schedule. 

When you feel overwhelmed, you often do nothing.  She encourages the frazzled person to do something instead of nothing.  "A good plan executed now is better than an excellent plan executed never" (Location 105).  

The first section of the books discusses her philosophy of simplicity.

Ms. Caroline then takes you into each room of the house and gives many practical techniques for maintaining order. For each room, she reviews:

1. What is your vision?
2. How can you achieve that vision?
3. How can you remember the system? 
4. How can you keep the system alive?  

Her philosophy in these sections of the book is rooted in a simple concept - routine. the more of a routine you get into, the less decisions have to be made because you are now completing your tasks automatically.  For example, brushing your teeth every night is routine for many people. They don't need to give it any thought or make decisions about something so simple that is done so frequently. Therefore, why not have this same approach with making dinner or cleaning the kitchen counter? 

The Verdict

Bookshelf for busy people who feel overwhelmed and are ready to just get it done and become organized with some quick tips, tricks and techniques.  

However, for those who are disorganized due to a deep seated issue, this book may only be a starting point. The author does not deal with the root of a deeper problem, if one exists. For example, in the case of hoarders, there are more psychological reasons for being disorganized rather than simply needing to get into a routine. For those individuals I would recommend books by Julie Morgenstern.  Even so, this book is a good resource with a lot of good takeaways. 

Library bag for those who have a good handle on organization but need a refresher or some inspiration.

I know I will be reviewing some of her techniques...just in time for spring cleaning.  

*Mrs. Hoffman was provided with a free copy of “From Frazzled to Focused” by*

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