Getting Organized at Work: 24 Lessons to Set Goals, Establish Priorities, and Manage Your Time by Kenneth Zeigler is part of the Mighty Manager series by the McGraw Hill Professionals Imprint. It is a small book with big ideas. There are only 99 pages, and each chapter consists of a cartoon and three pages of advice. The text is bulleted and sections highlighted clearly with descriptive labels. The book is organized from little to big; how to organize yourself and surroundings to how to organize meeting, projects, and subordinates.
One of the defects of this book is related to its strength: its length. The small page count and brief chapter encourage readers to read it, but the shortness of it all does not permit description or in-depth discussion of some of the more challenging concepts such as delegation. Another weakness is the hackneyed terms used to describe concepts; for example, the manager is referred to as a Ringmaster who must balance all his/her acts. Important tasks are called Veggies. I’m still not sure if these important jobs are veggies because they are nutritious/good for your career or yucky and should be done first to get them out of the way. Both versions of the metaphor work, but the connotations are completely different! Also, the clichés are mixed; I cringed each time the Ringmaster or Veggies idea came out. Maybe the Ringmaster needs to eat his Veggies to get strong like the Bearded Lady? No, no, the Bearded Lady shows up in a totally different type of management book!
Nonetheless, I would recommend this book to other readers looking for a brief overview of organizational and time management principles or in need of a review. It was brief, well presented and pertinent.
Ideas that I’m taking away from this book are:
- Track your current work flow for a week in order to evaluate and make it more efficient.
- Write a Master List that contains ALL of your tasks.
- Write a Daily List just before leaving work at the end of the day.
- When delegating tasks, make sure your give your designee the authority necessary to complete them.