Book Review – Zen To Done: The Ultimate Simple Productivity System

I’m So Zen About Zen To Done

I think I’ve tried all the productivity systems out there, including 7 Habits and Getting Things Done. I’ve used all the planner systems there are (and shudder at the money that I’ve spent on them!). Oh, it all worked for awhile. The funny thing about a alot of these systems is, you end up spending too much time working your time management “system” and not enough time getting anything done. Or, the organizational planner is so complicated, you spend too much time trying to find anything and/or it’s HUGE (too thick).

Leo Babauta, with his Zen To Done productivity system, brought real order to my chaos management system. LOL Now, I can find things, on my desk, in my files and in my planner, which is also my Household Notebook, or Control Journal.

Discipline? Motivation? You still have to supply that yourself. Not to worry. Leo also writes about motivation, simplicity, goal setting and more at his blog, Zen Habits

Let me tell you more about this book!

The best line ever:

This book was written for those who want to get their lives organized and actually execute the things on their to-do list.

What Is Zen To Done & Why Do I Need It?

If you find yourself constantly missing appointments, your email box stuffed, working too many projects with not enough time to enjoy life ~ it may be worth your while to take a look at what this book has to offer.

It’s more than just a productivity system, in my opinion. It makes you stop and look at what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.

From email to goals to projects to setting time aside for yourself, ZTD (Zen To Done) focuses on simplifying what you’re going to do – down to the essentials.

With that comes the best part, the ten habits that are the core of ZTD. These habits are presented one at a time and explained in detail with plenty of suggestions.

Is it required that you do all ten? No, just recommended.

Do you have to implement them all at once? No, just the opposite, actually! It takes time to form a habit and that’s the most important piece to the success in using ZTD. Establish One Habit At A Time. Cool…

Zen To Done: The 10 Habits

Here are the ZTD 10 habits intended to help you get organized, simplify your life, get things under control and actually get things done. You’re supposed to learn and practice each habit one at a time or 2-3 at a time at the most for your own best results. You don’t even have to learn/do them in order either, but Leo explains all that in the book. There’s also a GREAT chapter on Forming/Changing Habits.

If you think this list is all you need to accomplish Zen To Done, then you’re going to miss the whole point. The information in the book is priceless to getting everything together under this system. There is a whole chapter devoted to each of these habits.

  1. Collect. Get it out of your head and onto paper, so you don’t forget it.
  2. Process. Make quick decisions on things in your inbox, do not put them off.
  3. Plan. Set Most Important Tasks for the week & for the day.
  4. Do. Do one task at a time, without distractions.
  5. Simple, Trusted System. Keep Simple Lists & Check Them Daily.
  6. Organize. A Place For Everything.
  7. Review. Review Your System & Goals Weekly.
  8. Simplify. Reduce your goals and tasks to essentials.
  9. Routine. Set Up And Keep Routines.
  10. Find Your Passion. Seek Work For Which You’re Passionate.

Why Buy Zen To Done: The Ultimate Simple Productivity System

Of course, the Zen To Done series is still available for free on his blog, so that option is still available. So why would you buy the book? A number of reasons:

  1. It’s handy. All the articles are gathered in one easy-to-read book, making it easy to take it along with you. Much more convenient than a bunch of scattered blog posts.
  2. There’s more material. Leo says the series of Zen To Done posts was incomplete because he didn’t have the time to write all the posts he had planned. So when he set out to write his book, he decided that he wanted to include everything that he had planned and more, from the 10th step (not available as a post on his blog) to an FAQ to a practical application of ZTD in his everyday life to resources to forms and more.
  3. Forms. There are some samples of how you could set up ZTD with some simple forms. Of course, ZTD is flexible and you don’t have to use these forms.
  4. Resources. Links to articles and tools are available in the book.
  5. FAQ. A number of readers had questions/comments about ZTD that are answered in the book.
  6. Snazzy new look. The book is much nicer looking than the blog and is easier on the eyes. It was designed by James Wondrack.

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