When I read Judith Kolberg’s Getting Organized in the Era of Endless, I didn’t feel I’d learned much in the way of new techniques, new ideas, about time, information or stuff management. EXCEPT… Ms. Kolberg presents a framework of time and stuff overwhelm and conflicts, and protections against falling into the traps, in an exciting and novel fashion. This is not how she has explicitly phrased her concept, but I came to think of it as “stimulation management.”
Ms. Kolberg has an outrageous sense of humor. Her first chapter, “A Ridiculously Short History of Getting Organized” traces the trials and triumphs of Mona, the first cave woman who suffers stresses that “would have made any woman scream.” (page 7, 3rd paragraph) through to 20th-century Elly, whose husband Todd keeps a “broken bicycle manacled to the wall like a medieval criminal.” (page 29, 2nd paragraph). Each generation’s hero illustrates a new relationship to organizational challenges, and new challenges.
Ms. Kolberg then asks “Why do we run these risks? How?” In a word: machines (my summary, not Ms. Kolberg’s). Clocks, computers, smart phones, smart cars, factory-built and soooo-easy-to-buy everythings. Information and stuff are boundless. We’re never “off.”
Getting Organized in the Era of Endless is a reminder to turn off the machines, stop buying the machines and reclaim a walk in a park or a day on a beach. She offers direct solutions to help you get there.
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