BOOK REVIEW
Get Remarkably Organised
By Lorraine Murphy

Get Remarkably Organised
Nothing has forced me into being more organized quite like motherhood. In fact as a single working mum, I have days where I’m juggling so many things I feel like a one-woman Cirque du Soleil show. So it’s little wonder the title of this book jumped out at me and from the first few pages it didn’t disappoint.
Part one of the book is almost an ode to the mantra I took on once I made the decision to return to the speaking circuit at full capacity just a few months after my son Oliver was born — it’s called ‘Let’s Get Seriously Fucking Organised.’ And given Lorraine has a baby girl exactly the same age as Oliver, I knew that her recommendations were tried and tested even for the most unpredictable and uncontrollable of life stages.
After devouring the first seven chapters in one session, I set about streamlining, systemising and structuring life so that things would run smoothly (in theory) and stress was minimised. It has worked — 90% of the time — and my level of planning, proactive scheduling and organisation continues to evolve. This is a book that delivers residual and lasting impact.
According to Lorraine, the ‘cornerstone of success at work at and home is being organised.’ She’s big on systems, routines and planning hacks but she also has some powerful guidance on how to conquer distractions and overcome procrastination.
The best part about this book is how enjoyable it is to read. A book on how to organise your life could easily become a condescending, simplistic set of instructions on how to get your shit together. But Lorraine’s realistic and humorous irreverence makes this an entertaining, no-nonsense guide to putting structure in your life so you can have more fun and less chaos.

This book in 200 Words

If you want to be successful and productive in the ‘doing’ part of your life — both personally and professionally — it pays to spend some time in the ‘planning’ part. As well as putting some robust systems in manage your time better, your daily routines, in particular how you spend the first hour of each morning, form the basis of what you can achieve in any given day.
Given that Lorraine wrote the majority of this book after having her first baby, this is an author who walks her talk and is living proof that with the right structure, you can achieve an exponential increase in your output.
Lorraine is also big on decluttering; in fact she implores you start there to ‘clean the slate’ and set the intention for a streamlined, highly organised life. This part of the Remarkably Organised methodology is simple but brutal and boy it works.
From there, Lorraine lays bare her tips, tricks and tactics for squeezing more out of every day. It’s mostly about the habits you put in place but she also shares some nifty time saving tricks for planning, time saving and having more time for the things that are important or the most productive.

Three Things to Action from this Book

1. Start with Decluttering
According to Lorraine, the amount of physical clutter we have directly correlates with how much mental clutter we have.
With research to back her theory from leading neurologists at Princeton University, she outlines a plan for decluttering and admits it’s a painful process.
Lorraine’s two powerful tips for easing the pain of decluttering is to get some help from friends and family and getting the clutter out of the house immediately. Oh, and thirdly, reward yourself!
Her decluttering advice extends specifically to your workspace She recommends clearing any items from your desk that aren’t going to help you achieve what’s on your to-do list. This hard and fast rule makes streamlining your workspace and deciding what to keep and get rid of a simple, binary process. Out of sight, out of mind.
2. Start as You Mean to Continue
As with a lot of inspiring and successful entrepreneurs, Lorraine is big on your morning routine and evening routines. She outlines a morning routine that sets you up for a highly productive day, adapted from Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning.
He recommends that we each design our own Miracle Morning that incorporates each of these individual elements:
Silence – in the form of meditation or stillness
Affirmations – connecting with your goals and aspirations
Visualisation – actively picturing yourself attaining a goal
Exercise – some sort of physical activity
Reading – not your instagram feed but something inspiring or educational
Scribing – journal writing
She also shares her ‘Monday Momentum’ philosophy — that when we have a Monday that runs smoothly and sees us tick off some chunky items from our to-do list, we sail into Tuesday feeling accomplished and ready to take on the world – spelling success for the rest of the week.
To this end, Lorraine has a no-meeting Monday rule. She quarantines her Mondays to ensure they’re dedicated to getting shit done.
3. Outsourcing
Outsourcing has become trendy in recent years, with entire industries popping up to service the needs of time-poor executives who don’t have time to mow their lawns or clean their houses.
But outsourcing any low value tasks (tasks that don’t make you money or move you towards your goals) that compromise your ability to perform high value tasks (tasks that make you money and move you closer to your goals) just makes sense.
Lorraine shares her simple rule for helping her choose what to outsource:
First, set an hourly rate for yourself, based on you doing high value tasks. Then if you can find someone else to do a low-value task for less than that, then outsource it.
Since reading this book, Airtasker has become my favourite app. Anything you can think of outsourcing, there’s someone on Airtasker willing to do it.

Summary

Get Remarkably Organised is a fun and inspiring guide to clearing the clutter, removing the distractions, putting in place the systems and embedding the routines you need to get shit done and achieve your goals.
Put even 20% of Lorraine’s ideas into place and you’ll feel more in control and less at the mercy of external forces and other people’s agendas.
This book isn’t the panacea or bible for organizational Zen but it will give you a greater sense of calm and control.
You’ll spend more time in proactive mode, less in reactive mode and you won’t spend nearly as much of your day feeling like you’re part of a circus act.
Get your copy of Get Remarkably Organised by Lorraine Murphy here.

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