Thursday, June 09, 2005


I have a deep-seated abhorrence for self-help books. This article on bad work habits is a perfect example. It lists several problematic behaviors with a "cure" for each one. But what's the cure? Just stop doing that!

Cluttered desk? Get organized! Procrastinator? Prioritize and meet deadlines! Duh. People with cluttered desks know they should be more organized; it's really not helpful to beat them over the head with it. And even if you tell them how, they don't have the habits of life that are conducive to keeping things organized, so it wouldn't do much good.

I think self-help materials are of two types: people who are already perfect at something browbeating everybody else for not being likewise; and people who have figured out their own particular quirks explaining how everyone else should do the same. The first category is just depressing. If I ever found a book by someone with my particular quirks, it might help, but I'd rather spend my time trying things out for myself than getting depressed by other people's success stories that wouldn't apply to me.

And I am starting to have a bit more energy and get some organization done. So far I've organized half the dining room and half the bedroom, and they've stayed clean. This is progress. Very slow progress, but progress.

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