“Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life” is a unique self-help book, one I haven’t come across among some of the non-fiction literature I usually peruse in the mind, health, and body dynamic. There are many guides that address ways to be organized in categorical labels and filings and using productivity guides and software . But this particular work takes disorganization and focuses on the problems stemming from a more complex root: the mind.
It delves into the processes and thoughts behind why people are disorganized and overwhelmed in life and how we can change those patterns simply by changing the way we think. I really liked this combination of science meets cognitive restructuring and awareness. The book outlines a six step structure in which to control thoughts and patterns that are counterproductive. It addresses techniques that not only helpful to those that might suffer from conditions such as ADHD, but also those who just want to become more efficient and mentally train themselves to think in a systematic way.
The six steps, covered in detail through the guide’s chapters are:
1. Tame the Frenzy
2. Sustain Attention
3. Apply the Brakes
4. Mold Information
5. Shift Sets
6. Connect the dots
The information within “Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life” is wonderfully adaptive, providing a combination of real life scenarios where people have struggled in their daily lives and have had to adapt some of the principles covered in this book to work towards a solution. Dr. Paul Hammerness, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, uses his expertise from working directly with ADHD patients to contribute his findings and give readers tips to think about what happens in the brain when we are disorganized and the emotions that take root in the “frenzy” and franticness that ensues when we’re overwhelmed. But he also provides insight via some of the case studies and interactions with real patients who have faced problems in their working and day-to-day lives. I felt that in some sections, the case studies read a bit long, but they were well worth perusing when it came to juxtaposing the principles to the cases presented.
Margaret Moore (Coach Meg as referenced in the work) uses her expertise as founder of Wellcoaches Corporation in guiding the reader to apply specific principles to enact changing one’s perceptions and improving their mental “fitness”, if you will, to become more organized and step away from the deconstructive thoughts that might result from the frenzied thinking following. I really enjoyed reading her sections on the practical application and execution of these ideas. If Dr. Hammerness’s sections showcase the what and why behind an individual’s disorganization, Coach Meg’s sections are the “how to” parts that compliment this self-help guide. There are plenty of interactional sections where the reader can ask themselves questions and mentally check themselves in accordance to the steps listed. The information is very well structured, easy to follow, and flows in a step-by-step building process that can allow the reader to make the steps necessary to have their minds working for them. Wonderful compilation by Dr. Hammerness, Mrs. Moore, and health/fitness writer John Hanc.
Overall score: 4/5
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley from the publisher Harlequin.