Book review Everything in Its Place The Power of Mise-En-Place to Organize Your Life, Work, and Mind
This review comes a little late. I mentioned this book in the post Secrets for becoming a better developer in 2022. Yet I could not live without writing down this review. This book was a great surprise.
I started reading it to complement my productivity techniques that started a long time ago, reading with Getting Things Done (I never end up writing a review about it), where I got my attention to this kind of content.
That led me to read Atomic Habits, How to Take Smart Notes One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, The power of habit and Building a second brain( not finished yet).
And now, finally, reading “Everything in Its Place” plays very nicely. It interestingly approaches common problems. The book starts by looking at the Chef’s ways to handle the load of information and still deliver excellence.
Using Kitchens operations as examples got my attention, and as an ex-compulsive messy person, I know the benefits of organizing your workspace. For example, see my table back then in Image 1.
It amazes me how much my work, results, and even state of mind improved when I decided to organize my workstation, and the following picture is how my working station looks now when I wring this post.
There is no magic to it. The method is simple: moving it back to its place as soon as you finish using something. If you take nothing else from this book, that would already make a difference in your life.
That is what they call “Miss-en-place,” but to book also brings much more useful information to our day-to-day work. At the end of the book, the author describes “A day of Working clean,” where the author expresses how they view a good day using the techniques they teach in the book, and it looks amazing. Imagine starting your day with a clean desktop, no browser tabs open, and nothing to worry about other than working. Sounds amazing, does not it?
The book makes a case for Processing time, we do not always separate time to organize, document, and take notes after a meeting or an event, and that simple fact is so important. Having read what I have already read about productivity, this is not new; still, the book also presents it in a way where you realize the importance of it, and it made me put time on my calendar and day to process information, and it has already paid dividends.
To me, this book works presents a meta-method, where their method can be used to organize your already existent method to create whatever you are making.
If you are doing great in your field and looking for opportunities to do better. In that case, this book may be a great start, no book or method will ever bring a silver bullet, but it will unquestionably improve your work and, therefore, your results. However, I am unsure if this is the best first productivity book. If you have never read anything about productivity, I would recommend from GTD and then read it after as a complementary book.
Where to find it
- Book Review: Efficient Linux at the Command Line
- Book review / personal notes - Distributed Tracing in Practice: Instrumenting, Analyzing, and Debugging Microservices
- Book review The 5AM Club
- Book review Everything in Its Place The Power of Mise-En-Place to Organize Your Life, Work, and Mind
- Book review the power of habit
- Book review The Art of Community Building the New Age of Participation (Abandoned)
- Book review And personal notes : Fundamentals of Software Architecture An Engineering Approach
- Book review Working in Public The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software
- Book review How to Take Smart Notes One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking
- Book review Staff Engineer Leadership Beyond the Management Track
- Book review Traction Get A Grip On Your Business
- Book review Designing Data-Intensive Applications The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems
- Book review Atomic Habits
- Book review Adopting Elixir From Concept to Production