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Book Review – ‘Don’t Read This Book’ by Donald Roos

Donald Roos has decided to face this conundrum head-on in his book ‘Don’t Read This Book’. Through his career as a designer, creative entrepreneur, and lecturer, Roos has adapted the to-do list into something he calls the ‘ToDon’tList’. You can probably see where this is going. At its most basic, his method consists of removing all but three items from any to-do list you might have, giving you time and space to focus on those key things.


Now, that’s all very well. But how do you prioritise what stays and what goes? Luckily, Roos has this covered too. The majority of the book looks at methods of time management at life, work, and project level. In short, it guides the reader through from strategies on how to live a fulfilling, creative life right through to managing project deadlines.

With a no-nonsense writing style, and supported by vibrant graphics, Roos manages to coach the reader into focused, efficient ways of thinking. Unlike many books on time management, ‘Don’t Read This Book’ doesn’t come across as preachy or all-knowing. In fact, it revels in the fact that we should not be overly specific on our end goals. A quote from Picasso is used in the book to sum this up: ‘You have to have an idea of what you are going to do, but it should be a vague idea.’

‘Don’t Read This Book’ isn’t perfect, however. Some of the tasks feel a bit excessive (‘create your own hashtag’), and the writing occasionally jumps from one metaphor to another, which jars slightly.

But this is nitpicking. On the whole, ‘Don’t Write This Book’ is a real success. It looks at what can be a dry subject area in an innovative, exciting way. It can be read in a few hours, and it will genuinely make you reassess the way you use your time and get the most from it. Put it on your to-read list today.

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