Book review: The Experts’ Guide to Doing Things Faster

On Monday, I had my wisdom teeth pulled, and spent most of the day propped up in bed catching up on some reading. One of the books I read, The Experts’ Guide to Doing Things Faster created by Samantha Ettus, was a quick, fun, and informative read. The book is a series of 100 essays by professionals who are experts in their fields. Each essay focuses on how to be efficient at one aspect of living.

The first 16 essays address issues in the home, and the next 11 essays provide tips for work. Mind, body, love, pleasure, travel, and future round out the other subject areas of the book.

The following are some of my favorite essays and a tip or two from their content:

  • “Do Laundry” by Lucinda Ottusch: “Make laundry more tolerable by transforming your laundry room into a livable, productive workspace.” (pg. 25)
  • “Organize Your Closet” by John Trosko: “Successful closet organizing requires tough choices about what flatters your best assets and what doesn’t. Forecast what your life will hold for you in the next year. Everything in your closet should have a purpose for today and tomorrow, not yesterday.” (pg. 33)
  • “Sort Mail” by Peter Walsh: “Decrease the amount of mail coming into your home by getting your name off junk-mail lists. Phone 1-888-5OPT OUT (1-888-567-8688) to have your name removed from lists that send those annoying credit card offers. Likewise, log onto to remove your name from lists that stuff your mailbox with unwanted catalogs.” (pg. 37)
  • “Find a Lost Object” by Michael Solomon: “IT’S NOT LOST — YOU ARE. Accept that the problem is not with the object — it’s with you! For there are no lost objects — only unsystematic searchers.” (pg. 55).
  • “Bake a Cake” by Warren Brown: His advice is good, but the best part of this essay is that he includes his recipe for vanilla cake with chocolate glaze icing. Yum! (pg. 251)
  • “Holiday Shop” by Paco Underhill: “Make a list of people to buy for. Jot ideas or specific gifts on your list for easy reference. Don’t buy for anyone who isn’t on your list — there must be a reason why he or she didn’t make it on the first time.” (pg. 264)

I recommend checking out the book if you’re interested in reading something fun on efficiency. I certainly enjoyed this book.

10 Comments for “Book review: The Experts’ Guide to Doing Things Faster”

  1. posted by Tabitha (From Single to Married) on

    I like the tips you posted (especially the ones about the closet and the holiday gift giving – two that definitely need work in my life). I’m definitely going to check out this book.. thanks

  2. posted by Gayle Bird on

    The book looks good, I just wanted to mention that I know you’re trying ads on the feed and that’s all well and good, but I just got a huge (like, 24-pt) “Fat Loss Breakthrough from China – Finally, a diet that works!” ad on this entry.

    Might want to check on the ads your ad service lets through? Just saying.

  3. posted by Springpeeper on

    Hope you’re feeling better, Erin. Having wisdom teeth removed can be rough…

    Thanks for another great post. I’d like to read this book.

  4. posted by becoming minimalist on

    do they have a chapter on how to read expert’s guides faster? because that would be ironic…

  5. posted by Sheryl on

    Erin, just thought I’d let you know…I just called the “opt out” number for the credit card junk, and they wanted me to punch in my social security number. Umm, don’t think so… 🙁

  6. posted by Peter (a different one) on

    So did you keep your pulled teeth? Nothing like extra body part clutter laying around. : )

    Hope you are feeling okay, My jaw ached for days after I had my wisdom teeth removed.

  7. posted by Big Mike on

    > So did you keep your pulled teeth?

    I had my wisdom teeth pulled 20 years ago. I freecycled them 2 months ago…

  8. posted by Erin Doland on

    Ewwwww. I certainly did NOT keep my teeth. Eww, eww, eww!!

  9. posted by Another Deb on

    “Everything in your closet should have a purpose for today and tomorrow, not yesterday”

    Actually this quote may help me assess my notebooks full of teaching materials and declutter a few dozen more.

  10. posted by Catrien on

    Just came upon this discussion.
    I sent my wisdom teeth to my mom. Too bad I wasn’t there to hear her squeal.

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