I Didn’t Do The Thing Today

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       January 21, 2022


Author  Madeleine Dore

Distributor:      Murdoch Books
ISBN:                 9781922351500
Publisher:         Murdoch Books
Release Date:   January 2022  

Website:    https://www.murdochbooks.com.au 

On letting go of productivity guilt

As a young woman fresh out of University with a degree in Journalism, Madeleine Dore took stock of her life and tried to work out how best to continue on and build the lifestyle and career she believed she wanted.

She established a project aptly names Extraordinary Routines where she spoke initially with friends about how their daily routine worked, which over the years broadened out to a very diverse range of people from all walks of life. I Didn’t Do A Thing Today is in many ways the culmination of a project that has spanned almost eight years, but in its creation Dore also reflects on the high demands placed on the modern woman seeking a professional lifestyle.

As she explored differing ways of maximizing her time, actually the list of time management options trialed, made reading the expectation of the day exhausting, let alone trying to actually follow the time management to-do lists, she discovered that there are days when everything you set out to achieve really does happen; the day flows.

But then there are the others, many, many others when nothing goes to plan, right from getting out of bed. Many of the interviews gathered over the years have been used to highlight the salient points of surviving and succeeding in today’s world, how each person sets up their days and how they manage the, I Didn’t Do A Thing Today, days.

Dore says in the beginning this is not a self-help book, which it is not, it is simply a book that sets out one woman’s life and journey into the high pressure, high expectation world of today, fueled by ‘guru’s, of every ilk, demanding in a subliminal way, that if every moment of your day has not been spent in a productive manner, personally and professionally, that perfection has not been achieved: you have not reached fulfilment!

She discovered along the way that there is no such thing as a perfectly planned day, there are just ‘days of our lives’, each one fresh, each one arriving with its own baggage and each one there to be lived. As is often said, this is not a dress rehearsal, this is the real thing.

I Didn’t Do A Thing Today, is the perfect read for anyone who literally, by over planning, over organizing and over stressing their days, eventually sets themselves up for burnout, disillusionment and most importantly, misses the enjoyment to be found in the simple things of life all around.

In the final page of the book she has set out a lovely list of things to be curious about, especially for those I Didn’t Do A Thing Today days which makes the perfect place to end a fascinating look at life and all its many real and imagined expectations!