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January 21, 2013

Getting Things Done vs. Circle of Simplicity

The books that will be compared and contrasted in this essay will mainly be aimed at enhancing productivity and relieving stress. The goal of many Americans is become as much productive as possible; however, the two authors state that blind “doing” is not only useless but also brings forth stresses as well as exhaustion. These two books are two awesome sources that can be used by businessmen and women to get maximum productivity rates, live a serene life that lack disturbing thoughts and enjoy the job.

Allen in his work Getting Things Done illustrates the main and most regularly met explanations why individuals encounter stress at their places of work as well as in their day to day lives. His main theme revolves around the idea that we need not stress our thoughts with meaningless ‘stuff’ that people take for commitments, agendas and things to do. Allen proposes that ‘stuff’ like these are meaningless and may cause exhaustion and stress, since the thinker’s subconscious perceives them as an unsolvable problem. Many Americans think that they are helped and reminded a lot by their to-do lists, but Allen views them as real distracters that involve stress.

What Allen proposes is that an individual should attempt to think on the agenda or problem, then attempt to demark distinct stages that result to largely solution of fulfillment. According to him, the to-do lists which individuals use should make up these stages, other than the final tasks. Allen says, “instead of putting down, purchase a new computer in the to-do list, it would be better or much more productive to put down, (a) visit the shop; (b) select the computer that impresses you; (c) pay the bill; (d) enjoy the purchase” (Allen 78). Therefore, the point Allen is putting across is to efficiently systematize internal commitments by way of interpreting all the smaller stages while at the same time fail to concentrate with the undone tasks.

The 2nd book is The circle of Simplicity written by Cecile Andrews that focus mainly with averting stress as well as making lives simpler, instead of focusing on efficiency and productivity. Cecile is the main figure in the Voluntary Simplicity Movement that is currently quite popular. In addition, The Circle of Simplicity serves as her key guideline to the individuals who have taken a bold step to alter their lives. In the book, she outlines many hurdles that individuals face in their places of work and at home, the origin of exhaustion and stress as well as the steps that need to be taken in order to avoid them. The Simplicity Circle is intended by Cecile to mean conglomerations of people, who meet not less than ten times deliberate their problems, think and come up with answers to lower consumption, and engage in money generating projects that will help in building the community.

The main important thoughts that the authors of the two books try to relay to the readers are almost the same in nature. However, the modalities to achieve fulfillment, serenity and productivity are different with Allen and Andrews, the two debates for a way to a healthier life, and the avenues one should take to achieve it. Cecile opt a circuitous route, averting the undesired, eliminating problems as well as enjoying the desired. On the other hand, Allen opts for a straightforward avenue, changing the undesired, revolving this unwanted into productive as well as efficient “desired” in addition to, making the unlikable things likeable and enjoyable.

The major differences standing out in the two books is the nature in which they appeal to the readers. While Allen’s book is self explanatory, asking the audience to have efficient as well as productive action, Andrew’s book, on the other hand, concentrates mainly in lowering day to day routines and enjoying life to the fullest. The two books give guidelines to better productivity, more pleasant life, but both writers select totally different ways of realizing these things. For instance, Allen advises his readers to struggle for triumph and productivity by ways of doing work by themselves, creating special and prearranged systems, as well as viewing deeper into the origins of the problems. On the other hand, Cecile opts for a back route where she offers to put down thoughts that disturb the individual, and commence focusing on thoughts that are pleasant. She can also be quoted saying, “contact and community are indivisible parts of the route to self fulfillment and serenity” (Cecile, 98)

The two books discussed and compared above are big sources to attain success and enlightenment. The authors being a man and a woman give different approaches to their reader that is both masculine and feminine. It does not matter if the person reading these two books is self-challenging or a calm person, since they will help a person shuttle his or her route to self-development. It is, thus, up to the readers to decide which between the two routes offered in the books they will apply in their lives.

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