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Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  627 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Aimed at those who have trouble completing assignments on time as well as anyone looking to lead a well-organized life, this innovative handbook takes a unique approach to time management. Efficiency expert Mark Forster shows that prioritizing tasks is never a sufficient approach to organizing a schedule, and is rarely even helpful. In the place of prioritization he posits ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published November 1st 2006)
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3.98  · 
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 ·  627 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Smilla's Sister
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone in need of time management advice
This is THE book on time management, the one and only. I've been applying its very simple and straightforward principles for over 5 years now, and I'm happy as the proverbial pig. I've no idea where I would have been without it now.

It teaches you everything you need to know (which isn't very much but is super smart and nothing like the stale "time management" advice other books offer - what the guy says is seriously unique) in order to organize your workload. By the time I was done with this boo
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Its a good book. The most simple of the productivity books I've read but it also means a very simple system. You either do stuff or you don't, so for him one's things to do list is binary and there is no need to prioritize per se. The title comes from the fact that one of the main points of the book is to push off any non-emergency activities to the next day. In so doing it frees up your day to do things that you planned the day before which gives you much more room to be realistic about how muc ...more
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
To me the book was excellent read. There were a couple of places, which made me feel very sour feelings from the past. This was one of them.

 Usually it is sufficient to say to callers, 'I'll do that for you tomorrow.' If they know from experience that you really will do it the following day, you are probably doing much better in their eyes than most of the people they call 

I really really want to learn manage my time, goals and, eventually, life, that I don't have to let others down by saying I'
Nov 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a powerful book on time management, a method that works for those of us that do not have a secretary and lots of people we can delegate to. It aims to get all the incoming work done within two days, except for longer running projects, and those are started within that time period. The basic idea is that the amount of new work that you get in a typical day is also the amount of work that you can handle in a typical day (or something is wrong with your workload). I learned a lot about plan ...more
Apr 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
At some point a few months (years??) ago I decided I wasn't productive enough and I read David Allen's Getting Things Done. Great, I thought. I'll just implement this system and I'll be on my way. Well, I never managed to keep up with it. It was just too much.

I'm actually using Forster's new system Autofocus, but this book provides related information. I've only just started using it (2 weeks), but so far it's been great. It's so simple and I am being insanely productive.
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I absolutely LOVE this book! This is my second time reading it and I will read it many more times. So many great ideas - and contrary to most productivity systems!

Will focus my efforts on creating closed Will-Do lists and focusing on the least urgent tasks first (so they never become ugent!).

Love his ideas for "tricking" your mind into getting things done, his filing system and "little and often".

I will be searching out this author's other books!
John DeCuir
Apr 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
A phenomenal book that turns traditional time management practices on their head. Much of what Forster recommends is rooted in not only neurological understandings of the brain but also rooted in common sense. My only quibble is that Forster seems to have moved on from the method described in this book and onto the new Autofocus system described on his website. Nevertheless, there is a ton of useful information described in this book that has much to recommend it.
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Mark Forster's Do it Tomorrow and Other Secrets is filled with common-sense advice and real-world problems with solutions. My biggest takeaways were the concepts of reducing randomness with a buffer and of creating and completing daily closed lists.
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Simple and straightforward, makes complete sense.
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love to-do lists and they keep growing! I have several commitments, business activities and social events. Sometimes, it’s hard to find “time for myself”. And as the to-do lists keep on growing, motivation can reach zero %. This book has an interesting point-of-view; procrastination is encouraged. There are lots of exercices and I encourage every reader to complete them!

My life has changed since I applied the “Do it tomorrow” system. To-do lists don’t grow anymore, It feels like I have more ti
Stephanie Callaert
Jan 15, 2014 rated it liked it
“To complain about a shortage of time is like a fish in the sea complaining that it has a shortage of water.” This is how Mark Foster starts his book. He explains how you can work with much less stress. He will learn you what you can do to organize your work better and how to deal with interruptions.
This book is very instructive because it not only explains what time management is exactly but there are also exercises in the book. You can apply these exercises to your own life. By reading this bo
Oct 16, 2009 marked it as to-read
Shelves: not-at-library
Recommended by Susan Johnson at GTD User Group meeting.
Mike DuVall
Oct 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Deceptive title. It's all about deciding what to do and not letting daily distractions stop you from doing what you've decided to do.
Jane Costanza
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Enjoyed his ideas and found the book humorous as well. Less complex and more accessible than gtd.
Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Best, simplest system for being productive. Helped me get the better of resistance. Has now been bested by Forster's new, even simpler method, discussed here .
Dec 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Great methods, worth reading. He's updated his recommended method on his website (, but the principles in the book still apply and his new method is really a variation on this one. Brilliant stuff that will help you finally break down resistance to the things you avoid or put off. Big help to me!
Jul 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Reading productivity books is so much better than getting actual work done. From this one I picked up: don't take on too much, don't rush after the most recent inbox entry (unless you really have to), keep a "backlog" list and pick one "stalled" thing to be your focus, i.e. first thing you work on each morning.
Didn't bother with the exercises, but.
Oct 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2007
I found that I had already developed a lot of the suggestions as my own way of doing things, but I found the idea of a "Current Initiative" to be a better idea than my usual method of keep transferring a "to do" and never actually doing it because it seemed overwhelming.
Jane H
Dec 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Not entirely helpful to my stay-at-home life, but interesting principles. I definitely like the idea of having a closed list each day (ie: having a list that actually gets done rather than a running list of all I ought to get done... someday). Will be trying out some of his ideas!
Rooze Dovance
Jan 21, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm a long time practitioner of a combination Stephen Covey's 7 Habits & David Allen's Getting Things Done so my systems are fairly good. Even so, Forster's approach to overcoming procrastination, as well as how to deal with backlogs and troubleshoot when things get out of hand again, was well worth the read. As far as the writing, some of it is redundant at the cost of concepts that could be explored more deeply.

It was a quick read and I picked up enough new insights to make it worth my wh
S Cina
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a straight-forward, functional approach to time management. I needed to interpret the principles for my work setting as it was not written specifically for someone who has much of their day scheduled in therapy sessions, however, the system is simple and flexible enough to fit a variety of interpretations. I read this book almost two years ago, and now that some time has passed I can tell you that it is like Weight Watchers. If you do the plan it works. It can absolutely be a life-change ...more
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: time-management
The best time management book I have ever read and been able to sucessfully apply!
If you have a job where you never can say, "Well I've finished my to do list and i can go home feeling good about my accomplishments for the day!" this is the book for you. Also if you struggle with procrastination this book is fantastic. No other method has come close to helping address procrastination and time management.
I have read MANY books on time management and this one is tops in my book.
May 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Some ideas were great like the current initiative and do that first thing in the day. The other bits I found repetitive and non useful in a regular working day. Many emails do need to be answered straight away, and cannot be ignored until tomorrow or even later in the day. Found the book repetitive without explaining what the benefit was in performing many of the tricks he espouses.
Meirav Berale
The title makes it sound like procrastinators' heaven, but no, that's not what it's about - the "do it tomorrow" principle is about making a to do list for tomorrow and sticking to it, not allowing too many interruptions and not adding anything to the list. Many good ideas in this book for those who struggle with time management (who doesn't?) though I disagree with some of his basic philosophy.
Oct 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
wish i had found this more helpful...
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love Mark's books. His simple approach to getting things done is do-able and easy to implement. There are some great ideas in here for getting rid of backlogs too.
Feb 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
THe most efficient method to get organized. Beats GTD.
Maria del Pilar
Jul 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Maria del Pilar by: A friend
It was a positive surprise. A book that when I started to read it, I thought that it was to reading at other time and I learn a lot about management.
Luis Martinez
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Act on what you can do today, and plan today what you will work on tomorrow
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