DeCluttrMe Podcast

DeCluttrMe 171

Last week I was interviewed by Shelina for her DeCluttrMe Podcast, which is one of the features of her hugely popular IGTV channel.

Shelina has been running a series on estate management, and so we talked mostly about creating inventories for insurance purposes and for wills. We also tackled the evergreen subjects of ‘What is cataloguing?’ and why it matters.

If you’re interested, you can watch the episode here: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CTB_x1IgT5b

APDO Book Club: Work Like A Woman

Don’t be fooled by my read dates (16 May-23 July) – I borrowed this on the Libby app, missed the return date and had to wait to reborrow 🤦🏻‍♀️. I loved this book, and would have sped through it if I’d started reading earlier during my first loan period.

In fact, I couldn’t agree more with Sali Hughes’ pull quote on the cover – “Ideas, solutions, wisdom, kindness, and zero whining.” This Last is really important, because as a working class woman who made it into some of the top board rooms in the retail industry, Portas has had her fair share of fuckwittery and bias to face down, and while she doesn’t pull any punches in sharing it, she always does so with a good lesson and often a killer punchline attached.

I also like the way she acknowledges her ex-husband, life partner and home staff who provided her with the space and time to focus on her work whilst at work. The people who looked after her kids are clearly very important to her, and it’s appropriate in a book that argues for better acknowledgement of the labour exchange in retail that she should demonstrate those principles as an employer of child care, cleaning and household management professionals.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given my own circumstances, my biggest takeaways are that it’s absolutely OK to walk away from work that others see as successful and set up independently; that the workplace really is tough for women (and especially working class women), and that it’s tougher the more old boys’ rooms you have to enter to do business. And, above all else what matters is being true to yourself and your values. Follow your gut instincts. Be kind, but take no s**t. “Work like a woman.”

APDO Book Club: Deep Work

Cal Newport, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Piatkus, 2016.

Is there an irony in my having finished reading this book as a shallow relief from finishing writing my own current book and finalising preparations for a training on rare books cataloguing? Possibly. Possibly not.

Essentially, this is a book about how the author and other people whose work he has read or whom he has interviewed manage their lives to prioritise the tasks that stretch them. As such, it’s a 3-star read for me because he’s achieved what he set out to do, but there’s nothing in either the information he shares or his writing style that I actively love.

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