Breathing Space:

Living and Working at a Comfortable Pace

in a Sped-Up Society by Jeff Davidson


“Our contribution to the progress of the world must, therefore, consist in setting our own house in order.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Jeff Davidson

I use a lot of books in the executive training I offer, some of them well-known bestsellers like Flow [Click here to see Tony’s review.], but there is only one book that I advise my clients to read: Breathing Space. Jeff Davidson has filled each page of Breathing Space with insight, practicality, and specific advice. To get your hands back on the controls of your modern life, no book is better.

Life in today’s world is busy, full, and rife with distractions. Satisfaction can easily slip away without special efforts to create an environment and habits that support our own goals and priorities. Fail to do so and your life will–as Jeff Davidson amply demonstrates–be thoroughly colonized by advertisers, entertainers, and co-workers. It has often been said, and is even more true today, that if you are not working your plan you are working someone else’s plan. Breathing Space is the most succinct and usable approach I have seen to get back on your own plan. I have used his methods myself and with many clients. They not only work, but keep working.

Clutter GraphI call my variation of his organizing techniques Clutter Buster. In the past, my workspace gradually got less usable until I was moved to clean up. My cleaning blitzes never quite got the space up to snuff, and each succeeding cleaning frenzy had poorer results than the last. If I graphed the quality over time it would like the blue “Before” graph at left.

The problem:

I was spending more time “getting organized” but less time feeling organized.

After an extensive and thoughtful re-design of the workspace based on Davidson’s principles, I noticed that my area stayed more workable longer, as represented by the green line in the chart, plus:

  1. The messy phases were less horrible,
  2. My office was easier to clean & re-organize, and
  3. I spent much more time enjoying the peak periods of organization.

Bottom line: more productivity and greater satisfaction.


My home office was something of a disaster before I thoroughly organized it with the help of a consultant and this book. (see photos, below). Not only did it look great afterward, but it stayed that way permanently. The considerable time and expense invested in that clean-up has been more than repaid. I have since applied the techniques to my garage, briefcase, car, and other parts of my life.



Before Clutter Buster

Before “Clutter Buster”



After Clutter Busters

After “Clutter Buster”



18 Months After Clutter Buster

Long After: 18 months later



Getting Breathing Space can give you your life back and even create space for the life you always wanted.

Breathing Space:See it at Amazon See it at Amazon

Living and Working at a Comfortable Pace

in a Sped-Up Society by Jeff Davidson