Help! How To Become Slightly Happier and Get A Bit More Done  

by Oliver Burkeman, published by Canongate Books

Review by Edna Hobbs

What’s not to like about a modestly attainable goal like this? Several other things commend the book though.
The articles average a page and a half, making the collection ideal to dip into while waiting to collect kids, on a commute or in that 15 minutes of lunchtime you’ve vowed to keep for yourself.
Being largely a collection of Oliver Burkeman’s This Column Will Change Your Life series for the Guardian – with some specially written additional material – the articles are both wide-ranging and entertaining.
Burkeman has a wonderfully understated and wry sense of humour: you feel happier just by having him ‘chatting’ to you for a while.
The ‘how to get more done’ section will interest every teacher. Some advice is really sensible: turn ‘to-do’ lists into ‘will-do’ lists by choosing only three priorities that you can manage and make your daily list a closed one, by having a ‘master list’ you accept will never be finished. But all advice is given with a light touch.
In ‘Why it really is better to give than receive’, for example, Burkeman magnanimously offers to accept your cheques care of his publisher.
You may not get more done, but you’ll certainly be happier for this sunshine-covered book as your companion.