Do you ever wish you had more hours in the day? 24 seem like it’s just not enough to get it all done? Then perhaps it’s time to change the way you think about it.
In 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam, she recommends thinking about your time in terms of a week at a time, not a day at a time; because with a vast 168 hours at your fingertips, aren’t you much more likely to be more productive than with that skimpy little 24?
Well, it’s not quite that simple, as this book uncovers. Because making the most of the time that you have involves dissecting where that time is going. And it’s difficult to dissect your hours and not notice the things that are most important to you, the things that you procrastinate about, and the things that truly move you to action.
So less a book about simple time management, this is a book that asks you to dig deeper into your life and uncover the time pitfalls. The side effect (be it pleasant or unpleasant) is that you may discover that it’s time for a change. You may discover that your job isn’t really fulfilling you and you spend untold hours finding ways to avoid doing it. You may discover that you spend more time with your family than you thought you did and you can let go of the guilt. You may find that you have an extra few hours to get back to the gym, to pick up a new hobby, to devote to helping others.
No matter the outcome, Vanderkam encourages readers to spend a few hours thinking about where all of those hours are going, in an effort to craft a more meaningful and happy life. And that is time well spent.
Available at booksellers everywhere.
Review: Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
One of my favorite lectures from residency was on “Unchangeables.” This list of core characteristics, thought to be unalterable, included such things as empathy, sense of aesthetics, sense of direction, being a “reader”, organizational ability, and sense of time. With the permission afforded me by this list, I have spend many years indulging in “tardiness.” I would tell myself, “I can’t help being late, I have an imperfect sense of time.” I routinely get lost in activities and lose track of time, or miscalculate how much time a particular activity will take, and I am always late. This defect in my “sense of time” has caused a great deal of consternation in our family as I am married to a man with a perfect sense of both time and organization. Needless-to-say, he doesn’t buy into my excuse nor does he care about “timeliness” being an unchangeable. So in an attempt to maintain peace and harmony in our home, I went in search for the seemingly impossible: a way to become aware of time.
What I found was a book: Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern. Ms. Morgenstern promises a “foolproof system for taking control of your schedule and your life.” What she delivers is a system of time organization that takes into account the individual’s quirks and shortcomings. She begins by having the individual do a “three level diagnostic” looking for particular obstacles, then teaches several pneumonic driven “take-charge” programs (WADE: write it down, Add it Up, Decide, Execute your plan; the 4 D’s: Delete, Delay, Diminish, Delegate). Ms. Morgenstern’s strength lies in her organizational expertise and she applies her strategies adeptly to “time.” While I will likely always struggle with accurately predicting how long it will take me to do a particular thing, it’s encouraging to learn and implement some strategies to prevent my particular time management challenges from derailing my entire day. If you find yourself frustrated at the end of the day, asking where the time went, this may be the book to help you “Analyze, Strategize, & Attack” your way into better time management.