The Skinny On Time Management: How to Maximize Your 24-Hour Gift, Jim Randel, 2010, ISBN 9780984139392
Here is another in a series of books that attempts to boil down a large subject area into an easy-to-read format. Intended for busy people who want just the bullet points, this book looks at how to best manage your time.
Write out a time journal for an entire week to see just how you are spending your time. You may think that you are being efficient and productive, but seeing it on paper may change your mind. Can changes be made in your schedule, with more time given to more productive activities? You need to set goals for yourself, whether long-term or short-term. Then you will know how to get from where you are to where you want to be. If your goal is important enough to you, then some other thing you are doing may have to be dropped totally. Choices were never meant to be easy.
The book then covers many ways to maximize your time. Fight the urge to procrastinate. Touch a piece of paper, or email, only once; either respond to it, get rid of it or put it in your file to be worked on later. Are there gaps in your day, like when you are sitting in a waiting room, when you could be working on your Blackberry? Are you a "morning person" or a "night owl?" Work on your hardest and most unpleasant tasks when you are most alert and awake. Learn to plan your day, but don't go overboard with the planning. Prioritize your tasks; which ones come first, and which ones can wait. Break a huge task into smaller, more manageable pieces. Can you batch several appointments, for instance, and get them done in one day? Doing crossword puzzles is a good way to improve your memory. Learn how to focus when you are on a task, and not let distractions get in your way. De-cluttering your office, and your email inbox, will always help. The act of writing a daily To Do list helps focus your mind on what you need to do that day.
Instead of reading a bunch of books on how to manage your time, read this book. It can be read in an hour or so, and does an excellent job of telling the busy person just what they need to know. It is a gem of a book.
Paul Lappen is a freelance book reviewer whose blog, http://www.deadtreesreview.blogspot.com/, emphasizes small press and self-published books.