Time ‘management.’ You have heard that phrase, I am quite sure. Managing your time is not possible, but attending to, investing in, and making the best use of your time is possible. Take a few moments to read the annotations below to see if either (or both) of the books sound interesting to you and then find one of them to read.
Allen, David. Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
The minute alerted me to this book (pretty much the day it came out) and I saw the title, I bought it. I was ready for it and it has made a huge difference for me. It is not a primer on time and paper management, but is more for the person who has some systems working and is ready for something more. I have listened to his seminars on tape and attended his in-person workshops as well and while his delivery can be somewhat irritating to some people (and I’m sure people say that about me, too), his content is powerful. You may want to check out his website. There are myriad tips and reinforcements that he and his consultants provide on the site.
McGhee, Sally. Take Back Your Life! Using Microsoft Outlook to Get Organized and Stay Organized.
For anyone who uses Microsoft Outlook, this books is worth even if you don’t, most of the concepts apply across the various types of productivity software. As I skimmed this book at the bookstore prior to buying it, I thought, ‘ sounds a lot like David Allen’s work.’ Then, I read the book and found that she and David Allen (prior to both of them forming their own companies) had worked together and had developed the ideas that are foundational to this book (and David Allen’s Getting
Things Done system). So, since I was already a big fan of the ideas, this just strengthened my knowledge of how to implement the practices in my life. McGhee writes clearly and gives readers step-by-step ways to use the ideas she discusses. Read it, take what works for you, and leave the rest behind. (Of course, this is pretty much my advice for all books!)
Both of these books have a tremendous amount of content in them. They are not books to be read once and they are really not books to skim. They are books that are worth sitting down and reading for 30″ or more at a time. Take what you can from that reading, put it into practice, and then the next day, go back for more. That’s how you’ll make smart and lasting changes in your productivity practices.