by Mark Forster
paperback 196 pages
Hodder & Stoughton, copyright 2000
STG 6.99 in the UK
Get everything done and still have time to play
Time management is not about managing time but about managing your attention, writes the author and life coach Mark Forster. Wherever you focus your attention, you will start seeing change.
I thought I had read all the self-help books on this subject as well as taken a full-day course on time management. But Forster is convinced that common time management methods are flawed.
Instead of "prioritise", he asks you to question whether something should be done at all. In other words, my old boss was right - the real question is "relevance." Not importance, but relevance.
He suggests that you take your to do list and label each item "must do", "should do", or "could do."
There are plenty of useful exercises that help you become more focussed and manage your life better. One of them is the "halving method," in which you split up what you need to do into two halves. Take one half and question what is the biggest component of that. You keep doing this until you have a manageable half-chunk to work on.
It's interesting that he says resistance and procrastination are the biggest hurdles of time management. While reading this book, I became aware that I deliberately not do what I should do and never ask myself why. And indeed, I allow my time to be cluttered with little trivial things that aren't as urgent or important to do as that one big thing that keeps getting bigger.
He also suggests doing things in bursts, giving yourself a timed duration - such as five minutes to clean up your desk. Without such restrictions, we are indeed easily led to distraction, sometimes deliberately so.
In the beginning, he points out his personal observations of good and bad time managers. "Good time-managers are decisive; poor time-managers are impulsive." Sadly, this sort of behaviour is conditioned by the sort of bargain-grabbing sales and advertising tactics of a capitalist economy. We're not taught to figure out what we want but to be lured by temptation.
This little book is full of wisdom and practical advice. My only wish is that I could keep it for future reference. Unfortunately, I have to return it to my NLP teacher Monday. So I'll just have to visit the author's web site for more information.
2 November 2002 Saturday
Bon Journal entries:
I invited the author Mark Forster to my first public concert in London - 30th May 2003. I introduced him by way of "Get everything done and still have time to play --- the piano"
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