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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2003
I work a lot. I spend my day teaching and then return to the school and spend my entire evening preparing to teach. I write my own materials and do not rely on the textbooks at all.
You can see something must have changed, because you are reading this. Clearly I have the time to write it.
As I read this book, I was struck again and again by how much of it I already knew. I was also struck by how little of it I did. For example, some evenings, I would convince myself it was vital to get my desk organized before I started writing. Then, of course, I need to put away those test tubes, and I might as well brew another cup of coffee, and then...
I still come back to school in the evening. Now I come back with a plan. I follow that plan. If putting away test tubes isn't in it, I don't do that. However, Aslett recommends combining jobs. So, if I need to grab a book off my shelf (which is near where the test tubes are stored), I take my test tubes with me.
Aslett also recommends just simply doing the job. I despise correcting papers. Sometimes they can build up into a huge stack. Now, I just do them. Once they're done, I can do the parts of teaching I like.
Another thing he points out is that the busier we are, the more we get done. That is true. I will accomplish nothing at home. Watching TV is a waste of time, so I don't have it. I realize how easy it is to sit down in front of it and do nothing. It is not relaxing.
As you can see from my selection of changes in my life, there is nothing here that is new. What Aslett does is take what we already know and articulate it and force us to confront it. That is the power of his writing. He puts the reader in the spotlight and, no matter how much they squirm, they are forced to face why they are not productive.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2002
Aslett's book is uniquely beneficial in my view. While most such books focus on some "method" of getting a lot done, Aslett focuses more on the obstacles to accomplishment, particularly people's common actions that waste time.
What is truly unique, however,is that his book exhibits a certain "philosophy" of accomplishment. Some of this comes through directly in things to do in order to get a lot more done. But other such aspects are more "between the lines," and in the end it really leads you a mindset that is keenly aware of how much more you could be doing.
The book does not contain such things as sample schedules and prioritization lists. This is not a book of techniques and tips, but rather seeks to make accomplishment more of an "inside-out" process.
The reviewer who complained that the book would make the reader into a workaholic if followed completely missed the point. This book is about doing more, but it's not about slaving away at the office. It does talk about doing your work quickly and well, but much more fundamentally, it talks about doing MORE THINGS, things you find personally fulfilling and important. It's for people who rather be doing something personally meaningful than smelling roses; most of the would-be rose-smellers will probably never "have enough time" to plant their garden anyway!
In short, it's made a tremendous impact on the way I see and conduct my life -- I get things done, and a MORE of them, than I used to. And quite the contrary to being a depressed, bitter "Type A workaholic," I am also much happier and more fulfilled than I was before!
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2001
I love this book. It is an entertaining, easy read with lots of fresh information about how to produce more in limited time. The author doesn't pontificate--he just shares the methods that have worked so spectacularly well for him. Sure he's a workaholic. But if your objective is to actually get more ACCOMPLISHED in your limited time, then this is by far the best and most useful of the many, many time-management books I have read over the years.
I particularly liked his innovative "bulk" approach to hacking through a To-Do list. I have never seen this method written up anywhere else, and it really does work! Also, the entire "Be Early" chapter is a gem that really hit home for a chronic procrastinator.
It is a "Type A" world out there, and using Mr. Aslett's methods frees up more time for the important things--family, faith, personal enrichment. If you want a touchy-feely discussion of "smelling the roses", then go elsewhere. If you want to see how it is possible to get it all DONE so you have time for a rich personal life, then this book will get you there.
I reread this book every few months, and it has made my life better. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 4, 2009
Don Aslett has written a decent little (160-page) book in How to Have a 48-Hour Day. His primary point is that we often underestimate just how much we can do with our lives. Aslett shows his readers that they can be more productive and accomplish more by adopting a new perspective on time management. While I don't know that much of Aslett's advice is unique, I do think that he presents his material in an engaging manner.

There are some negatives to this book. Most readers simply will not want to go to the extremes that Aslett does in order to enhance their productivity. In the book, Aslett recounts how he did several days of seminars in Oregon while so horribly ill that everyone agreed he needed to be in a hospital; he also advises readers not to take vacations so that they can get more done. Aslett comes across as a nice guy, but he also seems to be more than a little obsessive-compulsive about his work.

I think that How to Have a 48-Hour Day is worthwhile for those want to become more productive. However, most readers will find that some of Aslett's suggestions are impractical. I would advise interested readers to take Aslett's advice with a grain of salt and choose those parts that work for them.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2003
I just read How to Have a 48 Hour Day again. It's authored by someone I interviewed several years ago, Don Aslett. I read it every once in a while to see if I am still following some of the ways to be more productive with my time. It is the best time management book I've ever read. The way Don teaches how to treat time is remarkable.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2000
Welcome to Don Aslett's high-paced world! This and other books by Don Aslett have helped me, a mother of a 4-mo. old and a 2-yr. old, get my act together, get tons more accomplished, and be a far happier person. This book focuses on a common sense approach to time management and revives the idea that hard work can be highly fulfilling and joyful. Gone are the endless attempts at lists and complicated schedules I have seen in many approaches to time management. If you are creative, have lofty dreams, or have had bad luck with typical approaches to time management, this book is for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2007
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2006
I checked this book out because I'd bought How to Lose 200 Lbs in One Weekend on a friend's recommendation and got a lot out of it. I wasn't just disappointed -- I was amazed at what Aslett considers reasonable in the quest for productivity. If we followed Aslett's guidelines, we'd never stop to chat with a friend, would work through meals even if we were hungry (not that the meals would be worth stopping for -- Aslett considers spice to be "food clutter" and recommends sticking to unspiced food), eschew coffee breaks because lifting that cup to your lips takes time, time, time, rise earlier, work later and generally keep our noses to the grindstone at the expense of relaxation, recreation or pleasure of any kind.

This book reminded me of the old joke about the man who asks his doctor how to extend his life, and the doctor tells him to give up alcohol, women, and rich food. "You won't live longer, but it will seem like an eternity." Aslett may be able to cram forty-eight hours into one day, but what a miserable day it is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2011
I have to object to the "as fun as a hangnail" and "vague and condescending" reviews of this book. Sure, there is some extremity to his recommendations, but he's just a straightforward, massively Type-A person. The fact is that people (starting with me) are prone to lay around, procrastinate, remain unproductive for many years and then look back in bewilderment and say "Where have all the years gone, and what do I have to show for them?" I admit that some of his statements are over the top, but that shouldn't negate lots of helpful advice on how to become more productive.

If a person is lacking in production and wants practical helps to change that - get this book. It greatly helped me with some advice that is now wired into my unconscious (the GOAL of any practical book - for guidance to become second nature).
My wife and I do laugh at the picture of the writer on the back of the book. He's sort of making a half-smile/smirk and we joke that he's thinking "I don't have time for this picture - there's work to be done!"

Anyway, it's cheap and helpful - buy it!
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2004
I found this book to be inspirational but unrealistic - unless you are a type "a" workaholic"- then it's o.k. I bought this book several years ago and have read it a couple of times and the impression I get every time - compulsive, obsessive and unrealistic
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