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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Skinny on Time Management: How to Maximize Your 24-Hour Gift
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
One of the most common criticisms that I have launched at authors of books that supposedly contain the most effective advice is that the details are lacking. This renders the advice correct but of limited use. I cannot level that criticism against the author of this book. Randel puts forward some very basic and accurate advice on time management. It all begins with the idea that you must consider time as a limited commodity to be spent as wisely as possible. The starting point is making a list of how you currently spend your precious commodity of 168 hours per week. The next step is to examine and prioritize the list, making the fundamental decisions regarding what is the most important and ruthlessly culling the insignificant.
The best advice in the book and one of the best pieces of advice that I have ever encountered is developed from the chart in caption 145. There are four quadrants to the chart and the captions are:

I) Important and urgent
II) Urgent, but not important
III) Important, but not urgent
IV) Not urgent and not important

There can be no dispute that the items in category I are the most important, taking precedence over all others and that the items in category IV should be done after all others. However, the major item of advice is that when you are prioritizing, the second level of selections should be out of category III rather than category II. In other words, whenever you are deciding on what task to perform, make sure that what you select is an important one. Another item emphasized that is almost as important is to never mistake being busy for being productive. They are not the same thing, and at times it can be hard to differentiate between the two.
One myth that I would like to see destroyed is that the modern worker is more harried and pressured than previous generations. This is essentially nonsense, a few generations ago, a large percentage of the population worked on farms with little in the way of modern equipment. My father grew up on a farm where the machinery was pulled by horses, the corn was picked by hand and you chopped wood for heat. Those people worked hard from sunup to sundown under intense pressure for survival, as the crops and livestock were their livelihood. When you talk to them, it is clear very quickly that they were superb at setting priorities and managing their time, doing what had to be done when it had to be done. Many of the old farmers that I have talked to sounded very much like Randel when they would tell me how they used to manage their time, keeping their daily, weekly and seasonal schedules in their heads.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2010
Can I give this book 10 Stars?

The Skinny On Series are basically Cliffs Notes books on whatever subject it's covering. In this case, the subject is "Time Management". The book is simple, it's funny, and it gets right to the point without sacrificing details on what is really important. So if you are wondering whether or not to give this book a chance, the answer is one big YES. Why?

1. The information is amazing and unbelievably helpful.
2. It is so simple and easy to read. You can actually read it from cover to cover in one hour.
3. The Skinny On crew has done all the research for us. Do you really have the time to go over dozens of books on time management just to write down the important and helpful points found in each one of them? I know I don't.
4. If you DO want more detailed information, Jim Randel tells you were to find it.
5. It's funny and entertaining, you know, as in Not Boring.
6. The book not only helps us how to Manage Time, by teaches us how to use time in a way that we can accomplish our dreams and goals.
7. And, did I say that it's incredibly helpful?

Trust me, do NOT think twice. This book is worth every single penny. Whether you are looking for ways to create time for your goals, spend more time with your family, get yourself organized, find more time for yourself, or just want to figure out where in the world is all your time going, This Book is for YOU. I absolutely LOVED it, and I know you will too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2012
The book is worth reading because
1. The book is relatively short and the material is presented in slides.
2. The writing style is very appealing and amusing therefore, one never gets inattentive.
3. The techniques and strategies mentioned in this book are very practical.
4. There are no. of inspirational quotes on time management.
5. Techniques from other time management books and specialist on the subject are given space in the book.
6. Common human weaknesses and their remedies are discussed.

There is, however, one weakness as far as the kindle edition is concerned and that is, the kindle features (such as highlighting, looking up words in dictionary) cannot be used when the slides' part start. Moreover, the text in slides' part cannot be made bigger. At some places the text is blurry.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
NOTE: I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher.

This book is part of "the skinny on" series, various publications designed to provide self-help information in a "concise and entertaining fashion." To this end, author Jim Randel, an attorney and entrepreneur, utilizes stick figure drawings featuring himself as main character along with "You"--aka the reader. He combines these simple illustrations with straightforward information designed to identify the key points about time management. In his introduction, Randal maintains that although the design of book itself is basic, plenty of thoughtful research went into the book's actual content.

Amazon lists this book as being 215 pages long, but this is a bit deceiving: the majority of pages are formatted with two individual numbered blocks, so the actual length of the book is about half that. Randal states that the most important information on time management can be broken down into about 50 principles, all of which are presented in the book. He structures the book like a "class," breaking the lesson down into two sections. Part 1 focuses on a review of how you are currently spending your time. This includes increasing self-awareness, setting goals, and making choices.

In the second half of the book, Randal addresses how to use the time you have to be maximally effective. This is where offers more specific strategies for managing your time, such as matching time with energy and utilizing "gap" times. He also provides tips both on enhancing skills that can benefit time management, like improved memory and speed reading, as well as on avoiding pitfalls to time management, including procrastination and clutter. Randal strongly recommends the use of "to do" lists combined with prioritizing list items; finally, he is NOT a fan of multi-tasking.

As a psychologist who works with college students, I definitely see the value to this book. The succinct format is certainly likely to appeal to those with busy schedules, yet the material provided is practical and beneficial. The one problem I had with the book is that I did not feel enough space was devoted to procrastination. In my experience with college students and others, procrastination is the MAIN impediment to time management in almost all cases. Here, Randal does allocate several pages to this topic, but he provides only a single page of strategies for overcoming procrastination. Overall, however, this is a useful, easy-to-read, enjoyable book that is likely to provide at least some help to most people; my final rating is 4 1/2 stars, and I would definitely recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 29, 2010
The Skinny on Time Management How to maximize your 24-hour gift is the fourth "Skinny On" book I have read by Jim Randel and I intend to read 4 more within the next 30 days.

These "Skinny On" books are formatted in a quick and unique style that maximizes learning while minimizing the time it takes to read the book. The Japanese call this fun style "Manga." It is a comic book type presentation with a dialogue method of getting the serious and helpful point across. The author has done much of the work for us. He has read a plethora of books and boiled them down to essential points while filtering the filler out making it easy to read in an hour or less.

In this book, Jim uses his garage converted into a classroom as an analogy and stick figures to tell the story of how to maximize our use of time. To increase our productivity and decrease stress, he teaches us that we must first be aware of how we are using our time now. Next, we should have a method to write down "to do" lists where set up goals and milestones to reaching those accomplishments. To be most effective, we need to plan, prioritize and focus on what it is that we want to do with our time. Key to the strategy of managing ones time is not just to stay busy, but to stay busy doing the specific things that will maximize our productivity. We should also note that each of us has a time of day; as well as, a place and set of environmental factors that will help us focus and optimize our time. We can utilize those to our advantage.

If you give this style of writing a chance I think that you will be as impressed as I am with its effectiveness. I like it and the message. I think you will too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2010
This book discusses techniques on utilizing time management techniques to live a higher quality of life and manage time more efficiently. It is written with still frames and uses a stick figure to represent the author - as he teachers the critical lessons on the best ways to manage time.

The book is a quick read, and provides real life lessons on managing time effectively. It offers advice on how to determine if you are currently spending your time well, and gives guidance as to how you can change your ways to be more conscious as to where your time would be better spent - according to your life goals.

If the reader makes the suggested charts (as I did), he or she will be shocked at where the time in a day, week, month or year is really spent! The book uses wit and humor to bring the reader to an awareness of time spent and what to do to make real life changes to be more effective. Next, it is important to carefully define goals, and develop roadmaps to success. The book offers several "reality checks" along the way - but all in all, it is insightful, accurate and interesting.

The most interesting concept for me to read about is that all hours in the day are not alike - in terms of and in regards to determining productivity. Energy must be harnessed and matched to daily productivity time slots. This is a critical feature of becoming naturally more productive in a person's daily life. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a little self discovery regarding how to become more effective in general and how to manage time better in the future.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Have you ever had a day off from work and planned to accomplish an agenda, only to go back to your job the next day dissatisfied that little or none of what you planned occurred? Ever go on a vacation only to just waste your time away and do nothing? Ever pick up a book and plan to read it in a few days, and find it on your nightstand a few weeks later virtually untouched? Even worse, are you guilty of the haphazard job search, the wasted time staring at the television, Internet or gabbing on the telephone gossiping about inconsequential, unimportant gossip? Do you remember 10 years ago? How fast did those times go until now? Don't you wish you had that time back to do whatever you dreamed? Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less TimeThe unattained degree, the wrong soul mate, the bad job fit, the empty savings account-all occurring as a result of making poor conscious choices between satisfaction and sacrifice. And the dreadful result of not making the correct choices: allowing other forces to dictate how your life plays out. If you have answered "yes" to any of the past questions or scenarios then attorney Jim Randel's "The Skinny On Time Management" will really make you stop and think what you are doing with your time and life, e.g. your past, present and future.

What is time management? Well, let's briefly talk about what it is not. Individuals that cannot properly manage their time may be unable to sit still, plan ahead, finish tasks, or be fully aware of what's going on around them. To themselves, their family, classmates and others they may seem to exist in a whirly-gig of disorganized or frenzied activity.Driven To Distraction : Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood Some mental health professionals contend that the symptoms of "Attention Deficit Disorder" are behaviors such as often fidgeting with hands or feet, or squirming while seated, having difficulty remaining seated, awaiting one's turn in games or group activities, blurting out answers before questions are completed, and having difficulty in following instructions. Even further, an individual with this affliction has difficulty sustaining attention in completing tasks or play activities, shifting from one to another. They experience difficulty playing quietly, talk excessively, and interrupt or intrude on others, often not listening to what is being said. However, just because an individual forgets things necessary for tasks or activities, and is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli, it is not definitive that they have this disorder. After reading Mr. Randel's book, it is possible to come to the conclusion that the aforementioned symptoms of ADD could be confused with a person that simply does not have effective time management skills. Avoided are the unnecessary, stigmatizing and embarrassing labels of a non existent condition that could very well be a self fulfilling prophesy. Jim Randel asserts that thoughts are "things" just like any other tangible item and can be kicked out of one's own mind, just like a misbehaving cat would be tossed out of a house.
If you have been diagnosed with ADD, before you throw your "Ritalin" or "Concerta" out and cancel your next appointment with a therapist, you might want to read Mr. Randel's book. Conversely, if you feel like bad time management has resulted in you not making anything with your life and you view with woeful regret your past because of all the countless missed opportunities you did not capitalize on, then this book is also for you. As concisely as possible, Jim Randel shows the reader how procrastination is the enemy, detailing effective steps how to make choices about your time and set goals. Randel argues that by intelligently prioritizing one's time, you will increase the probability that your life will proceed on your agenda, not someone else's, or worse, by fate.Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity A consequence of not making good choices, particularly between sacrifice and satisfaction, allows "other forces" to dictate how the bad time manager's life will play out. Psychoanalytically speaking, and apologetically addressing all adherents to the field of "Behaviorism", the successful time manager is one who effectively knows how to effectively use his "ego" to balance his "id" and "superego". Yes, that's right. We are today a product of yesterday's choices. The only way we can change the future is by acquiring and mastering strong time management skills.

Time management is the art of arranging, organizing, scheduling, and budgeting one's time for the purpose of generating more effective work and productivity. It has become crucial in recent years thanks to the 24/7, busy world in which we live. Time management is important for everyone.How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life (Signet) While time management books and seminars often place their focus on business leaders and corporations, time management is also crucial for students, teachers, factory workers, professionals, and home makers. It is critical for the individual who owns his or her own business or who runs a home based business if it is to economically survive. Another integral part of time management Randel stresses is planning ahead. Sometimes, successful time management involves putting in more time at the outset in order to reorganize one's life, as well as the delay of gratification. Randel quotes Tony Robbin's suggestion of: "The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you're in control of your life. If you don't, life controls you." Creative Time Management for the New MillenniumAside from sublimation, another step in efficient time management is to organize the workspace or home. If one's office and filing system are a disaster, time will be wasted trying to work efficiently in a disorderly place, with distractions foiling one's time management. After cleaning, purging, and reorganizing the home or office, the next step in time management is planning. Careful attention must be given to look at all activities one participates in during a week. Possibly going overboard, Randel insists that every last detail should be written down, including the time it takes to shower, dress, commute, attend meetings, make phone calls, clean the house, cook dinner, pick up the children from school, eat meals, etc. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People However, Randel is not a sadist. Important to the successful time manager is an allowance for entertainment or exercise, such as driving to the gym, going for a walk, watching television, or surfing the Internet.

In addition, Jim Randel shows the layman to time management that after one writes down every last activity, there is very little time left for sleeping. Consequently, the end result is that many activities and behaviors must be pared down, eliminated, consolidated, or delegated. Critical to avoiding a time manager's worst enemy, e.g. procrastination, one must prioritize activities on a scale of descending importance.The One Minute Manager Deeming tasks and activities that have the highest importance must be acted on first. Another hallmark of time management is to have a calendar or daily planner, which will help one to stay on task. However, sublimation and self-discipline are critical. Regardless of the best "to-do list" in the world, someone without the aforementioned traits will not be able to look at or follow his own daily planner. Jim Randel's book differs from all others currently on the market. He firmly believes that most 400 page self-help and education books of what he calls loquacious "drivel" could have been done better in 50 pages. Angrily focusing on what he calls "pointlessly long words and ridiculously complex sentences", Randel commiserates as to why college students sleep until noon. Boldly stating the issue with most college texts, Randel asserts: "It isn't the sex, drugs and rock and roll. No way! They have to read this garbage every day! Personally, I'd rather read the phone book". When one first picks up this book, you would think this is a child's book, with Randal's bright idea of using stick figure drawings and an entertaining comic book layout.The 25 Best Time Management Tools & Techniques: How to Get More Done Without Driving Yourself Crazy Without confusing format with content, the author presents easy to understand analogies that rapidly communicate important information on the intricacies of time management.

Meant to be read in one hour, this easy to understand book is the product of over 100 books and articles on time management. With the bibliography listing the most valuable on the subject, Jim Randel is quick to mention the redundancy of them all.The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential... in Business and in Life (Chinese Edition) In regards to time management, all of the information culled in the aforementioned books points to the fact that there are really only 50 principles important to the student of this subject. Once those are mastered, you will have learned all you need to know about this. The bottom line of this publication is the belief that every hour of one's own life must be used in an intelligent manner. Every student of time management must use their energy as effectively as possible by considering in advance where, when and how one wishes to take action. Stressed is the cliche "every hour of planning is worth 5 in execution." Randel insists that since there are activities that have more reward than others, the majority of one's energies should be towards those that give you the "biggest bang for your buck." Twenty percent of your actions produce 80% of your results. Randel tries to show the reader how to identify which of your actions and efforts are the critical 20%. Have you ever heard the expression "work smart, not hard?" The Power of Focus: What the Worlds Greatest Achievers Know about The Secret of Financial Freedom and Success Obviously, time is an invaluable opportunity to make something great happen and to change your life. Ultimately, time management is about making correct, beneficial choices that will help you achieve your goals. This book will give you the strategies to do this. If the thoughts and actions outlined in the beginning of this review applies to you, this book is indispensable!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Review of "The Skinny on Time Management" by Jim Randel. "Time Management" delivers on the subject! I am not sure what other readers expect but the premise of "Skinny" is to get to the heart of any topic, in this case "Time Management" and convey that information to the audience. This minimalistic approach is useful for those who desire the respective information, wisdom, etc. in a condensed format where the framework lacks excessive verbiage and the "hiding of the ball" so to speak. If the reader requires more detailed information on the topic a lengthy bibliography is included at the end. Short, sweet, and to the point is the hallmark of this series. Add a first color page replete with summarized key points and/or important terminology and a perforated book mark and you have what I consider to be a winning volume. Five stars without reservation for a job well done!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2010
This is an interesting, informative and quick read to learn time management skills. It is plain, simple and to the point so as not to waste your time! It is not at all stuffy, but lighthearted, and I love the stick figure people and the Power-Point style pages. This book teaches the reader how to tackle procrastination, goals setting, focusing, creating a time journal, prioritizing, distractions, and much more.

The Skinny on Time Management has been very helpful for me as someone working in a busy medical office. I do have to say though that it would have also been helpful back when I had my first career which was as a homemaker and mom. In business and in the home we can all use lessons on using our time wisely.

I recommend this book for those in the business setting, in-services, homemakers, and even for teens in school.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2011
This is such a fun read ...... it's full of drawings, dialogue and text that is so easy to read and absorb. It only took me about an hour and a half to read it all. And it really works! I've found myself thinking a lot about the various ways I can find more hours in my day since I finished it.

The first part of the book deals with how you are presently spending your time and the second part analyzes whether you are using the hours you have to maximum effectiveness.

Set Yourself Goals - Make a To-Do List every morning and prioritise - Focus on one thing at a time - Planning and Preparation is the key. Just a few of the suggestions.

The book uses humour, it doesn't preach, it doesn't take itself too seriously and it doesn't talk down to its readers.

A Self-Help book that does what it says on the cover!
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