100 of 104 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2006
I can't help but express my disapproval at how a review from 2000, which rated this book one star, is a spotlight review.
This reader failed to realize that this book wasn't written for people who are already organized or know the "common sense" things for organization. If organization was that "common sense," more people would be able to get their lives together instantaneously.
Morgenstern builds upon her previous best-seller hit, "Organizing from the Inside Out." For people who have read that book, I would agree that "Time Management" does not offer much else in addition to it. However, "Time Management" stands on its own on the reader from 2000 who gave it one star failed to recognize that this book stands on its own apart from her debut.
A few choice tips that I have found to have helped me:
- Estimate time for big projects: Most people underestimate the time it takes them to do things. It's better to overestimate or get as accurate a time frame as possible. If you overestimate, at least you'll have time to do other things; if you underestimate, you'll feel rushed and like you never have time for anything.
- The WADE formula: Readers of "Organizing from the Inside Out" know this formula well.
WRITE IT DOWN: Record your tasks in a planner or one area.
ADD IT UP: Estimate how long your projects will take.
DECIDE what you will do: delay, delegate, delete or diminish tasks.
EXECUTE YOUR PLAN: Put your plan into action.
- Doing things faster: Pages 69-75 offer great tips for getting things done faster to save YOU time:
- Order groceries online
- Hire someone to clean if you don't have time to do it yourself
- Pay bills online and do it once or twice a month
- Lay out clothes the night before
- Send virtual greeting cards
(While many of the above tips are common sense, many people are disorganized need a gentle reminder - or a swift kick in the you know where - to do many of the easy-to-overlook things.)
- Ten Questions to decide on whether to keep a document or paper
- Set aside daily time to process paperworl
- Compartmentalize your life into six main categories that focus on your "big picture goals" (main things you want to achieve in life). Now, break your life up into smaller pieces to work your way toward those goals.
If you found the sampling above helpful, I'd recommend that you purchase this book. "Do not stop, do not collect $200!" If the above was not (somewhat) helpful to you at all, you'd probably be best skipping this book - or you're already organized and don't need it.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2012
I sit here with a to-list. These lists are not new to me. I have kept to-do lists for a long time. They used to be simple lists like shopping lists.
Feed the pets
Clean litter pans
Organize (kitchen or filing cabinets or desk)
Write at least three pages in my novel
Prep for classes (I am a college instructor)
Clean house (Sort of goes with organizing)
After I read Time Management From the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern, my to lists changed and so did my schedule. For one thing, I began paying attention to how much time things took. I started timing projects.
I used to write A B or C beside each project. I had gone to a time management seminar once, and this was the one technique she gave. The projects marked "A" had to be done today. The projects marked "B" could or should be done today, but could be put off for another day. The projects marked "C" could be put off for now. B and C projects might move up the list tomorrow or the next day. I did this for years even though it did not work. It gave me permission to not get to projects when they were marked B or C. There was some 60/40 rule. Get to 60 percent of your to-do list and give yourself permission to drop the rest. Maybe the rule was 40/60. I don't remember. It wasn't working, but I knew no other way.
Then I read Morgenstern's book and she taught me a few tricks. Note that I finished readig the book over a month ago, so I have tried the tips. She asked her readers to pick three projects and to write beside each project the estimated time one had to spend on those projects. Then time the project. Is there a difference between expected time and actual time?
So I timed myself cleaning litter pans, making beds and correcting papers. I did this for several days until I got an average. There was not a big difference between my estimated times and the real times. But the important thing is that I was paying attention to how long projects take. I started lookin at how long other projects would take
I took Morgenstern's advice and started writing time allotments beside each item on the to-do list. I found some things could not be estimated. Writing a page in my novel could take five minutes or fifteen. Sometimes I had to look up character's traits; sometimes I had to delete a page and start over.
Correcting papers could take fifteen minutes or half the day. It depended on how many papers came in. I had to be flexible.
I also started looking at how I used my time and when I did things. I used to do laundry and cleaning in the mornings. I wanted to get it done and over with early in the day. But these household projects took time and energy. By the time I turned to my writing and creative work in the late afternoon, I was tired and drained. I didn't want to write. I wanted to relax.
I changed the schedule around. Writing and creative work would come first and then the housework. Housework in the late afternoon actually gives me an energy boost. Wow! I can get more done.
Laundry is a project that can be placed in a large time slot; even one designated for something else. . Sorting takes five minutes or less. Putting clothes in the washer and then the dryer takes five minutes or less. Folding takes slightly longer. Yes, the time adds up, but it cannot be done all in one twenty minute slot. I put off laundry to the evenings or I paired it with correcting papers. Getting up and moving gives me energy, and I found I could get less bored with a task like correcting school work with a few laundry breaks. So now I was getting to my writing and creative work. Before the writing was often neglected. Thank you Ms. Morgenstern.
Another project I often neglected was exercise. My weight has been creeping upward and I have doctor's orders to lose weight, so exercise was important. When I started marking off time for it, I started getting to it. Because I exercised to CD's that I love and didn't play too often, I looked forward to the music and the exercise time.
I have no more time now than I did before I read Morgenstern's book, but now I am getting to the projects that I need to get to. The house is cleaner - I did not entirely stop doing housework - I just shifted its time slot.
Time to move onto another project on the to-list. Thanks, Again Ms. Morgenstern.
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2006
I have to be honest and say that Time Management from the Inside Out is the first "time management" book I have read; therefore, I have nothing else to compare it to. However, during my first year in college, I was forced to take a time management course and I must say Time Management from the Inside Out was a far out better course than the one I took in college. Not only does Julie Morgenstern walks us step by step on how to schedule our time, but she helps us define our "Big-Picture Goals". Chapter 9: defining your goals and activities was my favorite chapter because she made us dream BIG and made me believe our goals were manageable. I also liked that she offered real life examples so people can relate to them and follow the solution that was given. This book is easy reading but it took me a while to finish because she makes us reflect on many issues such as the current behavior one carries in which prevents us to move forward. She offers several exercises that can help one pin point a problem. This was really helpful. I am a 21- year old transfer student about to continue my studies at UCLA and I cannot wait to put into practice the advice Julie Morgenstern offered.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2005
In short, this book is different than all the other time management books and seminars I have encountered. Yes, she talks about balance and goal setting, and all the other topics that the others do, but this book is all about perspective.
The author makes time tangible and puts it into perspective. She makes you look at goal setting in a completely different way. In fact, she makes you look at your life in a different way.
I cannot recommend this book enough. This is the last time management book you will ever have to buy!!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2005
There are still only 24 hours in the day, but Julie Morgenstern helps you to apply some of her oh-so-helpful principles of space management to TIME! Just like space, sometimes you need to cut out the clutter--and this book helped me do that (again). I read the first edition, and the second is even better.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2007
I LOOOOVE this book. It so explains the psychology behind tardiness, mismanagement of time, etc. It definitely gives a great step-by-step guide on how to manage time. It also takes into consideration people's personalities and individual lifestyles. For instance, people who are afraid that a rigid "time map" might hinder their creativity and spontaneity...it gives us various methods to deal with the realities of our lives and accept our weaknesses (rather than continually pretending that they don't exist and continually failing!) and find ways around those weakness, and use our strengths to our advantage. The book shows how to reach our goals by using our time to our advantage. It can transform the person whose time is chaotic and imprisoned and turn them into the person whose life is orderly and free!
The only disadvantage to this book (very minor) is that the author starts repeating herself 2/3 of the way into the book. As I was typing notes throughout my reading, I started realizing that I was typing the same things over and over.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2013
I own the Kindle for Android version of this book and read from it pretty frequently (I've read it all the way through quite a few times). I bought "Organizing from the Inside Out" by Julie Morgenstern several years ago and found it a completely worthwhile read- and it, too, is a reference guide that I still use from time to time. Some other readers state that if you own the book I just mentioned, that you don't need this book. For me, at least, that was untrue. Some people are born knowing how to manage their days well, others learn the art while relatively young, but that didn't happen with me. While I had my spaces very organized and had some excellent routines in place to keep my life in relative order, I was still struggling with time "getting away from me". I never seemed to get everything done in a day that I thought I should. I would constantly feel guilty about not getting to some activities while feeling frustrated with others that just seemed to drain me. When I was at work or out with friends, I was thinking about what I had to do back at home. At home, I would think about everything I had to do in the outside world! It was a vicious cycle that kept me from being really "present" in my life every day.
I started college a few months ago and knew that I could not succeed as an older adult student attending classes full-time unless I figured out how to manage my hours better. This book helped me do that extremely well. I'm now an Honors student with a 3.8 total GPA, and I credit a lot of that to knowing how to manage my days. My home looks good 99.9% of the time. I take good care of myself. I have time for friends and family, and when I'm with them, I'm not guiltily thinking about what I should be doing elsewhere instead. I am only sorry that I didn't learn the skills outlined in this book when I was a kid- I would've been a much better student, a lot more relaxed in my personal life, and probably would've been a better worker at my job if I'd gained the tools written in this book earlier on.
Morgenstern helped me see that time is just like our personal spaces- it's finite and to a big degree, it's up to us what we do with our time. Before reading this book, I would kind of mindlessly spend hours on the Internet looking at this or that. Or I'd be watching TV to try and de-stress from my physically- and mentally-draining days. After reading this, I became acutely aware of how precious every minute in every hour really is. I started using Google calendar to track where I spent my time, and email reminders came to me from that calendar to subtly get me doing what I needed to do, when I needed to do it. I became an accurate estimator at how long it actually took me to accomplish every regularly-performed task in my life for the first time. I quickly realized that I did what most people do- I put way too much on my to-do list for the amount of hours I had available in a day. I also made another common mistake all the time- I underestimated severely just how long it would take me to complete various activities every day. Once I rectified these mistakes, I was able to get a handle on my world.
Julie did a terrific job of making me realize that even if I actually wanted to do every little thing myself, I don't have time for everything that tries to pull at me in life. I'm only one person, I only have so many hours in a day and I only have so much energy to put into tasks. I got real about what I could accomplish in a day. Now that I know what I'm doing when, what I do not have time for (and thus must say no to directly) and how to manage each day like a master scheduler, I'm more relaxed. However, I'm really getting more done than ever, and I'm also getting it done on time! I prioritize like a real pro now, something I was horrible at before. I also came to see that sometimes it is worth putting out the money to have someone else do chores that I cannot get around to, either by hiring them as helpers or by delegating to people who already exist in my life and have the time/energy/equipment available to complete those things. Like many people, I had a hard time letting go of the belief that I could do, be and have it all, but I'm happy to say I no longer am trapped by that mindset. I cannot be everything to everyone, keep every ball in the air that society expects and still feel content with my life. I'm grateful to have learned this.
Morgenstern acknowledges something that a lot of authors dismiss, which is that upsets or big changes- a divorce, a move, going back to school, starting a new job, etc.- are bound to disturb your set-in routines. I love that she appreciates this is a normal occurrence and doesn't beat up the reader for not sticking to routines like a lot of writers who write about organizing and time management do. Every time I've had a big change in my life or something comes up that alters plans I've made, I'm now able to keep things afloat anyway through the new skills I've gained.
If you're already good at managing your days through a day planner or calendar, don't feel like you're missing out on anything you want in life or that you're running around like a chicken with it's head cut off- you don't need this book. If, however, you were like me, I'd highly recommend you read this. I haven't read that many books explicitly about time management but I have read a lot about organizing, simplifying and homemaking while working or going to school full-time. When it comes teaching about how to managing time, though, this book went way above and beyond any others that I've read. Between this book, "Sink Reflections" by Maria Cilley and "Simplify Your Life" by Elaine St. James, I've come a long way from the clueless girl I was a few years ago. Now I'M in control of my life, and I love that.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I found the author's first book, about organization, to be both inspiring and helpful on a psychological level, though many of her practical tips were just common sense. If you never read that book, you will find this one to be useful in the same manner, but if you've read the first, you don't need the second. Essentially, she markets time as a commodity like objects, except it has to be stored efficiently in a day instead of a basket or closet. Her main thesis, which you don't need an entire book to learn, is that you have to know how long a task takes in order to schedule it effectively. Once you have a realistic idea of what you need to do and how long it will take to do it, you should be able to handle your time - unless, of course, there are external, internal or technical obstacles to this. An external obstacle might be working, raising a family, and suddenly having an aging parent to care for. An internal obstacle might be an inability to say "no" when asked to take on yet another task when your schedule is already packed. A technical obstacle might be as simple as not having a calendar (electronic or paper) so you have to rely on your memory for appointments and projects. This book can be awkward at times, since the author is clearly modeling it on her wildly successful first book, from the title to the set-up. Not all of time management fits into the same categories as space and object organization. And, as in the first book, many of the tips she gives are just common sense. Also, some of the advice is a little dated in this economy; hiring someone to do tasks for which you don't have time is not necessarily possible for people who are unemployed or underemployed. Overall, I'd go with her first book and adapt it for yourself, rather than work with this one. However, it isn't a bad book and is certainly easy to follow.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2011
It's been a while since I read it, but I remember that there were a number of things that I found really helpful. The one that sticks with me is that sometimes, we budget time poorly because we don't really know how long something takes. If you think it takes you two minutes to get out the door and 10 minutes to get to work, but it really takes you seven minutes to get out and 15 minutes to commute, you're going to be 10 minutes late every day. That may seem painfully obvious, but until you've tested it, you really don't know.
Also, I'd like to note that I am a right-brained, creative, mildly ADD person, and I found this book's approach flexible enough to work for me.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2011
This book should be a must read for every adult - maybe required reading for high school? The reason her time management program works is two fold. First, you need to have a long term goal or vision. The whys - why it's important to you. Second, you tailor the mechanics of time management to fit your personality.
This is a life changing book. I've read other books on the subject, which I do recommend doing, since you can pull other helpful information from them, but no matter what, make sure you read this book.