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10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management Paperback – January 1, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Strongly influenced by Benjamin Franklin, Smith, CEO of a Utah consulting company, offers insightful pronouncements on America's time fragmentation. "Life is getting more and more hectic. The daily treadmill is accelerating, and we have to run faster and faster just to stay in one place." His recommendations for regaining control of time, events and hence life are intriguing, as are his suggestions on goal setting, planning and negative behavior traits. Yet Smith's sharply focused managerial constructs become muddled with material on "life management," aimed at achieving "inner peace--the transcendant feeling of fulfillment and well-being." And his commercial endorsements of his company's seminars and products are irksome . Author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Smith is CEO of Franklin Quest, a company that conducts time-management seminars for corporations, organizations, and government agencies, reaching as many as 20,000 persons per month. It also sells day-planner scheduling books as an integral part of the time-management system it touts. This highly successful company was founded by Smith a little more than 10 years ago and was modeled on the self-improvement system outlined in Benjamin Franklin's autobiography. Smith argues that there is much more to managing time than getting things done. He preaches that only by understanding one's own value system can one decide what matters most, set priorities, and accomplish one's goals. The result is not only a better-organized life but a more fulfilling one. By focusing on time, Smith has provided a self-improvement book that almost everyone can use--and benefit from. David Rouse --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The whole system is based on your own values but also helps you in determining what is the most important thing in your life, which is the base for his whole system. Once you have discovered your values, it is easy to start prioritizing events and work related matters in your life. At the same time, he creates one of the most beautiful formulas for keeping appointments and "things to do list".
I found several of the sales pitches for his "Franklin Day Planner" a bit negative, however all of the things that he talks about are also achievable without this planner. I have been able to integrate most of the conceptions of this book's time management on the Microsoft Outlook. At the beginning when he started mentioning religion, I became annoyed by this but as he writes in the book; These are his values and it is for everybody to discover their own.
Before reading this book, my time management consisted of writing one line messages on those nice yellow stick-it notes and hoping I would not forget them. I would only find myself accomplishing a small fraction of what I set out to do.
I have had a backlog of many things I wanted to do with my family and projects to accomplish at work. I was never able to sort out the good from the bad and ugly until I read this book. I have my act together and am plan on visiting one of their seminars in London this fall to reinforce the written material.
I was so wrong.
This is a pleasant book with a conversational tone, along the lines of Dale Carnegie. I wish my other books were so simple, and were plainly written and plainly taught. Shakespeare mentions "Simple truth miscalled simplicity," (Sonnet 66) and that "Brevity is the soul of wit." (Hamlet, Act 2, sc. ii), and Mr. Smith demonstrates his ability, again and again, to plainly teach the ten natural laws.
In fact, the tone of this book is almost grandfatherly.
The book is divided into two halves, the first half dealing with your time, the second half dealing with your life.
The first laws are (Don't get mad-you could Xerox these from a library copy!):
1. You control your life by controlling your time.
2. Your governing values are the foundation of personal fulfillment.
3. When your daily activities reflect your governing values, you experience inner peace.
4. To reach any significant goal, you must leave your comfort zone.
5. Daily planning leverages time through increased focus.
The laws regarding controlling your life are:
6. Your behavior is a reflection of what you truly believe.
7. You satisfy needs when your beliefs are line with reality.
8. Negative behaviors are overcome by changing incorrect beliefs.
9. Your self-esteem must ultimately come from within.
10. Give more, and you'll have more.
I think that the central principles are first, controlling your life and not being controlled, and second there is an objective reality, despite all the braying and bleating of the relativists. The issue, then is one of organizing and prioritizing, and not just being a forty-year old teenager living from stimulation to stimulation.
As has been observed, this book is geared for the big business executive, but I have found that I can adapt the principles to my less busy and less hectic life. That may be another underlying factor: wanting to want something. You must want the principles to work for them to be effective. "Stick-to-itiveness" I think is the word.
There has also been comment about the values and the similarities of this book to other books, specifically Covey's "Seven Habits." It shouldn't be surprising, since all the arrows of moral laws hit one target. We do not have a male and a female law of gravitation, and the electrons do not drive on the wrong side of the road in the UK. We are all talking about the same thing. C. S. Lewis in "The Abolition of Man," traces the similarity of moral laws across many cultures and time. True, manifestations and understanding of truth may differ; it is all fundamentally the same. You can do math by Roman numerals, but Arabic numerals are far easier.
Moreover, Franklin and Covey merged a few years ago, so the two books have really become one in the hands of the company.
As to the hidden agenda, what can I say? If you are smart enough to spot any hidden agenda, then you are also smart enough to know how to avoid any entanglements.
As always, the hardest part of any self-help book is the implementation of the ideas.