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The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: Achieve More Success with Less Stress: Foreword by Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can't Ignore You Hardcover – January 8, 2013
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About the Author
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E, a time-coaching and training company that empowers overwhelmed individuals to feel peaceful, confident, and accomplished through an exclusive Schedule Makeover coaching process and training programs. Stiletto Woman named Saunders one of the "Top 25 Amazing Women of the Year" and The Stevie Awards for Women in Business selected her as a finalist in the "Best Young Entrepreneur" category.
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Approach - can't excel at everything:
Here's the secret: Your colleagues that perform with seemingly less effort have learned to recognize and excel in what really counts -- and to aim for less than perfect in everything else. In school, doing whatever it took to produce work at a level that would please teachers pays off. A great GPA gets rewarded with scholarships and job offers.
The rules changed in business. Doing A-work in everything limits success. One needs to focus more on one's strengths. I can achieve more success by fully leveraging my strengths instead of trying to shore up weaknesses. Realizing the importance of purposely deciding where I will invest more time and energy to produce stellar quality work and where less-than-perfect execution has a bigger payoff will provide more success and hence less stress.
In today's world of 24/7 access, frequent emails, and global business: no one has time for everything. Given the pace of work and the level of input in modern society, time management is dead. We can no longer fit everything in -- no matter how efficient we become. (This is what Saunders' book talks about).
If you can find the HBR article she wrote - read it first - and if it piques your interest, get the book. Otherwise - if you don't get anything out of her article - you won't like the book.
I read it cover-to-cover, then I went back through and wrote down answers to all of the questions Elizabeth posed in the book. That deep reflection really helped me to adapt her recommendations to my own life. I have implemented these changes, and I feel much more in control of my own life. Every morning, I start out with "me" time, reading during breakfast and then exercising. I limit my email and internet checks to 3 times per day, allowing me to focus on my work and be more productive. I set aside time each day to strengthen relationships with my husband and children; I plan weekly social time with friends. Overall, Elizabeth's time investment approach has helped me identify what aspects of my life are most important to me and then devote the appropriate time to those components.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who feels chronically busy or is lacking direction. If you really reflect on the questions in this book and apply her recommendations, your life will change!
What I loved most is how the book reveals the way "crippling emotions" sabotage our best intentions and diminish our motivation. The book is pragmatical and has an immediate approach on real life issues which I bet most of you face.
It ends with an interesting and revealing approach on time personalities: planner vs spontaneous, which I believe will reset many peoples' view on office/ home conflicts related to time & planning.
N-joy! And... take your time. It's worth it! :)