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Time Management from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule and Your Life Paperback – September 19, 2000
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In Organizing from the Inside Out, author Julie Morgenstern used three main strategies to whip a living space or office into shape: "analyze, strategize, attack." Using the same system, Morgenstern now shows readers how to get rid of chaotic schedules in order to live more comfortable and productive lives. Morgenstern likens a cluttered schedule to a cluttered closet. For example, a closet is typically "crammed with more stuff than storage," and a schedule is typically "crammed with more tasks than time."
Those who fear "time management" because they worry about living uncreative or overly scheduled lives will find themselves reassured by Morgenstern's ability to customize her system. The most important thing readers must do, she emphasizes, is to create a time management system that fits one's personal style--whether it be spontaneous and easily distracted or highly regimented and efficient. "Just as everyone's living room looks different, reflecting the individual's or family's values and priorities, everyone's time management system will look different, reflecting what's important to him or her," she explains. Fortunately, readers can easily customize her excellent advice while learning how to create a personal time map, streamline routine tasks, conquer procrastination and chronic lateness, and manage all the inevitable crises and distractions of daily life. Speaking of procrastination, what better time than now to try this book out--ridding yourself of all that draining clutter so you can get on with living the life you want? --Gail Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
Best-selling author of Organizing from the Inside Out, Morgenstern takes a similarly practical approach to time. If one thinks of time has having "edges" (rather than being amorphous), she explains, then it becomes as finite as spaceDand, consequently, just as manageable. Morgenstern believes that there are three primary reasons why people have difficulty managing time: "technical errors" (miscalculating the length of a task); "external realities" (new baby, new job) and "psychological obstacles" (perfectionism). What makes her program work, she attests, is that instead of trying to change people's natural behaviors and preferences, she encourages them to expand upon whatever is working already, no matter how overwhelmed they may feel. It all starts with knowing what one's big picture values and goals are (e.g., maintaining a happy marriage, excelling at one's career) and prioritizing those with the help of an ingenious device she's created called a "Time Map." Then, Morgenstern helps the reader apply her "SPACE" system ("sort, purge, assign a 'home,' containerize and equalize")Dthe nitty-gritty of time managementDto align one's to-do list with the Time Map. Everything one does (from important phone calls to major projects) must have its time and placeDeven relaxation and fun ("There is no such thing as spare time"). Morgenstern's simple book presents a superb, sound program for "creating a life that nurtures you and makes you feel good." (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Fortunately, I found Ms. Morgenstern's book during a visit to my local library. This came at the perfect moment for me and I began incorporating 30-minute sessions with Julie's book into my daily study periods.
With the help of Time Mapping, I've used the book to structure (and make ongoing adjustments to) my study goals. With the help of chapters such as Sort, Containerize, and Purge, I've become better at focusing my time to get through my to-do list and thus make better use of my leisure time.
I *feel* better about how much time I have, even though I've just added a big commitment in the form of 22 hours of study per week. I've been able to schedule realistic time slots for my other tasks as well as plenty of down-time. It's amazing how this book has helped me expand my concept of available time.
Using the visual aids in the book, and also researching more options online, I've finally chosen a planner that really works for me. This was a liberating step as I had not even realized I'd chosen a planner that wasn't right for me. I'd been subconsciously blaming myself for not making proper use of my old planner, but Julie's book helped me see through that defeatist thinking and find the solution. She works that magic in other areas also, helping demystify foggy habits such as procrastination and chronic lateness.
[Incidentally, since you're considering tools for better use of time, you might enjoy a little tip on planners that I stumbled across. While searching for your perfect planner (or, as I am, while getting through the final weeks of a waning year), you can supplement by using At-A-Glance QuickNotes Daily Planner. It comes as a tear-off pad with undated pages (you fill in the dates yourself) and each page has hole punches for optional storage in a ring binder. The cost is approx. five bucks for a pad of 50 sheets - which makes it an affordable way to experiment. It's a great way to practice structuring your day in a large format where you can spread out and really go ballistic.]
I've checked TIME MANAGEMENT FROM THE INSIDE OUT out of the library twice in a row so I could finish it. I now plan to buy my own copy from Amazon so I can go back over it and highlight the methods I didn't quite incorporate the first time around.
Unlike some of the other reviewers, I had not already read Morgenstern's book ORGANIZING FROM THE INSIDE OUT, so I did not find the material repetitious. I found it inspiring and very helpful. I would go as far as saying this book has changed my life. Time eating me alive has always been one of my biggest issues. Time now feels like less of a taskmaster and more of a personal tool.
I can't wait to see how I feel about time (and my accomplishments) once I've been practicing my new schedule for six months or longer.
P.S. I just found out there's a second edition, so I'll probably buy that one to get the updated features.