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Posted April 29, 2001
A recent survey reported that the average working woman in America puts in an 85 hour week between her job and home chores. Many career-obsessed men also spend that amount of time on work, commuting, and travel combined. While I have read many books on how to be more successful at work, this is the first one I have read that works on your effectiveness while reducing your hours and stress. I found it relaxing to even contemplate the subject. The author speaks from her own experience, having gone from being an active head of her own real estate investing activities for 15 years to successful, best-selling author of five previous books. In the process, she cut her work week down to 30 hours . . . and eventually quadrupled her income in the process. She reports that recent Yankelovich surveys show that 80 percent of people approve of those who put their families ahead of work, half of the people have taken jobs that allow them to get more time away from work, and one-fifth changed jobs for lower-paying employment in exchange for more free time. There is no doubt in my mind that if you follow through on even 10 percent of what she suggests you will spend less time working, feel better, and be a lot more fun to be around. The book is organized into seven sections, comprised of 85 individual concepts. The seven sections are: (1) Cutting back on the amount of time you work (2) Learning to seize blocks of time in ways that allow you to have more time to get things done (3) Being more productive when you are working (4) Being more productive in your relationships with people while working (5) Being more effective with the money you earn and save (6) Changing the way you work to provide more flexibility (7) Changing the way you think about work. Like many books filled with lots of lists, the materials are complete enough for anyone in somes cases (like stop working weekends), while much less than what you need in other cases (making better decisions, starting a business, and improving your money management). In the latter cases, I suggest that you also read books about personal decision making (such as 'Smart Choices') and improving your finances (like 'The Finance Doctor') that have a bit more meat on them. You can obviously go on to more advanced material as your interest and expertise grow. In a few sections, you are encouraged to use 'body-mind' techniques based on meridians (accupuncture points). These I will leave it up to you to assess. I have no experience here to draw on. I would suggest that you add meditation to the list of what is encouraged here. I also think that those who would just like less stress will find this book helpful, even if you don't want to cut down your work week. A good complementary book for women is 'Outsmarting Female Fatigue.' For those sections that were complete enough on their own that no further reading is needed, I was impressed by how many included sample dialogues that you can use to help you negotiate changes in your workplace. Most people will benefit from that kind of help. We often say 'yes' because weWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 2, 2001
In the early pages of this book, Ms. James invites us to learn how to simplify our work life so that we have more time to live, and she certainly delivers! From cutting back our work hours, to switching jobs for improved lifestyle, Simplify Your Work Life offers hope for the overworked masses. I really enjoyed reading all the insightful statistics included in the book because they revealed so much about our society and its expectations-- we have longer work days but crave more time with our family. Beyond a philosophical book which labels the problem, Simplify Your Work Life provides multiple solutions for loving our work and living with less. This book is a must read for anyone suffering from office overload.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.