Time Management From the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule and Your Life

Overview

These days, we face no greater challenge in our personal and professional lives than organizing and managing our time. Now Julie Morgenstern, whose bestselling Organizing from the Inside Out has helped hundreds of thousands of people conquer the clutter in their lives, explains how to overcome the time challenge once and for all. Her groundbreaking from-the-inside-out approach helps you uncover your psychological strengths and stumbling blocks and create a time-management system...
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Overview

These days, we face no greater challenge in our personal and professional lives than organizing and managing our time. Now Julie Morgenstern, whose bestselling Organizing from the Inside Out has helped hundreds of thousands of people conquer the clutter in their lives, explains how to overcome the time challenge once and for all. Her groundbreaking from-the-inside-out approach helps you uncover your psychological strengths and stumbling blocks and create a time-management system that suits your individual needs. Let Julie show you how to
  • identify your personal preferences and styles
  • determine how long tasks really take
  • eliminate, delegate, and streamline tasks
  • stop procrastinating, once and for all
  • put an end to chronic lateness
  • stick to your schedule while maintaining flexibility
  • cope with the constancy of unexpected change

Time management is a skill that anyone can learn. Take control of your schedule, connect the activities of your daily life to your most important big-picture goals, and live the life of your dreams.

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Editorial Reviews

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Bookseller Reviews

Organizing guru Julie Morgenstern doesn't just treat time management symptoms; she retools the underlying mind set and habits. her counsel assumes that inevitably our personal preferences shape our approaches to problems, and that simply telling some one to streamline or delegate solves nothing. This advice is sensible and on target. The section on chronic lateness, for example, will probably be photocopied and distributed anonymously all over America.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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 space--and, 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")--the nitty-gritty of time management--to 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 place--even 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 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743517799
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 10/1/2000
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged, 2 cassettes, 2 hrs.
  • Product dimensions: 7.06 (w) x 4.56 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Read an Excerpt


1

A WHOLE NEW WAY

OF LOOKING AT

TIME MANAGEMENT

So what makes time management so difficult? It is my observation that the single most common obstacle people face in managing their days lies in the way they view time. Therefore, the very first step in taking control of time is to challenge your very perception of it.

MAKING TIME TANGIBLE

Most people think of time as intangible. In the journey from chaos to order, it is often easier to organize space than time, because space is something you can actually see. Time, on the other hand, is completely invisible. You can't see it or hold it in your hands. It's not something that piles up or that you can physically move around.

Time is something you feel, and it feels ... utterly amorphous. Some days go whizzing by, others crawl painfully along. Even your tasks seem hard to measure — infinite and endless in both quantity and duration.

As long as time remains slippery, elusive, and hard to conceptualize, you will have difficulty managing your days. You need to change your perception of time and develop a more tangible view of it. You need to learn to see time in more visual, measurable terms.

In my own journey to getting organized, my biggest breakthrough came when I realized that organizing time really is no different than organizing space. Let' s compare a cluttered closet to a cluttered schedule to see the similarities.

Cluttered Closet


Limited amount of space

Crammed with more stuff than storage

Items jammed into any available pocket of space, in no particular order

Haphazard arrangement makes it difficult to see what, you have

Inefficient in its use of organizing tools

Cluttered Schedule


Limited amount of hours

Crammed with more tasks than time

Tasks jammed into any available pocket of time, in no particular order

Haphazard arrangement makes it difficult to see what you have to do

Inefficient in its use of time-management tools

In other words, just as a closet is a limited space into which you must fit a certain number of objects, a schedule is a limited space into which you must fit a certain number of tasks. Your days are not infinite and endless. When you think of it this way, time is not so tangible and elusive. In fact, each day is simply a container, a storage unit that has a definite capacity you can reach.

Once you understand that time has boundaries, you begin to look at your to-dos much differently. Tasks are the objects that you must fit into your space. Each one has a size, and arranging them in your day becomes a mathematical equation. As you evaluate what you need to do, you begin to calculate the size of each task and whether you can fit it into the space.

When you start seeing time as having borders, just as a space does, you will become much more realistic about what you can accomplish, and much more motivated to master various time-management tools and techniques to help you make the most of your time.

If a cluttered closet and a cluttered schedule are the same, then organizing each is a very similar process. My first book, Organizing from the Inside Out, taught that whether you are organizing a closet, kitchen, office, or schedule, designing a system that lasts lies in always following the same three steps: ANALYZE-STRATEGIZE-ATTACK.

This book is a thorough examination of how the three steps of the organizing process apply to the particularities of time. Throughout, we will build upon this more tangible view of time, and show you how to arrange your schedule just as you would a beautifully organized room, one that reflects what's important to you. It will be easy to figure out where your time goes, and to find time for the important things in your life, because every activity and task will have a "home".

Copyright © 2000 Julie Morgenstern

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Power of Time Management 1
Part 1 Laying the Foundation
1 A Whole New Way of Looking at Time Management 9
2 What's Holding You Back? 19
Part 2 Analyze
3 Understanding Your Personal Relationship to Time 43
4 Developing Your Big-Picture Goals 59
Part 3 Strategize
5 Time Mapping: Creating Your Ideal Balance 79
6 Selecting a Planner That Works for You 109
Part 4 Attack
Introduction
7 Sort 141
8 Purge 159
9 Assign a Home 185
10 Containerize 195
11 Equalize 211
Appendix 219
Suggested Further Reading 223
Acknowledgments 227
Index 231
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