Author: Mark Forster
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
In this readable book, Mark Forster attempts to show people how to “achieve a day’s work in one day”.
Being a bit weak on time management, I tried his principles. These include having a clear vision about what you’re going to achieve, and only doing one thing at a time.
Principle five, which I found most useful, is about putting limitations on your work, so you know when you’ve finished. He suggests, rather than the traditional ‘to do’ list, you develop ‘closed lists’, with a number of things to do, and a line underneath. After this, you’ve completed your work.
Having tried many of the exercises, I became aware of how many things I did during the day additional to my list. Forster says you should list everything you do – from answering personal e-mails and getting sidetracked by Amazon, to washing up (I work from home) or spending 15 minutes chatting to a salesperson. I was amazed when I realised how easily distracted I was. And sometimes, this is because we don’t really want to get on with the things on the list.
Forster says our brains put up resistance to things we don’t want to do, and we get sidetracked. The way to deal with this is to say to ourselves: “I’m not going to do this report now – but I’ll just get out the data and the minutes for the last meeting.” The brain, thinking that nothing is going to happen on the report, drops its resistance and suddenly, you find you’ve made a start on the report.
Amazingly useful tips – I’m converted from being someone who thought that time management books were a waste of time.
Useful? Four out of five stars
Well-written? Four out of five stars
Practical? Four out of five stars
Inspirational? Four out of five stars
Value for money? Four out of five stars
Overall? Four out of five stars
Reviewed by Karen Drury, partner, Fe3 Consulting