“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff that life is made of.” – Benjamin Franklin
I’m a sucker for books about time management. With each new book comes the hope that I will find the key to managing my time efficiently making it possible for me to accomplish everything on my to-do list with time to spare for all the other things I want to do.
While I realize that there is no book in existence that is going to answer all of my time management issues, I do recommend an E-book that I recently read on this topic. The book I’m talking about is Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule so You Can Live Free (affiliate link) by Amy Lynn Andrews.
I read this book in November, and I’m still implementing some of its suggestions. That’s always a good sign if I’m still using advice from a time management book several months after reading it.
Why this time management book?
The book is a quick read and includes various activities to work through while reading. I did all the activities as I read, which helped me to implement the author’s suggestions.
The most helpful activity for me was using a grid to determine which of my activities are negotiable and which are non-negotiable. The next step was to determine whether those activities had a fixed time or a flexible time. For example, church attendance is a non-negotiable activity for me, and it occurs at a fixed time. Cleaning my house is also a non-negotiable activity (at least in theory), but the time frame for cleaning is flexible.
The thing that I learned (and this is the part that was worth the $2.99 purchase price for me) is that most of my activities that I consider to be non-negotiable–things like cleaning, sewing for my business, Bible reading, grocery shopping, menu planning–do not have a fixed time in which they must be done. Because they can be done anytime, I was in the habit of putting them off until a more convenient time. That convenient time often never presented itself, and lots of the things that are important to me were slipping through the cracks and not getting done.
In order to fix this, I followed the instructions in the book for setting up a schedule. It seems like a simple solution, that idea of assigning times to some of those non-negotiable activities, but it’s a solution I hadn’t thought of on my own.
After reading the book, I spent some time working and re-working my schedule, setting up times for me to work on my sewing business and times for me to keep up with house cleaning chores. I’d like to say I follow it religiously, but I don’t. My life, like most everyone else’s, will never be totally predictable. We all have to be flexible. But having a schedule has been extremely helpful for me, especially in the area of my sewing business.
In my next blog post, I’ll share some of my new schedule with you. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a good little book about time management, you might want to check this one out.