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Posts Tagged ‘time management’

How to Save an Hour Every Day by Michael Heppell: Review

A Little on Heppell and His Style

Michael Heppell is quickly becoming one of my favorite non-fiction authors. I’ve also read and loved The Edge and How to Be Brilliant.

His language is fun, catchy and he doesn’t waste words. He knows you don’t have all the time in the world, and appreciates that.

Heppell’s books successfully refute any excuse you might have about improving any area of your life by providing real life examples both from his life, and lives of his clients (he’s a personal development expert that works with companies and individuals) and readers. He also gives examples from real life success stories of people we are familiar with. He renders it impossible to say it’s not in your hands. 

How To Save An Hour Every Day

 

Michael Heppell, how to save an hour everyday

Image via amazon.

How often do you wish every day had more hours? I know I have. Forget 25, I wouldn’t mind 250. But even though we can’t make days longer, we can feel like we have more time by making an hour available for an activity or task of our liking. We can achieve this by managing our time better.

How To Save an Hour Every Day was born out of Heppell’s own need for a good time management resource. However, what was available wasn’t simple, applicable and practical enough. So he delved into his own experiences, tips of his readers and clients, and hence created a book that is fun to read, and possible to apply – regardless of your marital status/lifestyle/job hours….etc.

We can see Heppell’s tips work when we look at his CV, popularity and number of bestsellers. But to get the best idea (and results), I strongly recommend the buying the book, reading it, keeping it as a reference and really applying stuff without trying to cheat.

The book covers:

-       Creating a strong enough why: This chapter explains why you won’t take action unless you feel obligated, and how you can feel obligated.

-       Overcoming procrastination  I don’t need to explain this one. :)

-       To Do or Not To Do, that’s the question: This section covers the problem with to-do lists, a very lucrative idea, priotizing and how to create not-to-do lists. I can’t stress the importance of the not-to-do lists enough.

-       Dealing with distractions: Freelancers and office employees might deal with different distractions, but both have a lot of them. Luckily, Heppell comes up with beneficial tips on how to take care of them.

-       Home: This part is about how to optimize the time we spend at home – and how we (should) spend it  with the people at home. This doesn’t just cover quality family time, but also booking holidays, managing your finances, technology, exercise and more. Needless to say, this is one of my favorite chapters, though I love the book as a whole.

-       Work: This is especially awesome for people with full-time jobs – complete with co-workers and bosses. It features tips on making meetings more efficient, optimizing your working hours and job description,  emails and more. Freelancers can of course apply most of the tips about delegation, meetings, people that take too much off your time…and more.

-       Advanced techniques:  There’re some more concentration-requiring techniques, including using your voice to command technology, increasing your reading speed and more.

-       Twenty-five extra ideas: These are the working ideas contributed by Heppell’s clients and readers. Take what applies, adapt and make them your own.

*

I recommend How to Save An Hour Every Day to everyone who wishes they had more time on their hands, but feels frustrated and stuck about the how.

Procrastination and distractions are universal problems, though as freelancers we probably need to deal with them even more regularly as we are our own bosses, and we are the ones responsible for all our working and free time.

You might think you have heard it all before, though I’m pretty sure you didn’t think of all of what’s suggested here, or at least you haven’t tried all the tips that might work. After all, you still have problems or at least desire improvements in this area, right?

Whatever you need more time for, this book gives you ideas to enable you to lead a more fun, productive and satisfactory life. Oh, and you could probably finish the book in an hour, especially if you’re good at speed reading.:)

 

More Useful Posts on Productivity and Time Management

Procrastination: Friend or Foe?

9 Productive Things Writers Can Do When They Have a Cold

How to Use Our Email Accounts Productively to Avoid Procrastination

Productivity for Writers: Tips to Increase Your Productivity During Hot Weather

 

How to Use Our Email Accounts Productively to Avoid Procrastination

This e-mail procrastination cartoon tells it all, doesn't it? Image via ytorf.com.

Many books have been written and chapters have been monopolized for time management. One of the most popular,m aybe even the most popular, procrastination activity of all times is reading and sending e-mails.

Sure, you can do your best to avoid scam. You can warn your friends against sending you weird chain emails that mean well but end up being nothing but time-wasters. You know those emails. It can be a collection of funny cartoons or jokes, or much worse, an e-mail in the form of a story or a greeting card that urges you to forward to as many people as you can.

I don’t get those emails often anymore, and I immediately delete the ones I get. But managing your inbox doesn’t end there. You have work e-mails, e-mails from friends, newsletters, notifications, offers and more.

Ideally, your work e-mail and personal e-mail are two separate accounts.  In this day and age, one email isn’t sufficient, especially if you are a freelancer.

But what about those newsletters? If you are working online, there is a big chance you want to keep up with the industry. You need to follow blogs. You updated need information. So you sign up for newsletters. You sign up for free e-books. But of course after signing up for 40 newsletters (it can and should happen if you are educating yourself in specific areas). But keeping up with the information you are receiving is a challenging activity. What you should do is to create many relevant folders so that you can store different things separately and you can return to them whenever you need.

Of course it doesn’t end here. You might also have chosen to be notified when someone comments on a blog post or article you commented upon. Someone might have commented on your article or blog. You need to keep up with these as well.

Timothy Ferriss is an established entrepreneur and blogger who tells you how to deal with all the distractions in your life in his book The 4-Hour WorkWeek. As the title suggests, the book is all about reducing your work week to a mere 4 hours. That’s right, not even your work day but your work week! It sounds implausible but he talks about everything in step-by-step detail. It is possible.

However, I am pretty sure I spend at least 4 hours a week, just checking and reading my emails. He suggests that you should only check your email only twice a day- once in the morning and once in the afternoon. And obviously he is talking about being done with the task quickly and efficiently. It is good advice but one we struggle at keeping. Surely, it can be done. But it  does takes patience, effort, and an e-mail checking diet. After all, which writer doesn’t want to see if she has published her recent article or heard from that publisher?

We writers do in fact have many work-related and significant reasons to have a love affair with our email accounts. But we can and should work on cutting the habit and maximizing our productivity. Organizing our e–mails, and not spending more than enough time on them, are good starting points to stop the e-mails from turning us into procrastinators.

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