Book Review: Time Management Ninja

timeTitle: Time Managment Ninja
Author: Craig Jarrow
Genre: Nonfiction/Self-help
Publisher: Mango
Publication Date: September 15, 2019
Pages: 236
Format Read: Audiobook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Library Hoopla app
Date finished reading: January 30, 2020

Goodreads Description: Time management made simple and easy

Fans of The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy, and 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington will love Time Management Shouldn’t Take Time.

More time, stress relief, and relaxation: You want more time in your life. Time to spend with family, to achieve big goals, and to simply enjoy life. Yet, the world we live in is busier and changing faster than ever before. More things competing for your time, and more distractions interrupting your day.

Simple and practical time management: You have tried to manage your time better but have found that most time management systems and tools are too complex. Or they are too unwieldy to be effective or sustainable. Time management shouldn’t be difficult, and it shouldn’t take up more of your precious time than it gives back!

Easy tools, rules, and tactics: Craig Jarrow has been there, too. However, after spending many years testing time management tactics, tools, and systems and having written hundreds of articles on productivity, goals, and organization, Jarrow discovered a simple truth. Time management should be easy.

More productivity and less stress: It is only when you simplify your approach that you can rise above the busyness and chaos of our fast-paced society. Time Management Shouldn’t Take Time offers “21 Rules” that will show you an easier and more effective way to take control of your time and manage your busy life. If you follow these simple principles, you will get more done with less effort. You will have less stress and more time to do the things you want to do.

No-stress, uncomplicated time management that works

My Review: At the start of every year, I love bingeing on self-help audiobooks, especially ones that discuss organization and time management. I feel it puts me in a good frame of mind to tackle my yearly goals and have a successful year. I’ve already listened to The 5 Love Languages and Spark Joy this year.

Here are the 21 Tips that the author suggests for better time management:

  • Tip 1: Take time to make time. Take the time to create a schedule. This will help you manage your time and prioritize.
  • Tip 2: Have these four items. These items can be physical or digital versions. You can combine these items but don’t have more than one of each.
    • To-do list
    • Notebook
    • Calendar
    • Address book
  • Tip 3: To-do list = best friend. Take it everywhere.
  • Tip 4: Make appointments with yourself and your work.
  • Tip 5: Write things down now so you don’t forget about it later.
  • Tip 6: Have a plan then prepare.
  • Tip 7: Get up earlier.
  • Tip 8: Complete tasks fully and don’t put off tasks. 
  • Tip 9: Put things away right away, so you always know where items are.
  • Tip 10: ABC method of cleaning. Clean regularly to avoid big time-consuming messes.
  • Tip 11: Complete one task a day that you keep putting off.
  • Tip 12: Never confuse busy with productive. Stay focused on your prioritized tasks.
  • Tip 13: You can’t finish if you don’t start.
  • Tip 14: You are stronger than you think. Believe that you can accomplish what you want to accomplish.
  • Tip 15: You are what you do today and everyday.
  • Tip 16: Use your tech for good not for evil. The average person checks their phone over 150 times a day.
  • Tip 17: Make choices or life will make them for you. Make timely decisions.
  • Tip 18: Passion makes you more productive.
  • Tip 19: Let it be. You can’t do it all.
  • Tip 20: Don’t create your own life friction. This can happen through forgetfulness or procrastination.
  • Tip 21: Live your life or you won’t have one. Your time is yours. Make sure you use time to do what you want to do.

This is a great beginner’s guideline to time management. I try very hard to utilize time management skills in both my work life and my home life. I don’t know how I would exist without my notebook/daily to-do list. I have a different method in relation to the to-do list than the author discusses. The author stresses that one should just have a single to-do list. I disagree with that. I feel very strongly about keeping my work and home life separate. I have a work to-do list that I leave at the office, and a personal/home life to-do list that I have with me everywhere (Tip 3). The author also is highly against disposing of the previous day’s to-do list, but I am not. I believe each day should start fresh. I don’t want a written reminder of the things I did not accomplish the day before. I normally just move those tasks to a day in the future.

Realistically, I never accomplish everything I want to accomplish. Sometimes I realize that my daily expectations are just too high – like the author mentioned. However, for the most part, to-do lists and time management do not allow for the flexibility of life when things just come up – and they often do. The author talks about it being okay to just say “no” when people ask things of you that you just don’t have time for, but that is not necessarily how life works or relationships for that matter. I am fortunate to be married to a man who loves to cook. This opens up time in my evenings for me to accomplish other tasks, but if he calls me and says that a work meeting popped up so he won’t be home in time to prepare dinner, I need to arrange my time to take care of that task, whether I planned for it or not. Sometimes things just pop up.

Here is my own personal helpful tip that goes along with the author’s Tips 1, 6 & 9. At the end of every night, I allow myself 5-10 minutes to put things away that may have been left out (Tip 9) and to prepare for the next day (Tips 1 & 6). This preparation is making sure that my work bag is packed with everything I need and my to do list is ready for the next day. This makes the beginning of my day start strong with a clear vision of what needs to happen, because as much as Tip 7 sounds good in theory, I doubt I will ever accomplish that, nor am I sure I want to. I really like my sleep time.

One area that the author stresses a lot throughout the book that I personally struggle with is using technology to solely help accomplish daily tasks and goals. I still spend more time browsing news topics or looking at Facebook, etc. than I would like. These are hard habits to kick.

How do you feel about time management? Do you have any time management tips of your own that you would like to share?

One idea that I am personally struggling with lately is that if I live by my lists and plan out all my time, is that truly living life? When does having this kind of structure become too confining? What do you think?

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

“Live in the present. Note the past. Plan for the future.”

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