Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Use Your Limited Supply with Wisdom

While you may not think about it, we have a commodity with limitations: time. Each of us have a finite amount of it yet some people appear to be more productive than others.

I love the title of Bob Bly's book, Make Every Second Count. I've known some productive writers and they tend to be experts at time management.

I've always been an observer of productive writers. Many years ago I interviewed one of these writers. During our session, I had to pause my recorder for a few minutes, excuse myself and take a quick bathroom break. When I returned to the room, this author was not waiting patiently for my return. Instead, he had grabbed those few moments to work on one of his on-going projects and make productive use of the minutes. To some people those actions might have appeared impatient but I could see the productivity.

Back to Make Every Second Count, in the opening pages, Bob Bly says,"How you use your time is largely up to you. Make Every Second Count shows you how to transform time from an enemy into an ally--and become the master of your time, rather than its slave. The best time to start? Right now." (Page 10-11)

Each chapter is packed with specific advice whether you need help with speeding up your work habits, setting goals, saving time and money when you travel, increasing your personal efficiency, using technology to save time, effective networking online, going mobile, delegating outsourcing, getting organized or managing information overload, this book contains something for everyone.

I learned a great deal from it and highly recommend this book as a valuable resource for everyone.

As with any book, the key action step is to apply the instruction into your every day life. Just look at this series of tips in Chapter 13 on Managing Information Overload (and who isn't in this category?):

1. Be selective.

2. Subscribe to a customized/ news/ data service.

3. Get your voice mail under control.

4. Reduce your email correspondence.

5. Protect yourself. Refuse to accept information input you deem unimportant or irrelevant.

6. To overcome this threat to your personal productivity, be highly selective in what you scan, browse, acquire and otherwise take in.

7. Specify your content level. Frequently people communicating with you give you much more information than you need to make a decision.

8. Cleanse and purge frequently.

9. Combine information input with another activity.

10. Know when you have enough information. (pages 202–205)

Not all of these points standalone but give you an idea of the valuable information in this book.

Bob Bly is one of the most prolific writers that I know. Whether you are unpublished or much published, you can gain from reading Make Every Second Count.

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