Saturday, November 22, 2008

Good Morning, The Complete Idiot's Guide To Managing Your Time

Italian panel depicting Charles Darwin created ca. 1890, on display at the Turin Museum of Human Anatomy.

The Complete Idiot's Guide To Managing Your Time by Jeff Davidson

This morning I finished reading The Complete Idiot's Guide To Managing Your Time by Jeff Davidson. This is a practical book. What people want to know about these kinds of books is not whether the book itself is good and easy to read, but whether they would get something worthwhile out of reading the text. By the way, the book is easy to read, although it is a bit formulaic.

The main concept that interested me was the idea that your desk is like an aircraft carrier, it needs to be completely swept clean of everything before you put anything down on it. This way, there are no distractions when you are working on something. I never thought of it like this. I always had piles of paper on my desk. I did not think of them as being distracting, but that is how I am.

Now, I kind of understand why people think people are more productive if they have an absolutely clean desk. The funny thing is that the time I see most people cleaning their desk is just before they go on vacation when they will be doing nothing. It is kind of perturbing.

The book reinforced some of my habits. I try to get enough sleep every night, I don't always succeed, but I try. I always take my lunch hour and try to take my scheduled breaks. I know I will not work as well if I don't. I also believe in doing one thing at a time consistently every day, day after day. Right now, every day, I am taking time to order books, weed books, check the displays, and make sure the area I am in is clean and orderly. I also try to take lunch outside. This gives me a slight breather from being in the building.

I think the book would be useful for most people in some way or other to learn about time management. It is not just about managing time, it is also about how not to get overwhelmed by the office. How and when to say no, when to take vacations, how to be orderly, and how to make decisions quickly.

Good Morning

This is the kind of review that makes you want to go out and buy the book. Review of Your Hatemail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008 by John Scalzi. . I am rather surprised that I have never received any truly dreadful hatemail for writing this blog. I have been contentious at times, but nothing which is dreadful.

The library is having its book and bake sale today November 21 and November 22. I went downstairs to the community room to buy a cup of coffee from The Friends of the Library. It was a rather genteel environment. They were playing I Got My Thrill on Blueberry Hill by Louis Armstrong on the CD Player. There was a nice assortment of baked goods next to the coffee which was 75 cents. I looked around at some of the books. There were a few nice art books, which people might buy. A retired librarian runs the Friends of the Library sale. I thought the best selection was in the childrens books.

Prince of Stories, The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman, Hank Wagner, Christopher Golden & Stephen R. Bissette came in for me to read. It is a fresh new book. There is a foreword written by Terry Pratchett. The book is a doorstopper. It is 545 pages long.

I am also going to try and read The Collins Best Practices series of business books: Managing People Secrets to Leading for New Managers, Difficult People Working Effectively with Prickly Bosses, Coworkers, and Clients, and Hiring People, Recruit and Keep the Brightest Stars. These are short concise books which look practical.

I went and gave instructions for the Job Information Center books to be taped and labeled, weeded some more books in the social sciences, and did a few miscellaneous tasks to make sure everything was in order before I left for vacation.

I changed the floor display from "energy issues" to books on globalization and the issues surrounding globalization; free trade, fair trade, immigration, NAFTA, hegemony, the rise of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), and other large things. I am hoping that people will like the books.

I sometimes feel a little nervous before I go on vacation, that there will be some mistakes that will happen. I can be a bit cautious about these things.


NathanKP said...

I agree with the advice about cleaning everything off your desk before starting. I'm bad about this because I tend to have stacks of books all around my laptop and piles of homework for my college classes. But I find when I clean everything off it makes my whole work much less stressful.

Nathan - Inkweaver Review

Book Calendar said...

It seemed a bit easier to do my work today.