Friday, December 30, 2005

Time Management from the Inside Out

Now, you all know that I'm a fan of Julie Morgenstern's books on organizing. This is because I believe that the underlying philosophy is useful for just about any undertaking from accounting to volunteering, etc. And I happen to be doing some research on this topic for an article I'm writing.

So the book has got really good perspective on getting more done, and on feeling more zen about life in general. Now, you should go get the whole book if you find yourself interested in what you can do to be more productive, or if you have OCD tendencies ane wish you could just pick up an edge to your organizing activities. One reference she gives comes from Abby Marks-Beale, a corporate productivity specialist who helps busy people manage their time, reading and email. You can check out her website here.

How to Read a Sunday Paper
A daily edition of a big city newspaper contains approximately the same number of words as a typical novel. And the Sunday edition contains the same number of words as four to six novels! No wonder you may feel overwhelmed by reading an entire Sunday newspaper!

Truth – You CAN read an entire Sunday paper, if you are very judicious with how you spend your time.

Here’s an easy-to-follow process:

  • Get rid of the clutter: Start your process by getting rid of the unwanted circulars and sections that you don’t need or want to spend your time on. They get in your way and distract you. For me, I immediately remove the Real Estate section (unless I am looking to buy some), Help Wanted, and Sports (I get enough info from my husband and sons!)

  • Set it up for faster reading: Lay the newspaper flat out on a table with all the sections neatly underneath.

  • Organize the sections based on your interests: Looking at the cover page of each section, decide which ones intrigue you the most and prioritize them accordingly. This way, if you run out of time, you have read the sections of most value, to you.

  • Skim the headlines: Look for articles of interest. Disregard those you have no interest in.

  • Read the first few paragraphs: Most newspaper articles are written in an A-frame style: the most important, new information is upfront, then the other, unimportant or older news details follow.

  • Continue reading if you want more: If not, don’t! And for those that know the faster reading techniques in my book, use them to get through the text faster.

  • Now, I don't even do the hard-copy paper news thing and haven't seen it done since I was in high school, but the principles are really good for getting through my to-read file in a methodical manner.

    By Julie Morgenstern
    ISBN# 0805075909