Monday, December 13, 2010

Book Review: 168 Hours and Unclutter Your Life in a Week

Today I wanted to feature two excellent books that are perfect to read as the last days of 2010 lead into the bright new beginnings of 2011 and resolutions to be better are made and hopefully, this year, kept. Thease books give you the tools to get there.

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam

A lot of books out there discuss time management and how to achieve work/life balance. 168 hours is the best book I have read on this topic because it focuses on the core skill needed to achieve all this: prioritization. 168 hours is the number of hours in a week. The book is structured to help get the most out of those 168 hours.

Vanderkam ends each chapter with questions that help the reader focus on core competencies. Core competencies are the activities that give you joy, that you are really good at, and that you would not feel complete unless you were doing. One of the questions that really stuck with me was: If someone offered you $4 million, but you had to give up doing all of the current core competencies of your job, what one thing would give you pause? What is the one thing that it would be hard for you to never be able to do again because it gives you satisfaction or job? Program a computer? Provide help and guidance to someone? Fight a fire? Teach a child? What is that one thing? Because that is the thing you should be spending your time doing.

She also offers concrete suggestions for reworking your 168 hours. Some of her suggestions have been:

- Use those early rising morning with your kids as your quality time instead of beating yourself up for not being home at 5:00 pm.

- Use the time in the shower, the car, waiting in the car pool lane to mediate , pray and make gratitude lists.

I highly recommend this book. It is a must read for everyone.

Unclutter Your Life in One Week

Unclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin Doland is a fantastic book. It's more than just a simple organization book with tips like put things into bucket. She goes step by step through each room in your house and at your office on how declutter each space and make it more efficient in order to achieve a better, more peaceful life. She also tackles how to unclutter your schedule and even how to handle the holidays. I loved this book. I found her criteria for what to keep and what to re-evaluate tremendously helpful. A must read for anyone who needs some tools for organization both in their physical space and their schedule.

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