Review: Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern

One of my favorite lectures from residency was on “Unchangeables.” This list of core characteristics, thought to be unalterable, included such things as empathy, sense of aesthetics, sense of direction, being a “reader”, organizational ability, and sense of time.  With the permission afforded me by this list, I have spend many years indulging in “tardiness.”  I would tell myself, “I can’t help being late, I have an imperfect sense of time.”   I routinely get lost in activities and lose track of time, or miscalculate how much time a particular activity will take, and I am always late.  This defect in my “sense of time” has caused a great deal of consternation in our family as I am married to a man with a perfect sense of both time and organization. Needless-to-say, he doesn’t buy into my excuse nor does he care about “timeliness” being an unchangeable.  So in an attempt to maintain peace and harmony in our home, I went in search for the seemingly impossible: a way to become aware of time.

What I found was a book: Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern. Ms. Morgenstern promises a “foolproof system for taking control of your schedule and your life.”  What she delivers is a system of time organization that takes into account the individual’s quirks and shortcomings.  She begins by having the individual do a “three level diagnostic” looking for particular obstacles, then teaches several pneumonic driven “take-charge” programs (WADE: write it down, Add it Up, Decide, Execute your plan; the 4 D’s: Delete, Delay, Diminish, Delegate).  Ms. Morgenstern’s strength lies in her organizational expertise and she applies her strategies adeptly to “time.”  While I will likely always struggle with accurately predicting how long it will take me to do a particular thing, it’s encouraging to learn and implement some strategies to prevent my particular time management challenges from derailing my entire day.  If you find yourself frustrated at the end of the day, asking where the time went, this may be the book to help you “Analyze, Strategize, & Attack” your way into better time management.

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