The last stages of writing are always a challenge, I am learning. When a professional editor gets to grips with your text, you can be sure its shortcomings will out.
This, incidentally, is why I have eschewed the promise of the self publishing market of far higher revenues and the possibility of keeping up to 90% of that revenue for yourself. I’m sure that this is true, but the reality is that, no matter how good a writer you are, a professional and detached eye will always help you make improvements to your book and when that professional has the go/no-go decision on your book, there is no point in thinking you know best. It’s a discipline, I hate it, and it has made Brilliant Time Management a better book.
Of course, no one gets to second guess a blog, so I can enjoy writing what I like – as do millions of bloggers.
Anyway, to business. Thanks to my editor at Pearson Education, Sam Jackson, I have re-cast the opening of Brilliant Time Management, and also re-sequenced the chapters a little. Here, then, is the revised contents page.
Brilliant Time Management
Part 1: The Basics of Brilliant Time Management
Chapter 1: What is your Attitude to Time?
The theme of this chapter is ‘attitude’. It will introduce the three principle attitudes of past, present and future orientation, and you will learn how to create a sensible balance.
Chapter 2: Understand how you use your Time
The theme of this chapter is’awareness’. As you become aware of where your time goes, you can start to identify the time management problems you need to solve, and so recognise the solutions in this book that will help you.
Chapter 3: Six Fundamentals of Brilliant Time Management
The theme of this chapter is ‘fundamentals’. Here you will see six basic disciplines to practice, to bring your response to getting things done and using your time effectively under your control.
Chapter 4: Know what you are Doing things for
The theme of this chapter is’goals’. Effective time management must sit in the context of knowing what you want and this chapter will introduce powerful tools to show you how to identify your goals over short, medium and long term horizons.
Part 2: Work Effectively and avoid the Pitfalls that Steal your Time
Chapter 5: How to do things Effectively
The theme of this chapter is ‘effectiveness’. There are huge benefits when you focus precisely on one task, while there are also advantages to being able to tackle many things at once. We will explore the multi-tasking fallacy, the traps of both extremes of behaviour, and how to deal with one typical consequence: stress. We will also look at how you can be more effective in two crucial contexts where people commonly spend a lot of un-productive time: reading and meetings.
Chapter 6: Focus on Priorities to take control of your Time
The theme of this chapter is ‘priorities’. Understand the distinction between what is important and what is merely urgent. Avoiding the pressures to be busy-busy all the time or waiting until something is too late will allow you to focus on your priorities. This chapter will deal with time stealers, the drive to ‘hurry up’ and ways to conquer procrastination.
Chapter 7: When to keep going and when to let go
The theme of this chapter is ï¿½focusï¿½. Itï¿½s not just about getting things done; itï¿½s about sticking at the right things and dropping things that donï¿½t matter. This chapter is about making choices and letting go of the projects and ideas that do not fit into your future. You will also learn how the balance between work that is too challenging and work that is too easy can lead to peak productivity.
Chapter 8: Who are you Doing things for?
The theme of this chapter is saying ‘no’. Why do we do things for other people when we know they don’t really appreciate it? Some of us do it because we see burden as our role in life, while others just want to please people. Prioritise the calls on your time and make effective decisions so that you are doing things for you. Learn a new way to think about a vital skill: the ability to say ‘NO’.
Part 3: Ultimate Success in Getting Things Done
Chapter 9: Using other People to Get things Done
The theme of this chapter is ‘delegation’. Effective delegation is a classic part of your time management repertoire, so this chapter looks at it carefully, to understand why so many of us find it difficult and to give you a process and tools to support you in doing it well.
Chapter 10: The OATS Principle: The Ultimate Process for Brilliant Time Management
The theme of this chapter is getting your ‘OATS’. It will introduce you to a simple, powerful process, the OATS principle, for planning your time. This will be supported by tips and techniques to use the OATS principle effectively, and time management tools based on the OATS principle.
Chapter 11: The Three Things Exceptional Time Managers Do
The theme of this chapter is ‘planning’. This chapter will give a final review of the aspects of brilliant time management, drawing everything together with ideas about how to plan ahead, protect what you have and create time to think.