Minimalism: Part 4 (Time Management)

When I read books about organization and minimalism, I was mostly focusing about space. It was only when the author in Organization from Inside Out spoke about time did I realize that I need to also organize my calendar. I should minimize time spent on unnecessary activities while focusing more on my long term goals.

I read plenty of books on time management recently and this post will be talking about all such books.

Here are the links to my other posts on minimalism:

Minimalism : Part 1 (Reduce)

Minimalism : Part 2 (Organization)

Minimalism: Part 3 (Planning)

When I wrote a post on Planning earlier, I had not done much research on time management. I started using a planner (Passion Planner) as mentioned in that post and that made my life very easy.

I read a bunch of books on the topic too.

I started my journey with “Listful Thinking” by Paula Rizzo. I had this book on my TBR from quite sometime. I had picked it in the bargain section at Barnes and Nobles as the title appealed to me. I am a list-maker and love making lists for everything. I got some more tips on how to write and maintain lists. She gave me some ideas about apps and stationery that I can use to keep my lists organized which was very helpful. If you are not into making lists, then you should definitely read this book.

I then read “I know how she does it” by Laura Vanderkam after seeing Shanaya Tales review it on her blog. Laura’s Ted talk had intrigued me and I wanted to try this book of hers to see if it would be useful to me. I am one of the target readers for this book as I am in a high-tech job which pays well but the hours are crazy. Because of the crazy hours where you have to login at night and work over weekends, I hardly found time to do activities which I want to do. There were so many times in my life when I felt I just can’t do it all. But this book was amazing and opened my eyes to the fact that there are women who do manage everything well. Looking at how these women plan their week, I realized even I can do it if I plan my week. This book was probably the best book on time management I have read so far. It was motivating and had some solid tips that have worked for other people.

After I read Laura’s book, I realized that I was wasting too much time on social media and on my phone idly browsing when I could be doing so much more. That’s when I picked up “Digital Minimalism” by “Cal Newport”. This book was amazing and I feel everyone should read it. Cal convinced me how bad social media was and how I should use my phone to do tasks that I want, instead of wasting time online. He gave plenty of tips on how we can achieve digital minimalism in our lives and I already implemented some of them. To begin with, I unfollowed most of my friends, groups, pages that I had no interest in following on Facebook. Now my timeline only shows what I am interested in seeing. I did not delete the apps from my phone but I have significantly reduced my screen time. I also started involving in other activities which have now replaced the time I spent browsing online. I stopped commenting, liking and talking to people virtually on social media now. I only use Instagram these days because I love photography and art and it provides me the motivation that I need in both those areas. I also deleted all the unnecessary apps on my phone.

Julie Morgenstern‘s book on Organization (of space) was amazing and I saw DVDs of hers in my local library. I watched the DVDs and was interested in reading her take on time so got the book – Time Management from Inside Out. It was amazing. Everything I saw on youtube or read in all the other books on time management was here, condensed in one book. She talks about looking at everything from 168 hours perspective (number of hours in a week), instead of 24 hours. Her tips were very practical and I have been implementing some of them in my planner. If you have a planner but are not sure how to use it, please do read this book. You can organize your time just like you organize your closet by preallocating a chunk of time to an activity so they are not that different after all.

I have been trying to exercise from last few years (ever since I had a baby) and have still not found time (or is it motivation?) to exercise. So I picked up “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. This book gives steps that you can follow to build a new good habit or to get rid of a bad habit. I found the ideas really interesting and want to build the habit of daily exercise. I still haven’t been successful in doing that but that is the goal for this year. By December, I want to reduce my body weight and should be exercising regularly. He talks about tracking habits and I have started doing that on my Passion Planner.

I also read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod since I want to develop the habit of waking early in the morning. I am not a morning person and have a hard time getting ready in the morning. But this book was not useful to me in any way. It was a pretty useless book.

The book that was helpful to me on the same topic was – “What the most successful people do before breakfast” by Laura Vanderkam. Unfortunately, this was a tiny book (almost like a long essay) so it did not have much content. But Laura does give us some tips on how we can be successful by waking up early in the morning. I still have not been successful in making my morning successful. But I am hopeful that I will be able to change into a morning person in the near future.

The most useful tip that I learned from all these books is that when you say “yes” to something, you are simultaneously saying “no” to 10 other things you could be doing at that particular time, so scheduling your time according to your goals and priorities is very important.

These are the planners and journals that I am currently using to track my time, space, life in general. I have TODO lists to which I can add something as soon as I remember and then forget about it. When the right time comes, I will handle the task. I can delegate tasks to my future self and stop worrying about forgetting to complete tasks. I can get rid of unimportant tasks and focus on what is most important. My stress levels have drastically reduced as a result. There are plenty of videos online that show how to use planners. Start using one, if you haven’t already.

I was searching for videos on how to use my planner effectively when I came across these videos about time management. Here are the links to some youtube videos that I found to be useful on this topic:

Have you read any other books on time management? How do you manage your time? Recommend some books and tips that have worked for you.

4 thoughts on “Minimalism: Part 4 (Time Management)

Add yours

  1. You are inspiring me also in this. Of late, I was getting this feeling that my efficiency had reduced. So, instinctively, I reduced the time I spend watching streaming TV and also removed a lot of apps, and unfollowed a lot of people on Instagram (which was a big time suck for me). Now that is done, I need to use that freed up time to do some valuable stuff and work a bit more smartly. I”ll check out I know how she does it. I think this will be useful for me.


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