The Power of Slow by Christine Louise Hohlbaum
The byline of the book The Power of Slow says ‘101 ways to save time in our 24/7 world’. I honestly do not think I need any time-saving tips. As I usually have all the time for all things that I want to do. So why did I pick up this book to read? I think it is the SLOW in the title that made me read this. I do think I, like most people in today’s world, need to slow down. Even if it only means to slow down to ask yourself – Why am I running? And What am I running after? I expected it to tell me the reasons and then the ways to slow down.
It turned out to be a complete time management book. That gives you exactly 100 tips. 10 in each of the 10 broad categories. 101st tip tells you that you have the power of choice to choose what you do with your time. Some of these you would know, some you would be practicing. But most of them you would know but may not practice. Like all self-help books, this also re-iterates with examples the importance of being in control of your time. And hence get the most out of it.
What I liked about the book was the way the author tells you to establish a relationship with time. Given the same task to be done in the same amount of time, some people would feel rushed. Some would be relaxed. And some would be balanced between these two extremes. Now, how you behave is your relationship with time. If you are rushed even when there is ample time available, you probably think you have to win over time. And will never have enough time to do all that you want to do. If you are too relaxed that could mean you keep pushing things till they become urgent. And you are not left with any other option but to do them. Being balanced that we all know is the best way is not the natural style of most of us.
I also liked the fact she tells us not to treat time as money. Though we must choose our own relationship with time. For some it is God, for some, it is a flow, for some a box and for some yes it is something that must be converted into money.
She also relates the time to communities or cities than just individuals. She mentions an amusing study where the speed of the city was measured through three variables – Accuracy of the public clock, pedestrian speed and post office speed. This study was done only in few developed countries and it seems Switzerland was the fastest and Singapore the slowest. I would have wanted a bit deeper dwelling into this as the place we live in also has an impact on our mental concept of time.
Some of the advice is obvious like try to minimize multitasking and focus on the task at hand. Free yourself from addictive behaviors that eat up a lot of your time. Learn to say No when you want to. Do not procrastinate. Have regular and if possible frequent time outs, manage expectations, focus and whenever possible delegate and not try to do everything yourself. Lastly, this has been written primarily for the American audience. So if you do not live in America or let’s say the developed world, you may find some things not as applicable to you or not as relevant to you.
Read The Power of Slow, if you think you have a problem with your time if you are always running out of it.