What’s amazing to me is that people spend so much time learning about “time management.” My attitude has always been that people should quit screwing around learning about “time management” and just spend their time doing stuff.
Nevertheless, I am currently reading David Allen’s Getting Things Done, as it comes highly recommended by various friends. My basic evaluation so far is positive, but I think most readers could save a lot of time by skipping much of the book.
Basically, the entire first part — the first 81 pages — boils down to two points.
1. To reach your goals, you need to define your goals and figure out effective ways to reach them.
2. You need a good way to process information related to your projects. You’re getting all sorts of ideas and information coming at you, all the time, from many directions. Moreover, you do a lot of good thinking at odd times. You need a good way to capture and organize all this information and all those ideas, so that you can effectively use them, and so that you can work in a more relaxed, enjoyable way.
Part 2, which I’ve just started, explains specifically how to accomplish the second point. I really don’t think I would have missed much if I had simply skipped the first part. It seems to me that much of effective time management is about figuring out what not to do.