I'm starting a new feature today. It is "Inspiration Friday," and because I am a right-brained creature through and through and I will get bored if I allow myself only one thing to post about, it is going to be a mish-mash. A mish-mash with a common theme–something that has inspired me the previous week. This might be a photo, a quote, a link to another blog post, or a round-up of all of these. Or it might be something completely different.*
This week it is a book called 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, by Laura Vanderkam. I saw this book at the Hudson Booksellers in the Nashville airport last week, didn't buy it, then got to the gate and sat there thinking about it and wished I had. So I walked all the way back up the concourse to grab it and I'm glad I did.
Vanderkam looks at time management in a new way. This book is not just nuts-and-bolts strategies to gain more time and be more efficient, it goes further than that to look at a bigger picture. For instance, she examines the common assumption that we're all stressed for time and realizes that part of this is an illusion. People who self-report on how many hours they work a week often skew the numbers up, for example. So though it is commonplace to hear that successful people work 60 hours a week, in truth, the numbers are actually lower.
The author urges us to look at our "core competencies" and find ways to spend most of our working day performing them. For me, my core competency is writing. And yet there are days when I spend the bulk of my time emailing or calling or doing other jobs related to writing but not actually writing.
I'm only halfway through the book and it has already had a big impact on me. I'm currently reading a section called "Anatomy of a Breakthrough," about what it takes to achieve those fabled "overnight" successes. Good stuff. This is a book that I think is going to continue to influence me, and I recommend you check it out.
And stayed tuned to find out what inspired me next week. In the meantime, what inspired you this week? Please tell.
*I promise, though, no clown pictures. Like the one here, in case you need a reminder. Or here. Honest, that's it. Except for this one. Or this one. Okay, really, I'm done now. This blog is now a clown-free zone.
I snitched the photo of the book cover from Laura Vanderkam's website, but since I am promoting her book, I hope she doesn't mind too much.