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Books on Business: If you have time, this book may help you save it

Sunday, April 29, 2001

By the Business Librarians at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

"Time Management From the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule -- and Your Life" by Julie Morgenstern. Henry Holt, 2000.

The author of the best-selling "Organizing From the Inside Out" offers hope to those who are frustrated because they feel their days are out of control. Ms. Morgenstern has devised a Time Map, a schedule template that will accommodate all of your activities and will help you balance the physical, mental and social aspects of your life.

The way in which time is viewed forms the basis of her strategy: Each day is simply a container, a storage unit with a defined capacity that can be reached. You will learn to estimate and calculate how long it takes to do certain tasks and to evaluate whether you actually have enough time to do them. Then you can plug them into your to-do list, arranged by urgency, by duration of the task, or by energy or interest level.

The author's SPACEpace formula is the key to organizing daily tasks: Sort potential tasks by category; purge whatever tasks you can; assign a home to tasks you have decided to do; containerize tasks to keep them within the time allotted; and equalize -- refine, maintain, and adapt your schedule. Specific ideas for solving problems such as frequent interruptions, unplanned events, procrastination, chronic lateness, and learning to saying "no," are helpful. A vital element for success is using only one planner to contain all your appointments and to-dos.

You'll need to invest time and effort to customize Ms. Morgenstern's time management model for your own personal situation, but the rewards could be great. Her goal is to have you focus on your "big picture" goals, so that you can accomplish what's most important to you in all aspects of your life. Helpful tips for getting and staying organized, along with an idea exchange, can be found at the author's Web site,

Other titles of interest:

"Evolve! Succeeding in the Digital Culture of Tomorrow" by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. Harvard Business School Press, 2001.

"Economic Aparatheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality and Insecurity" by Chuck Collins and Felice Yeskel. The New Press, 2000.

"Talking Money: Everything You Need to Know About Your Finances and Your Future" by Jean Chatzky. Warner Books, 2001.

Contact the business librarians, who also answer questions about business, money and work, at 412-281-7141 or at

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