There’s something about the leafless landscape and chilly days of winter. The cold wind jolts you into reality. Yes, 2014 did go by that quickly. And yes, we are already knee deep in a brand new year.
For me, closing a year requires a review of its events, both its failures and successes. New Year’s Day marked the mid-point of my seventeenth year as pastor of our church. The cumulative successes and failures of that role insist on being examined, too. All of this examining and soul searching leads to marking up next year’s calendar with every event and idea that I need to accomplish to make-up for the things I bungled or failed to get done in the previous seventeen.
We all know how that story will end.
(To read the rest of this post, click the READ MORE link below left)
So, I am always looking for something to help me get things done. Better systems, a better calendar, something I can automate or delegate, or permission to just ignore some things forever.
A few weeks ago, I ran across a book on time management called Juggling Elephants. I almost put it back on the shelf, but I wanted to see how time management could be taught by telling a story about attending a circus. So, I bought it. It became of the five books that most influenced my life in 2014.
If you’ve studied time management, I doubt that you will read anything in this book that you haven’t already seen somewhere else. However, the authors compare the tasks of life to all the events going on in a three ring circus. That comparison clicked with me and I have a better birds-eye-view of what is going on in my world. It’s strange: I’ve never been to a circus, but after reading this book, I can imagine myself sitting high in the bleachers and watching all the events of my life playing in the three rings below. This perspective has helped me to plan and organize more quickly and efficiently.
That short description understates the content of the book. As the story progresses (the entire thing is taught in story form), the authors introduce several concepts and practices that are essential to good time and task management. Having formerly taught seminars using the Who Moved My Cheese book, they do a great job in presenting these lessons in logical and simple progressions.
This book is not a heavy or intellectual read, but if you are interested in improving your ability to manage yourself and your duties, it is worth considering.
And for what it is worth, while I have never attended a circus, I live in the town where Emmett Kelly, Jr., was born.
This is one of the books I will be giving way this month! I will be selecting winners from those who have joined our email list. Sign-up, and tell your friends!