A while ago, I read Charles Hobb’s book Time Power.

Warning: This book is out of print.

It was suggested to me by a friend/supervisor because I was having trouble meeting deadlines.  It was a book that he loved, and he had a lot of success by adopting the book’s system into his daily life.

The book includes a lot of content.  The author has some really interesting ideas about living a life that is congruent with your self-image and your long-term goals.  He does a very good job talking about high-level ideals and then helping you break it down into more day-to-day tasks.  Reading the book really helped me think about how I can get my life under control.

At the same time, the book includes all the “how-to” instructions for a solid Time Management system.  The system is very pencil & paper (rather than digitally-based) could either be seen as out of date, or as a purposeful choice.

One awesome nugget of wisdom that Hobb’s advocates is to separate priority from urgency.  This concept really changed how I think about different tasks that I need to do.  So you can classify your tasks according to how important they are as well as how quickly they need to be done.  A couple examples:

  • Paying bills would be high priority (very important) and also very urgent (as the deadline approaches).
  • Watching a new episode of a favorite reality TV show would be low priority (not important to your life goals) but very urgent (it’s on when it’s on!)
  • Investing money would be a high priority, but also low urgency (because there is no external deadline).

I found that the writing style in this book was also good.  Hobbs writes very clearly, and his tone is non-judgemental and he never condescends.

Overall it’s a very good book.

But in the end, this book didn’t change my life.  More recently, I’ve realized that my problem is with procrastination not with Time Management.  Although these two things are related, they are not the same thing (at least in my experience)… I’m awesome at coming up with plans.  I can divide a task into smaller tasks, and I can set deadlines for them.  I can even set-up Time Management systems like the one described in the book.  However, I’m sh*te at following through with these plans, and meeting the deadlines that I’ve created for myself.

So I really found this book interesting, and I highly recommend it to other people.  But it doesn’t deal with procrastination.