Friday, 2 November 2012

Book Review: Time Traps by Todd Duncan

You can't manage time but you can manage your thoughts, actions and tasks - that is the underlying premise of this powerful book. I read the book a couple of years ago and in a rare moment, I decided to read it again as I found I was often using the mantra of its premise and was seeking to find more ways to satisfy my desire to get a grip on the slippery slope of the balance between time and tasks.

The book is written with sales in mind though I didn't find this detracted at all from my personal context and I expect anyone who deals with many interactions with others will find it helpful.

The author talks the reader through a number of traps. The first is the identity trap. This is how when time is monopolised by our work we become our work - and thus how important it is to rethink time, to rebalance as part of regaining our personal identity. Secondly there is the organisation trap where the author suggests that most sales people are disorganised, out of control and say they lack the time to catch up. Well, that sound like a lot of the stories I hear from many people! And what I say sometimes as well!!! He suggests learning to stop all unnecessary tasks before they steal time, admit legitimate tasks onto your list of things to do, and make sure you know the difference between necessary and productive tasks. Then take action and assess how you're doing.

He also talks about the Yes trap, and then how to say No, or sacrifice more sales for the benefit of others. He has some interesting things to describe on the value of saying no. Then there is the Control Trap and the issues of letting go and learning to delegate. The technology trap should be familiar to those caught by their email, and for sale people he discusses the Quota trap. And if you're not trapped out yet, there is also the Failure Trap and the Party Trap.

I know this book changed how I felt about time and the management of it the first time I read it and certainly, the second time around, I was reminded to take some more detailed action steps.

Go to here to download a chapter or to carry out the self assessment on the eight traps.

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