AReview of the Book “Real-World Time Management” Authored byMichael Dobson and Roy Alexander
Thebook was written by Michael Dobson and Roy Alexander and published bythe American Management Association in 2009. However, the two authorsdid not provide information about their qualifications andeducational background. This makes it difficult to assess theirqualifications to write the book.
of the book
Thebook “Real-World Time Management” is divided into five partswhere the first part contains two chapters, the second part containssix chapters, the third part contain five chapters, the fourth parthas three chapters, and the last part has two chapters.
Thefirst part gives readers a new perception of the nature of time.Alexander & Dobson (2009) inform that time is a resource, but itdiffers from other types of resources since it cannot be reduced orincreased. In the second chapter, Alexander & Dobson (2009)explain how differences in the way people manage their time resourceleads to different levels of achievements. The ability to makepriorities and set goals is the key factors that bring somedifferences in the manner in which people manage time.
Inpart three, Alexander & Dobson (2009) emphasize on thesignificance of making a list of all activities that needs to be donebefore allocating time for each activity. However, each task shouldbe reviewed for necessity, appropriateness, efficiency, andeffectiveness. Setting aside some time for planning, what the authorscall a “quite hour” on a daily basis ensures that no time goes towaste. A sensible plan for the management of projects should takeaccount of different time requirements for small and medium projects.Project managers should focus more on effectiveness (whether theproject should be done anyway) instead of paying more attention toefficiency or how well they can do it. Although many people findthemselves with more tasks than the available time, Alexander &Dobson (2009) states that allocating time for physical exercise andavoiding taking office work home cam protects people from gettingstressed up. When faced with a situation that one is required tofulfill more than one obligation that cannot be postponed, anindividual should make the right decision by weighing the possibleconsequences of avoiding all obligations and eliminate those withless harmful outcomes.
Thethird chapter gives advice on how time wasters can be handled in theorganizations and at an individual level. For example, one can savetime by attending them with a controlled time plan canceling meetingswithout a controlled timeframe. A proper delegation of work helpmanagers and time planners achieve more than they would have achievedwhen doing the entire job alone. In addition, effective communicationensures that instructions are well understood, which increasesefficiency. Procrastination is common in human life, but people tendto postpone tasks for different reasons, including the fear offailing or getting started.
Thefourth part provides an advice on how people can control tools thatare likely to encourage time wasting if they are not utilizedproperly. For example, the telephone should only be used to make thenecessary conversations. In addition, a proper management ofworkstations and efficient application of necessary technologyincreases efficiency at places of work.
Thefifth part advises readers on how they can control travel time. Forexample, Alexander & Dobson (2009) state that managers may beable to save time by inviting client to visit them instead ofvisiting the client every time. Managers can also save time bymatching their time with the global time.
Inoverall, the book is well organized and content flows in a mannerthat readers can follow from one idea to the next one. In addition,the authors managed to use relevant examples for each topic, whichmakes it easy to comprehend what they intend to communicate. For aninstant, the example of the interaction between Moses and Jethro, hisfather in law, where Jethro advised him on the significance ofsharing duties with the elders helped the authors emphasize on theimportance of delegating duties to their juniors.
AlthoughAlexander & Dobson (2009) managed to offer practical tips on howpeople and organizations can manage time, they seem to discourage theuse of the open door policy, which denies the management theopportunity to enhance their problem solving skills and empower theirjuniors (Francis, 2014). In addition, the book has numerousplatitudes that have been recited for many years, which makes itboring. An example of platitudes includes a statement, “time (oncelost) could never be recovered” (Alexander & Dobson, 2009).Vague statements and overly growing testimonials are not common inthe book.
Personally,I would keep and recommend the book to others for two major reasons.First, the book outlines clearly the benefits (such as time saving)that managers can get from effective delegation of duties to juniors.I believe this is one area that many people fail in and end up doingwhat their juniors should be doing (Claessens, Eerde, Rutte &Roe, 2007). Secondly, the book gives clear examples of how technologyand phones can wastes one’s time. This clears a generalmisconception that technology will always increase efficiency andsave on time. The book “Real-World Time Management” may be usefulto any person because it provides advice on time management anindividual and the organizational levels, but managers can benefitmore by reading it. This is because the book discusses the timemanagement techniques and barriers (such as time wasting meetings andphone calls) that affect nearly all organizational managers in thecontemporary business environment.
Thebook “Real-World Time Management” addresses one of the mostcritical issues, which is the management of time. Time is consideredto be the scarcest type of resource. Therefore, managers andindividuals who will take the advice of the book will be able toutilize other types of resources within the time resource that isavailable to them. Although the book has several platitudes, there isa lot that its readers can learn and enhance their time managementskills.
Alexander,R. & Dobson, S. (2009). Real-Worldtime management (2ndEd.).Washington, DC: American Management Association.
Claessens,J., Eerde, W., Rutte, G. & Roe, A. (2007). A review of the timemanagement literature. PersonnelReview,36 (2), 255-276.
Francis,K. (2014). Opendoor policy in business.Santa Monica: Demand Media.