The Busy Fool Meets Father Time: Time Management in the Information Age Paperback – 1 Sep 2002
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Paperback, 1 Sep 2002
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The Busy Fool Meets Father Time is a fable in the tradition of The One Minute Manager and The Wealthy Barber. Taking a working vacation from his more cosmic duties, Father Time visits Earth to try to restore calm to the frenetic pace of the Information Age. As his test case, he takes on Stu and Mary Meldorph, two upwardly mobile and somewhat overwhelmed professionals who have two young daughters. Using humor,confrontation and flattery, FT, as he calls himself, helps Stu and Mary deal with the diverse array of demands on their time at work and at home. They (and readers)learn practical techniques that enable them to stay focused, get comfortable saying "No," and to balance their personal and professional lives. The Busy Fool Meets Father Time is a quick and amusing read, loaded with useful ideas.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
After reading the first chapter of Busy Fool, though, I nearly tossed it aside as being unbearably condescending and childish. After all, it does begin like a fairy tale. I stuck with it, though, and I'm glad I did!
Without giving too much away, the premise is that Father Time (F.T.), a wise but crotchety old guy very reminiscent of Mel Brooks, undertakes the challenge of reforming a rather scatterbrained businessman with respect to improving his time management skills. F.T. does so by introducing one concept at a time to his pupil, and allowing the businessman to enhance it with some ideas of his own. Each suggested concept is examined critically, which is an approach not typically seen in such books as this.
What was so valuable about this book was that it does NOT overwhelm you with a huge list of behavioral changes you must make in order to "learn" time management. Nor does it portray non-use of time management strategies as morally reprehensible, as most other books do. It allows the reader to pose the question to him or herself, "What do I really want to accomplish, and is my behavior consistent with those goals?"
Since each time management "tool" suggested in the book is introduced in prototype form, there's plenty of room for you to adapt it to your personal needs. Also, you get to watch the characters fumble through attempts to apply the tool, so you don't get inundated with too many suggestions at once. I found I remembered nearly all the suggested tools put forth in the book and was able to apply most of them in some form after reading it. The novel format helps the reader to retain the concepts.
In summary, this is the rare how-to book that you can actually read all the way through before deciding which suggestions to use for yourself and how to implement them. In fact, you just may find yourself implementing some of the suggested time management tools without even having made a conscious effort to do so!
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