on 9 September 2012
I've bought books on Time Management before, in the hope of bring some order and organisation to a busy and somewhat chaotic life. I've always launched in with great optimism that the book will contain the key to getting more done, working more efficiently and never again losing that one, really important piece of paper that I need to find right now...I've always ended up disappointed. The promised efficiency never happened. The systems and rules never seemed to "fit". I could never maintain them for long.
So why did I buy this book, after such disappointing experiences? Because it seemed to offer something different.
I don't know the author well, but I have heard him speak at a conference and chatted to him there. I was impressed enough by his thoughtful, questioning outlook on life that I hoped this book would offer me a different kind of approach.
This is not primarily a book on how to be organised, or how to manage your time or your paperwork better, though it has plenty of practical things to say on these subjects. Rather, it is a book which will encourage you to think differently about time and priorities, to pay more attention to the decisions you make about your time, and why you make them.
This is not a book written by an expert, with all the answers you need in a nice neat package. It is a book written by someone who has made all the mistakes, fall into all the traps, and learnt enough from those experiences to have some wisdom to share.
When I first bought this book, I gulped it down in a weekend. (It's a short book, with approachable, "bite-sized" chapters, for those pressed for time). I can already feel it beginning to change my thinking and decision making in good ways. I'm now going to return to it, to read it much more slowly and let it sink in more deeply.
on 6 March 2013
This book is concise,well- written and full of good ideas. I particularly like its positivity, all the suggestions are do-able, it doesnt pretend to create supermen and women but ordinary, caring and grounded people who are doing the best that is possible. A very useful book for anyone's bookshelf not only for those in ministry.
on 24 May 2015
This is a brilliant book. Stephen Cherry now at Cambridge University is a good author who reaches into the depths of our psyche to explain connections between ourselves and God. In this book, he makes the point strongly that we are all often too busy to give ourselves the time and space to just listen for God's word and actions. It has encouraged me to a more attentive, reflective approach to prayer and changed my attitude to contemplative prayer.
on 29 May 2013
This very good book made me reflect on so many things - some of which have been hard to think about. That is good, and perhaps exactly what it's for. I was surprised by how many of the same priorities came up in my own work, well outside any sort of ministry. Perhaps the central idea, for me at least, is the importance of people and the absolute necessity of truly stopping and paying attention, and making that a priority. The importance also of making time for yourself - a recurring theme in the book, or perhaps just the one I heard. But I liked this very much. So often quite shallow (though real) reasons for this are suggested (such as the importance of taking care of oneself so that you can better take care of others), but here there is a deeper theme that is not really made explicit, but keeps appearing, about the true value of the quiet and centred self, beyond any of its duties, desires or weaknesses. Pretty good writing to make one conscious of that while the whole book is on the surface light, funny, self-deprecating and not a bit patronising. It is of course also impossible to ignore, because there are just so many ways one can think of brushing it all off - really and truly one is just too busy for any of this - but he has thought of them all and got there first. Darn.
I found too that the idea of ministry is very strong - the fellowship that ordination brings, the shared experience beyond the daily round. Not explicit in the book, but strongly present, and something that makes sense of what being human means (and an inkling of what it means to be a priest).
This is a really good book. I'm going to have to keep going back to it, and I expect to think slightly different things as a result each time. I can't think of a higher compliment actually
on 6 January 2013
A book with fresh insight, made up of short simple, reflective, challenging, yet inspiring, chapters for anyone in paid, particularly ordained, ministry.