Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Book Review: "The Power of Slow" by Christine Holhlbaum

As many of you know, I am a big fan of the book The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World" This is my book review from Amazon published yesterday on "The Power of Slow" by Christine Holhbaum:

5.0 out of 5 stars
A Fresh, Modern Look at Slowing Down and Befriending TimeNovember 16, 2009

Is it possible to create time abundance? To cultivate an attitude of experiencing time as slow, time as a friend...as there being more than enough time to accomplish everything that the day should hold? I think that it is possible, and this is what I'm doing, thanks to this wonderful book that takes a fresh and practical look at befriending time and slowing down your life.  

Unlike many of the books I've read on this subject, this book goes beyond the philosophy of time abundance and the whole Slow Movement and into practical and concrete ways of implementing mindfulness and the philosophy of slow with a special emphasis on different ways of dealing with technology and information overload. The book covers useful, modern issues such as cell phone multi-tasking, creative ways of handling call-waiting, dealing with time suckers and addictive behaviors, delegating, managing expectations, and so much more. This book is not so much about time management as it is about life management so that each of us can best use the limited and uncertain amount of time that we each have. Since I have viewed time as something to race against, and have felt like time's victim, this appealed enormously to me.

I began to read The Power of Slow with my journal next to me, keeping a list of everything that struck me that I'd want to do differently or think about differently. I came up with a time abundance plan that I've been implementing and tweaking, one that is truly changing my life. If you have been looking for a practical tool that addresses your real-life concerns, look no further. You'll get far more than just a list of 101 things, however. The author shares important ideas about how to think about time differently, perhaps the most important part of the book; without thinking about time in a new way--as a friend--the changes you make won't have the impact they could.  

To give you some examples of my personal time makeover: I now limit the number of television shows I keep up with. I have a list of programs I'm willing to give up my time for, and that's it. I hold myself to it. And although I work at home, I have a defined schedule, so that when people ask me for a time commitment, I check my schedule and can say, "I can't do that, I'm working, but I'll be available after 4 p.m." For the last few weeks I've been saying, "No" constantly (but kindly). I keep only ONE browser window open when I'm focusing on something intently. I've delegated work to people who work for me and stopped micro-managing thanks to the idea that if I delegate, the work will never be done the way I would do it, but that's okay, considering what I've exchanged it for--the opportunity for me to complete other work myself that is far more important to me. I've found that, as the author says, small changes can open up enormous energy.  

I am learning to view time as my friend and as an opportunity. It is not an overstatement to say that this has changed my life and will continue to change my life. The author writes that our relationship with time determines all other relationships in our life. I now agree with this, and encourage you to find out why this is so by starting your own adventure into "The Power of Slow".  

Highly recommended. 



Suzie Ridler said...

Wow, this is an impressive review! So well thought out and well written. You are making me want to order this book from my library. Normally I live a quiet and slow-paced life but not for the last eight weeks and I miss it!

I love how you talk about how it is a practical book, not just theoretical, and demonstrate exactly what you have done to put those ideas into real practice in your real life. Excellent!

I also really, REALLY wanted to thank you for you comment on my foodie blog. I have been really wanting to share not only food techniques but my food stories with people and wasn't sure that was coming across. I actually gasped when I read your comment. You really "got" what I have been trying to accomplish and that moved me deeply. Thank you Olivia, so much!

Kim Mailhot said...

What a great review ! That the book mixes the thought changing information along with practical applications for how to make "friends" with time makes it very appealing. Plus, it seems to be working great wonders for you ! ;)
Brava, Olivia !

Anonymous said...

Indeed a great review. It's so good to hear about the way this book has raised your consciousness about your relationship to time. I love that you kept a journal nearby while you read. What a great idea.

patti said...

Great review Olivia. It's so good that the book has had such an impact on your life. Sometimes we do just have to stop and remove the 'overwhelm' from our lives. Makes for happier people!