Book Review - Attack Your Day! Before It Attacks You by Mark Woods and Trapper Woods

By Melissa Batai

If you're a working mother, whether you work at home or in an office, you know how difficult it can be to juggle your work responsibilities with home responsibilities and the time you want to spend with your family. Don't forget about taking care of yourself by meeting with friends and exercising.
Then there are those pesky distractions like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter. . .If you find yourself at night, every night, wondering where the day went, Attack Your Day! BeforeIt Attacks You may just be the next book that you need to read.

Book Contents

This book is a quick read, but it will probably require a second close reading to implement the many strategies. I found the first half of the book most helpful, so that will be the focus of this review. (The second half is comprised of quotes about time management as well as some discussion on each.)

Introduction The book opens with Mark Woods explaining that he received a printed copy of this book just 3 weeks before his father, Trapper Woods, died of cancer. If ever there is an example that time is precious and we must use it carefully on the activities that are meaningful for us, it is this. We all have limited time, and learning to manage it so we don't waste it is essential.

Chapter 1: Activities Rule! Not the Clock Our lives have changed rapidly thanks to technology. Now, there is the Internet and smart phones. We're constantly connected, and it can be difficult to let go of work. People keep looking to old rules of time management, but those rules don't apply to our lifestyles anymore. Instead, we must use new rules to manage our time. The rest of the book explains how to implement these new rules.

Chapter 2: Color Your Choices Every day we are faced with people who have seemingly urgent needs in addition to our own tasks. The key to successful time management is to be able to say no (not just to others but to ourselves) and to determine which activities should be done first. To do this, we must color code our activities. Red means stop everything and do it now, green means it needs to be done today and is vital to what we want to accomplish, yellow means it needs to be done at some time, but not necessarily today or tomorrow, and gray means it's a time waster (think surfing the Internet and office gossip).

Chapter 3: Carry Your Time in Buckets Once you've color coded your activities, you're ready for the next step, dividing your time into buckets. This chapter is the heart of the book and is a bit too complex to explain here. However, a planner, either electronic or paper, is essential to execute these steps. I got so excited about reading how to merge both my personal and professional life that I'm planning on buying a planner this week to start organizing my life into buckets. I think this might finally be a system that works for me.

Chapter 4: Arrange Your Plate Think of your available time as space, and your task is to fill in the space with the most vital activities. This involves more than just making a list detailing what you plan to do for the day. When filling out the space, make sure to take advantage of your natural rhythms. If you work best in the morning, put your toughest mental tasks there and your easier ones later in the day.

Chapter 5: Don't Just Execute: Flexicute Flexicute refers to the ability to be able to go with the flow in today's constantly connected world. The authors also ask that you avoid multi-tasking. If you're having lunch with your son, focus on him rather than taking a business call. You can take the business call after lunch when your focus will once again be on business. Flexicuting allows you to seamlessly move from business to personal tasks throughout the day while giving each one your full attention.

Chapter 6: The Hocus Pocus of Focus This chapter teaches you how to politely say no to others' requests as well as how to minimize some of the primary distracters such as checking e-mail 20 times a day or whenever a new message comes in.

101 Productivity Strategies These are the quotes on productivity with a bit more detail. I consider this a nice extra to the meat of the book.

Is This Book for You?

If you're struggling to get your work done and spend enough time with your family, this may be the book for you. The authors understand the demands of today's high tech world, and they offer manageable solutions that aren't difficult to implement. (Get this book at Amazon as an ebook or paperpack.*)

Melissa, a mom to three little ones (ages 7, 3 and 1) blogs at Mom's Plans where she writes about living a fulfilling life on less and focuses on cutting expenses, budgeting, paying down debt, saving money and once a month cooking.

*Affiliate links may be used. Opinions are our own.

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