LEIGH FORBES: Books of all Sorts

Give Up Ironing: a Writer’s Guide to Time Management

by Kathleen McGurl.

This book is for anyone who struggles to manage their time effectively, and finds themselves saying “I’d like to [whatever] but I don’t have enough time”. I gave up ironing a decade ago, but still found plenty of unnecessary activities to steal my time and stop me doing the things I wanted to do.

Kathleen McGurl guides you through a process of self-inspection, revealing things about your day-to-day lifestyle habits that you didn’t know, or have been pretending you didn’t know (perhaps for years). Once she’s shown you the various problems involved, she offers tips for dealing with them.

She has a lovely style of writing too, so, when she needs to take a hard line, you feel like you’re being helped and guided by a friend rather than criticised for your weaknesses. It’s also obvious she’s experienced many of the issues herself, meaning she understands the reality of your situation (along with all its complexities), and isn’t lecturing from her armchair.

I found this book insightful and inspiring, and would recommend it to anyone with time-management issues, not just writers.


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