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Not a Moment to Waste

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By Zandra Wolfgram

 

Don’t you wish you had more time to read more good books? Where does the time go? Imagine my excitement when I received in the mail a free book about how to not waste time. Wow. I’m thinking two major bucket list ticks for one. Because I don’t have a lot of time, I appreciated that the book came with a primer in the form of a letter from the author’s PR agency. Even better, I wanted to be sure cracking open said book was worth some of my precious moments. Here is how the letter began:

 

To stand out and move up in the business world you need to think outside the box. In his new book The Case for Wasting Time and Other Management Heresies, former senior vice-president of human resources, successful business owner and executive coach Howard Pines breaks the conventional mold for career success by revealing unorthodox secrets on how to how to develop relationships and solve problems in the business world that are traditionally reserved for members of the C-suite.

 

Whoa. There’s a lot to unpack here. The author’s title alone is about a paragraph. What is that? About three hats this guru guy is wearing? We like the bit about breaking molds. What does that mean anyway? A Jell-O mold? A cast mold? Like of a body part?

 

Remember when it was all the rage for rich, perky girls to get molds of their bosoms? It was an ‘80s thing. We didn’t date anyone rich enough to commission my mold, so sadly “the girls” were not preserved in time at their peak. Anyway, we got a little lost in the Jell-O and almost overlooked the “members only” line.

 

We were not aware of what kind of digs a C-suite is. Is it something we should aspire to? We’ve heard of a C-section, and let’s just say we’ve reached our quota and time limit on that front. What floor is it on? Those of us who work from home in a third-floor loft (ahem, attic) office are pretty sure it isn’t a C-suite, so perhaps this book would help us with our office address shortcomings. Obviously, we shouldn’t waste any more time in getting up to speed.

 

The letter dutifully informs us that understanding the basic tenets of management is certainly important, but following the conventional wisdom—such as not “wasting time”—is not necessarily the key to solving problems or achieving personal success.

 

Wait, what? You’re telling us after all this time of beating ourselves up every day over every deadline that being a procrastinator doesn’t make us a raging loser? Okay, mental note to take time to ponder that tomorrow as we read on…

 

Providing advice that goes against that conventional wisdom is exactly what this book is about, whether it concerns how to get things done as you move up in a company or how to develop relationships and support both inside and outside an organization. In fact, not only is the advice unconventional—and in many cases heretical—so too are the subjects covered.

 

Okay, we like being unconventional and we don’t often hear heretical used to describe our success, so willing to give it a shot. Plus there’s a handy example:

 

For example, the importance of validating assumptions is not something you are likely to read about in most business books. But as the author Howard Pines explains, if you don’t, you are likely to make both embarrassing and sometimes costly errors.

 

Okay. No one likes to be embarrassed. Odd that they quantify “sometimes costly errors.” I guess some errors are costly and others are free? Or less expensive? We make another mental note to make a list. And then we come to another handy example:

 

Similarly, while there are many books that will tell you how to get a job, there are virtually no others that explain how to determine the best time and way to leave a job and/or a business.

 

Hmm, seeing as how we just left a job… And pretty sure there is never a good time or way to quit. Sometimes you just have to do it quickly like ripping off a Band-Aid. We probably don’t need help in that category, so we can skip ahead.

 

Wasting Time does not, however, provide simple answers.

 

What the heck? If I’m going to spend the time to read this book, I want answers. And hasn’t this guy heard of KISS? Keep It Simple Stupid. Isn’t life complicated enough?

 

We are riled up now, so we skip to the end and are cheered to find the author’s tried-and-true tips.

 

“Waste time” to create relationships and get noticed.

 

Know when to move on from a job.

 

Negotiate absolutely everything.

 

Know when to act tough.

 

Anticipate change.

 

Well, we think we got this. That right there was like a movie trailer that tells you everything you need to know so you don’t have spend $13.50 plus eight bucks on popcorn. So we’re going to pass on reading this page-turner. You probably feel the same. What are you doing reading this column? You could be doing something useful right now.

 

For those who do enjoy wasting time, you can purchase the book in hardcover, paperback and Kindle formats at amazon.com.

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