INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Time Management Manifesto:
Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
by Thomas B. Dowd III
Today we feature Thomas B. Dowd's Time Management Manifesto. Also available: The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas, From Fear to Success, and Displacement Day.
The author stops by today for an interview and shares an excerpt from his book. You can also read my review and enter the giveaway to win a ebook copy of Time Management Manifesto.
Time management is a disciplined mindset to be able to live in the moment while working toward the future. It is all mental - it’s an attitude. Having control in your life is about commitment, routines, flexibility, adjustments, and planning. We create our own self-limitations. We say we’ll do tomorrow what we really want to do today. Eliminate what’s holding you back. Time Management Manifesto offers specific actions that will teach subscribers the following themes:
• Manage your time, don’t let it manage you
• Time management is required of all levels, in all positions
• The benefits of managing professional time effectively spill into your personal space
• Time management is required of all levels, in all positions
• The benefits of managing professional time effectively spill into your personal space
What if you could accomplish more in a forty-hour week then your current fifty, sixty, or seventy-hour work week? What if your success was simply a matter of working smarter, not harder? Good time management and organizational skills are a must for successful professionals. You’ll be challenged to strengthen your commitments and habits relating to time management and organizational skills without being a slave to it. You will find the power of routines and people, while learning how to effectively deal with “fire drills” that will reduce stress, increase success, and ensure that you sleep better at night knowing your life is in control.
I was sitting in a company-sponsored time management class as a new manager at the ripe age of twenty-four. I held in my hand my brand new time management binder that, I was sure, would solve all my problems. The instructor made a comment that has unintentionally stuck with me for years: “If you can’t manage your time well, you’ll be playing catch with one of your kids one day and your mind will be elsewhere, trying to remember what you need to do next.” Fast forward to many years later, when I was kicking a soccer ball around in the yard with my oldest when I found my mind wandering. I was distracted with work thoughts. My personal and professional lives were bleeding together.
Welcome to the modern world, where there is inevitably a blur between work and home. Yet, we have control over more than we think. The boss may be barking instructions, your email inbox is blowing up, and you have to post that picture of what you ate last night on Facebook. It can all be done. Time management isn’t about a new binder or even an electronic device. It is a disciplined mindset that allows you to live in the moment while working toward the future. Time management is often a mental game—but the concept of time management doesn’t have to be hard. It’s about commitment, routines, flexibility, adjustments, and planning. We create our own
self-limitations. We say we’ll do tomorrow what we really want to do today. You must eliminate what’s holding you back.
Time management is a requirement for all people in all roles—not just CEOs, managers, owners, or even individual contributors. If you think you don’t have enough time to invest in order to improve your own time management, think again. There are only twenty-four hours in the day. They should not all be devoted to work, but if you don’t manage the work piece, you can’t balance the personal piece. Start immediately. Manage your time, don’t let it manage you.
Praise for the Book
“Wow! This powerful, practical book shows you how to get your time and your life under control - immediately.” ~ Brian Tracy, author of Ultimate Sales Success
“As I balance the time crunches of having different hats including husband, father, radio host and football analyst, I know the constant effort needed to balance work and life. Time Management Manifesto is an effective and easily digestible book to remind readers that it can all be done well.” ~ Rich Gannon, 17-year NFL QB, 4-time Pro Bowler, NFL MVP, Sirius NFL Radio & CBS NFL Analyst
“The Time Management Manifesto is a breath of fresh air. I love the way it says in the introduction that it contains no secrets. Rather, it is brimming with sound, practical advice. Its brilliance is also in its brevity. So many personal and business development books these days are bigger than they need to be. This book contains 30 wonderful time management nuggets. Read just one a day for a month and your relationship with time will change forever. Although, you can read the book in next to no time, it is a book that you will want to dip into time and time again.” ~ Tom Evans, author of The Zone and creator of Living Timefully
“As an author and self-proclaimed student of inspiration, I’ve been inspired by many great motivational authors over the years. When it comes to the subject of time management, Tom Dowd’s book Time Management Manifesto is among the best. Time Management Manifesto delivers and inspires, and in my mind this book puts Tom in the class with the great Stephen R. Covey.” ~ Dominick Domasky, Motivational Speaker, author of Don’t Double Bread the Fish
“Time Management Manifesto is a must for the busy professional. Though my family would say otherwise, I’ve always fancied myself as someone who is effective and efficient at scheduling time and activities. But as I read the Manifesto, I saw glaring grievances of how I’m actually wasting productivity in my day. I now admit it…I’ve been an email junkie! We all get out of sync sometimes and Time Management Manifesto helps to put our priorities back in proper perspective.” ~ Doreen Lecheler, Transformational Thought Leader, Best-Selling author, The Mind to Heal
By Lynda Dickson
Time Management Manifesto is comprised of 30 chapters, each giving an actionable piece of advice. The author provides real-life examples from his own experience to illustrate his points. The author's main advice is to keep a detailed daily schedule. Other helpful hints include: double the time you think it will take to do something, under-promise and over-deliver, stop multi-tasking, file things immediately, learn to ask for help before it's too late, and make sure you have some "do not disturb" time.
My only note to the author is that it would be helpful to highlight these actionable points in bold in each chapter and provide a list of them at the end of the book. However, the contents list at the end of the book is hyperlinked to each chapter, providing a quick way to review particular aspects.
All of the tasks in the book are simple and easy to implement. I started straight away. I work from home, so I found it helpful to set up a detailed daily schedule, including both family and work commitments. The most helpful hint for me was to "touch each email only once". I also plan to incorporate some self-improvement time into my schedule shortly.
Thank you, Tom.
Interview With the Author
Hi Thomas, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book, Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/LifeBalance.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
I would have initially said professionals over the age of eighteen, but have had conversations with kids in high school who also mention that they struggle with time management. Although it is business focused, it’s easily translated into balancing student life, along with work and life.
Additionally, I’ve found success with older professionals, and even retirees, who have been able to translate the strategies to meet their own needs.
What sparked the idea for this book?
I’ve taught time management for over fifteen years to peers, colleagues, and organizations. The teaching started by requests from people calling me anal retentive and wondering how I was able to meet all of my deadlines. It started with a fascination after I attended a time management class as a newer manager in a large organization. I found how passionate I was about the topic. There is another twist. I was on a roller coaster ride professionally. I had been in the right place at the wrong time on a couple of occasions. I needed to try to work on improving my management, leadership, and people skills. There were times when I wasn’t ready for the additional responsibilities maturity-wise. I made a mental note to myself - that I committed to - that I refused to miss deadlines, ensured constant follow-up, and made sure projects were done on time. As I was working on developing myself professionally, I wasn’t going to give the management team any easy excuses by demoting me simply for missing a deadline. This commitment played favorably with the leadership team. They saw my effort, positive attitude, and ability to work smarter - not harder. They knew they could work with me on the other skills.
The idea of the book has always been there since that time, but the formatting, style, and content remained on the back burner as I worked on my other books (The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World, From Fear to Success: A Practical Public Speaking Guide, and Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job).
Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the book?
As a non-fiction business-based work, the “characters” are all people who I crossed paths with professionally. The original idea of the book was to be in the format of simple 1-3 sentence passages. I wanted quick hit suggestions and strategies to improve time management since I knew my audience would question the time investment to read it.
After partnering with Avanoo.com, I created a thirty day online training program of two to three minute inspirational and motivational quick-hit passages for people to improve their time management. I liked the approach and saw the importance of including personal stories to resonate with the audience, while maintaining easily digestible and actionable chapters. Using this model, I was able to add so many more impactful - and real - characters in my story that I know many professionals have interacted with in their careers.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
Over the years, time management and organizational skills came easy to me. Through my speaking and training efforts, I found the need to adapt my style to meet various audience needs. I wanted to make sure that I could reach the right readers and still relate to them in the most effective manner. The morphing of easily digestible and quick-hit strategies turning into stories with morals and actionable take-aways kept within my goal to keep it simple while being written in a way that people could easily retain the information and use it immediately.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
In life, we often put off what appears to be burdensome. By doing this, we actually create more stress for ourselves. I intentionally over-simplify the process of time-management and teach people that they have more control than they think. I want people to find the right balance that works for them. This occurs when you stop over-thinking about it. I teach the readers about commitment, flexibility, routines, adjustments, and planning. To me, time is the present - not some device, app, or even a calendar or watch. We can’t live in the past. We only have this moment. However, we can make our future better when we manage the present well.
How long did it take you to write this book?
The concept of the book has been in my head for over fifteen years. The actual writing of the book took less than a month. I simply hand-picked the most effective strategies and proven concepts that I’ve been teaching over the years and ensured that the stories would resonate with a wide audience.
What is your writing routine?
With a full-time job, a side business, and three teenage girls, I have to practice what I preach. Routines are critical. I find that I’m most productive in the mornings so I invest writing time in the morning while the house is quiet. While my children are doing homework after I get home from work, I do my self-editing and re-write.
How did you get your book published?
I chose to self-publish Time Management Manifesto. Although I’m open to speaking with traditional publishers, speed to market was important to me because over the recent years, I’ve had enough clients and audiences at my speaking engagements saying they needed help with their time management. I continue to build out my platform and PR strategies to broaden my reach.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Do it, now. I’ve had so many conversations with people who say that they’ve always thought about writing a book. My first book was written by accident. After losing a Toastmasters International speech competition where the winner went on to the World Semi-finals, I asked the winner to be my mentor. An hour later, I won the door prize, which was his book and CD. After listening to the CD on my five-hour ride home and reading his book that night, I convinced myself that I could do something similar. After going for a run outside to think about it a little more, I came through the door and ran directly to my computer to start the outline. I put The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas together in about six months.
Many people say they don’t have time. What they’re really saying is that they can’t get done everything they want to get done. With some prioritization and strong commitment, they can make it happen. The book became a catalyst for so many other things that I got involved in that has made me a better person.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love spending time with my family. I also like to go running every day to keep a clear mind. I’m also committed to my speaking and training craft. I get excited when I see people taking steps to improve themselves. My company mantra is “Transform into who you really want to be professionally.”
What does your family think of your writing?
If you recall the note above about running through the door and starting my outline for my first book, I conveniently forgot to mention that my family started vacation a couple of days earlier, and wasn’t aware of my idea. I never set out to be an author. Imagine getting picked up from the airport, and saying to my wife, “So, I’m about a third of the way through writing a book.” My family has been supportive ever since. They are also realistic enough to keep me grounded and ensure they remind me about the work/life balance when I need it.
Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
My father worked for a large retailer and was moved on multiple occasions. I moved over eight times before I graduated from high school. Moving taught me to be independent and flexible. When I started working, I had a willingness to move around the company to various roles with very little notice. This helped in my growth and development. It also taught me that when it was time to settle down, I also have a choice to stay. I fell in love with the state of Maine and found that stability is also a good thing. I’ve lived in the same small New England town for over twenty years.
Did you like reading when you were a child?
I enjoyed reading as a kid, but most of the books that I read were the obligatory school requirements. When I started to choose more of my own books, I absolutely loved it as I got older.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
As I was writing my first book, I excitedly told a friend about it. I was startled when she said, “You’re still not a writer unless you’re published.” Besides that her definition isn’t accurate, I chose not to be offended and used it as motivation to push forward. I never really “wanted” to be a writer until that comment drove me to continue to want to share my transformational messaging with others. I want to keep writing as long as people want to share in my transformational journey.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
I’m sure my moving around influenced my writing. The professional roller coaster ride to determine that I needed to be more self-aware, believe I could make a difference, and take accountability for my own development is what really influenced my desire to develop others. My father’s thirty-plus year HR background did show me the importance of learning how to interview, write a resume, and communicate effectively to succeed.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I try to keep in touch with many of my readers through social media, and I periodically get notes or see online reviews on Amazon, for example. My favorite words are, “Thank you.” I’m excited when my readers tell me that I hit the intended target with their developmental needs. However, the more surprising comments come from someone on the outskirts of the target audience. For example, a stay-at-home mom once wrote me a note saying that although there were some chapters that didn’t necessarily resonate, the chapters that did hit home, hit hard and helped her get through a difficult time.
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I’m collaborating with nine other authors to write The Unofficial and Uncensored Book on Fatherhood. The goal is to have it published in May 2015. I wanted to ensure that my transformational journey included the influence my wife and kids have had on me. I’m so lucky and thankful for my family.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Tom. Best of luck with your future projects.
About the Author
Tom Dowd, AKA Transformation Tom™, is a loving father of three beautiful daughters and a devoted husband from a small town in Maine. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a Communication degree, concentrating on interpersonal and organizational communication. Tom is a prize-winning speaker, an award-winning and Amazon best-selling author, trainer, coach, and radio host - all spurred by his need to be more than a painfully shy and introverted individual on a rollercoaster ride of success.
Tom is an active member in Toastmasters International, a group of 300,000 members worldwide looking to develop communication and leadership skills. Tom joined in 2008 thinking it was just a way to boost his résumé. It became a wonderful downhill spiral of failure. Whether it was a speech contest or a publisher’s rejection, Toastmasters pushed him beyond his comfort zone to find self-awareness, belief that he could make a difference and the motivation to take smarter steps toward success both personally and professionally. What Tom found was a boost in confidence that changed the path of his life and career. In 2010-2011, he was awarded the District 45 Outstanding Toastmaster of the Year representing over 100 clubs in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and the three eastern most provinces of Canada. Now exhibiting consistent speech contest success, Tom is the two-time Table Topics District 45 champion for 2012 and 2013. Additionally, he is a member of the National Speakers Association and the Global Speakers Federation.
With over 24 years of experience in the financial industry in management and leadership roles at the same organization and a plethora of inconsistency on this professional journey, Tom received the call nobody wanted: “We’re downsizing.” After unexpectedly losing his full-time job, Tom landed in a better place in just 59 days using methods from his coaching and training. He is now a VP at one of the larger financial institutions in North America. In 2011, he started his own side business, Thomas Dowd Professional Development & Coaching, where he continues to use the lessons learned on his climb up the corporate ladder to help people creatively find ways to differentiate themselves in the workplace and to find their own individual paths toward success. The mantra is “Transform into who you really want to be.” Tom is the award-winning author of three books. The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World, details Tom’s own professional growth based on lessons learned in his career, which received Honorable Mention at the 2012 New England Book Festival. From Fear to Success: A Practical Public Speaking Guide won the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in the Business Reference Category. Both are available in book and eBook versions, while Fear is also available as an audiobook. His third book, derived from the unemployed stint, Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job was published in March 2014 and received Honorable Mention at the 2014 Paris and New York Book Festivals. Tom’s most recent book Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance was released in October 2014.
The Transformation Time with Transformation Tom live radio program on BlogTalk Radio began in November 2014.
Enter the giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy of Time Management Manifesto by Thomas B. Dowd III.