This Twenty Six Hour Day Is Not Fiction! A Book Review

Feb 15 22:00 2002 Mike Banks Valentine Print This Article

Vince Panella might have been accused of writing a work ... when titling his book "The 26 Hour Day, How to Gainat Least 2 Hours a Day with Time ... When he ... ... to Time

Vince Panella might have been accused of writing a work of
fiction when titling his book "The 26 Hour Day,Guest Posting How to Gain
at Least 2 Hours a Day with Time Control". When he begins
his "Introduction to Time Control" chapter by stating on the
first page that he's . . . "come to the conclusion that --
time management does not work!" he immediately had me hooked.

I was charmed by the intensely human approach he takes from
the beginning. I've got to agree with him because my own
experience with time management is that it has a mechanistic,
almost robotic feel to it as presented by efficiency experts,
management consultants and minutia-charting time accountants.
Here is an approach that allows for "wasting time" and, even
more surprisingly, advocates getting sufficient sleep!

Although he suggests wasting incrementally less time than you
normally might he is clearly aware that as human beings, we
are driven less by deadlines than by emotional needs. At least
once in every chapter, reminding the reader that we are not
perfect and that it's OK that we're not precise as robots.

Panella blends the best of self improvement with his unique
approach to what he calls "Time Control", quoting personal
growth gurus Tony Robbins and Deepak Chopra beside references
to American Statistician, W. Edwards Deming, the man who was
". . . given credit for engineering Japan's modern industrial
success over the last 50 years." Deming guided Japanese
business through a formula of continual success improvement.

Constant incremental refining of success formulas is certainly
not limited to Deming. One of my strongest early inspirations
was reading "The Autobiography of Ben Franklin", in which the
continual improvement of Franklin's character throughout his
life is chronicled. Self improvement predated Franklin as well,
but Panella has combined the best of personal growth with time
control to offer what he has called "Success Centered Time
Management."

Although Panella does cover critical topics typical to time
management such as standard issue and admittedly important -

* Winning the War Against Procrastination
* The Power and Purpose of Goals
* Reducing Distractions

Those key points are presented in ways that kept my interest,
a surprising accomplishment in itself. But Panella has some
more compelling thoughts on some new approaches he has refined
over his nearly 20 years of presenting this material. Notable
are several concepts that resonate strongly with humanity.

* Gain 2 More Hours a Day Through the Power of Sleep

As one with sleep apnea disorder, I require more sleep than
most, but Panella boldly proclaims that, "Lack of adequate
sleep is the reason for 90 percent of the problems many of
us experience in gaining more control of our time."

He makes a strong case for a society that values sleep far
more than does ours. He goes so far as to cite a Gallup poll
that showed "Twenty-Five percent of adults believe they
cannot be successful AND get enough sleep!" He gives ample
reasons, from reduced productivity and performance right on
through loss of life caused by drowsiness and inattention.

* Bit by Bit, The Amazing Power of Five Minutes

This section emphasizes devoting a simple five minutes to
gradual progress toward seemingly huge goals on a daily
basis. Slow and steady wins the race might describe this
approach. He refers to this technique throughout the book
in varied ways to suggest that progress doesn't have to be
measured in tireless devoted hours of struggle, but can be
achieved much more easily "bit by bit."

* Moments, The Secret of Life

As a teenager, I wondered what my life might look like as
a two hour movie and imagined what little slices of time
might make it to the final cut (as I experienced one of my
first identity crises upon finishing high school). Panella
suggests that all of our lives are much like that and are
defined by individual moments of positive accomplishment
and that all lives are made up of a collection of small
moments we strongly identify with and remember powerfully.

The striking concept he delivers in the book is that we
not only have that inventory of past moments, but that we
should consider steadily depositing in a bank account of
moments from each day, and further, that we consider
investing to accumulate a wealth of moments. "Every day,
consciously look to create significant and simple moments"
to add to your "moments account".

* Maximizing Any Experience

"Before any event or experience . . . simply ask yourself
how prepared you are . . . for the event. You'll go through
details in your head and take a subjective measurement . . .
Then you'll ask yourself what you can do to make the event
a little better ahead of time. You'll repeat asking this
question . . . listing your answers . . . When complete,
you'll have a laundry list of actions to maximize the
event . . . You get to play armchair quarterback ahead of
time. You pull yourself back and look at the big picture
with a chance to make positive changes. Something we fail
to do more times than not."

"Maximizing almost seems too easy." Indeed it does, but
what a powerful tool if we only developed the habit.

The 26 Hour Day, I'm convinced, is a real possibility
in terms of maximising events, investing in our moments
with sincere gratitude and bit by bit, in multiple five
minute increments, we can gain additional value from our
alloted time.

Vince Panella has unwittingly given me the blueprint for
my New Years Resolutions for 2002. I'm committed to
investing significant time to his program of continual
success improvement over the coming year.

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Mike Banks Valentine
Mike Banks Valentine

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