Originally published in 1910, this short volume by Arnold Bennett provides surprisingly useful advice to battling the perennial refrain, “There aren’t enough hours in the day.”
Mainly targeting salaried commuters, Bennett breaks the day down between working, sleeping and the rest of the day. It is the rump left after working that sleeping that he seeks to make more productive.
The writing style is surprisingly fresh for words penned over a 100 years ago. The insight into the way we live and how we think is incredibly sharp. Bennett, for example, encourages readers to make small changes in their day, warning that large changes, which are hard to stick to, will discourage people from achieving lasting change.
So what changes does he recommend? The central thrust is to liberate 90 minutes three times a week to dedicate to an activity that improves you. He isn’t prescriptive about what it might be. It could be music, art or something else entirely. His personal passions lean to poetry and literature.
The key, he says, is to really focus on it. Get beyond a superficial understanding. Although he warns you ought to become an expert without becoming a bore.
There is much to recommend in this volume. It’s brevity, lively style and common sense combined with a very solid understanding of human nature means it will help you get more out of your daily ration of 24 hours.