How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day

How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Also in the public domain via Project Gutenberg:

This book has been mentioned in several places by Chris Bailey and I recently read it. Written in 1910, it has great descriptions of modern productivity tips such as meditation, speed reading, and time management. However the reason I think you guys would love it is the language. For example, about meditation (which he calls concentration):

“What? I am to cultivate my mind in the street, on the platform, in the train, and in the crowded street again?” Precisely. Nothing simpler! No tools required! Not even a book. Nevertheless, the affair is not easy.

When you leave your house, concentrate your mind on a subject (no matter what, to begin with). You will not have gone ten yards before your mind has skipped away under your very eyes and is larking round the corner with another subject.

Bring it back by the scruff of the neck. Ere you have reached the station you will have brought it back about forty times. Do not despair. Continue. Keep it up. You will succeed. You cannot by any chance fail if you persevere. It is idle to pretend that your mind is incapable of concentration. Do you not remember that morning when you received a disquieting letter which demanded a very carefully-worded answer? How you kept your mind steadily on the subject of the answer, without a second’s intermission, until you reached your office; whereupon you instantly sat down and wrote the answer? That was a case in which you were roused by circumstances to such a degree of vitality that you were able to dominate your mind like a tyrant. You would have no trifling. You insisted that its work should be done, and its work was done.

I really want to hear your discussion about how to “tyrannise” your mind.

Nice find! Certainly looks interesting to me.

Thanks for recommending this!

The audio version is very well read (and free!) at Librivox.

It’s pretty short when compared to the typical BookWorm reads.

But considering it was written about a hundred years ago (1910?) and echos some of the current wisdom, I’d love to hear what Joe and Mike think of it and their ideas of how it compares to contemporary productivity books.