You can’t take advice from someone too different from you. You would feel like a dog learning how to be a cat. I might have engaged politely with Julie Morgenstern’s time-management advice – spelled out in various books over the years, including this year’s parenting opus, Time to Parent – but I wouldn’t really have been listening with my whole spirit if the life she described, before her conversion to efficiency, had not been so recognisable. It was like looking in a bloody mirror.
“For the first quarter-century of life, I lived in chaos,” she says. “I lived out of piles. I was always late for everything, a real time optimist. Not even time-conscious. People used to lose things in my house – they’d take off their shoes and not be able to find them when they left.”