Time is the great equalizer for all of us. We all have 24
hours in a day, 7 days a week, yielding 168 hours per week.
Take out 56 hours for sleep (we do spend about a third of
our week dead) and we are down to 112 hours to achieve all
the results we desire. We cannot save time (ever have any
time left over on a Sunday night that you could lop over to
the next week?), it can only be spent. And there's only two
ways to spend our time: we can spend it wisely, or, not so
We can effectively increase the amount of time available to
us each week by working "smarter" rather than working
"harder". In my twenty years as a full-time Professional
Speaker on the topic of Time Management, I have noted five
sure fire ways to make an immediate impact on increasing our
available time each week.
Engage an intern Most high schools and community colleges
offer intern programs for their students. The student is
assigned to a real-life organization for 10-20 hours per
week. They are typically unpaid but do earn academic credit
and make great contacts and the organization gets an "extra
pair of hands". The person who is assigned the intern can
now delegate any number of things to the intern to free up
their time for more productive matters. It's a "Win-Win"
deal for both.
Run an Interruptions Log It would be great if we could plan
our day the night before and then make that plan happen as
scheduled. The real world is different. We have to deal with
interruptions. Interruptions are unanticipated events that
come to us via the telephone (any of the electronic stuff:
beepers, pagers, email, etc.) or in person. Many
interruptions are important and are what we may be paid to
handle. However, many interruptions have little or no value
to our responsibilities. Run an Interruptions Log for about
a week. List every interruption as it occurs and rate its
value to you. A=Crucial, B=Important, C=Little value, D= No
value. After the week of logging them in, review the list
and take action to eliminate the repetitive C and D
interruptions and re-capture some wasted time.
Run a Crisis Management Log Crisis management for the most
part is when the deadline has snuck up upon you and robbed
you of choice, you have to respond and you are a slave to
the clock. Crisis management is generally poor time
management because you're rushing, the quality of your
performance suffers, your stress level is elevated, and,
most important, you are often having to go back and re-do
what was done in the first place. "If you want to manage it,
measure it." Run a Crisis Management Log for a week. After
encountering every crisis, log it in on a piece of paper.
After a week of accumulating the data, go back through every
crisis that occurred and ask yourself, "Which one of these
could have been avoided?" and start to take corrective steps
to stop their reoccurrence and buy back some "smarter" time
for your weeks ahead.
Become a Speed Reader The average person reads about two
hours per day at a rate of about 200 words per minute. (We
get more information exposures in one day today than people
in the year 1900 received in a lifetime.) Speed-reading is a
simple skill that is easy to learn and improves with
consistent practice. The average person can easily double
their reading rate and thereby cut their reading time in
half or double the volume of reading material they can go
through in the same amount of time.
Do Daily Planning "A stitch in time saves 9." Every
grandmother knows this. Every minute of planning will save
you nine minutes in execution. Walt Whitman, the poet, said
it best, "The most powerful time is when we are alone,
thinking about what we are to do." Daily Planning helps us
to focus on what is really crucial and important in our day
to come and permits us to identify time wasters in advance
to avoid them and use that time more productively.
About the Author
Dr. Donald E. Wetmore has been a full-time Professional
Speaker for the last 20 years having made over 2,000
presentations to audiences from around the Globe. For more information, contact Don via email at:
email@example.com or call him at: (203) 929-9902. Sign up now for our free
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