As I travel around and talk to different groups of business professionals, I’m amazed at how many people are struggling to get everything done in a day. When I ask the groups, “If you could change one thing about your current situation, what would it be?” At least 7 out of 10 tell me that they would like to have more hours in a day.

We all face the same dilemma: too much to do and not enough time to do it. This is the importance of time management.

Let’s jump into a meeting already in progress and see if we can identify ourselves there.

Some people in the room are thinking, “Everybody’s always scheduling my time … I have no control over my schedule. Take this meeting, for example. I was not asked to be here, I was told that I had to be here. When are they going to stop doing that to me? My time is not my own.”

There are others who think, “I wish I could set goals for myself. It would be awesome to have some short- and long-term goals. That would help me determine what things I can accomplish in a day. Then I would be able to be prepared for these meetings and more.”

One person, considered the company “firefighter,” thinks, “Everyone comes to me with their emergencies as if I’m the only one in the company who can help them. They may be urgent to them, but they sure aren’t urgent to me! I go from one fire to the next, and I never get my stuff done. If only I could have a day to myself without anyone coming and asking for a water hose!”

The guy in the back of the room thinks, “What is the difference between planning and scheduling? They seem different, but I’m not sure how. I’m too busy to plan because it takes time, and that’s one thing that I don’t have. Hmmm… I’m too busy to plan … Does that even make sense?”

Someone interrupts the meeting with a statement that kills most meetings: “I know that this is off-topic, but I want to ask a question…” The whole group cringes; this can add about 20–30 minutes to the meeting, and since no one is in charge, people go off topic regularly.

Upon entering the meeting, some looked down and noticed that the agenda was missing key ingredients. The topics were there, but the times were missing, as well as the person responsible for each topic. No one really knew what was happening for the next 90-120 minutes.

There’s a group of people multi-tasking in the corner, like that will help them get more done. They’re listening to the meeting, replying to emails on their phones and even texting others in the room. Their productivity dropped as much as 40 percent when they tried to do two or more things at once.

Did any of these resonate with you? Are you wondering how you can get that extra hour each and every day? There’s a five-step approach that, if done properly, will help you to master your time. I’d be glad to send it to you. Just email me at

In Part 2, we will go into more detail and answer some questions raised in this meeting:

  1. What are the major causes of procrastination?
  2. What is the difference between planning and scheduling?
  3. What is the cure for “firefighting” anyway?
  4. How can we keep meetings on target?
  5. What are some things I can do with paperwork that will save time?

Until next time…Stay Positive!

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