The Productivity Institute

Personal Productivity Solutions to Leverage Your Impact


Five Best Time Management Habits Executives Should Practice

By: Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

For the last thirty years, I have traveled all around sharing my Time Management and Personal Productivity principles in seminars, keynotes, and through executive coaching. There are dozens of things we all ought to do to enhance our daily success and I have included what I think are five of the more important habits. I find that most people know what it is they should be doing. A reminder list such as this may help us to better accomplish those good intentions.

  1. Use The 20/80 Rule. 20% of an effort generally accomplishes 80% of the result. To achieve an additional 20% of the result, it will take an additional 80% of the effort. We cannot create any more time, but we can leverage our time by focusing on those things that give us “the biggest bang for the buck.” Avoid getting bogged down in “majoring in minors.” Direct your attention to 20% of your customers/clients who will give you 80% of your success. Give special attention to that group of 20% of the people you deal with who have the potential for delivering 80% of what you need.
  2. Network Your Way To Success. Identify and target those who you need to get to know. This is not an exploitive technique of “bleeding them for all they are worth.” In fact, it works just the opposite. Help these people with what they need first. “To have a friend, be a friend.” “What goes around comes around.” If you give freely to them first, they will give to you what you need and want.
  3. Get A Gopher. We all have 10-20 hours per week of minutia, like getting the car gassed up, running errands, mowing the lawn, etc. It’s all stuff that makes our lives work. There’s nothing wrong with doing it ourselves, but if you are saying, “I don’t have enough time to do the things that really count,” and you are spending 10-20 hours per week on the routine items, you have a choice. Hire a high school or college kid, a “Gopher,” who will “go for this and go for that,” then re-allocate those hours to tasks that will enhance your career success.
  4. Work With A Clean Work Environment. “Out of sight, out of mind.” The reverse of that is true, too, “When it’s in sight, it’s in mind” and we cannot help but be distracted and drawn to the “quick” and “fun” things while the important career enhancing tasks are left undone. By working with a clean desk and work environment, not only do you allow yourself to be more focused, but you also model an important work skill that others around you will tend to follow, helping them to get more focused.
  5. Radiate A Positive Attitude. “Fish rots from the head on down.” If you display a negative attitude, if you are angry, frustrated, anxious, overwhelmed, etc., you will send out that message and negatively infect those around you. If those who support you in your quest for career success do not have a positive attitude, your progress will be impeded.

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Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

Certified Executive Coach, Consultant and Trainer
Author, “Organizing Your Life” and “The Productivity Handbook”
Productivity Institute
Personal Productivity Solutions to Leverage Your Impact
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Stratford, CT 06615
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