The Productivity Institute

Personal Productivity Solutions to Leverage Your Impact


Top Five Best Time Management Practices

By: Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

From my thirty years in the field of Time Management, I have developed the “Top Five Best Time Management Practices” to help you to get more out of every day.

  1. Plan An Hour Per Day For “Me Time.” Give twenty-three hours to the world but keep one hour for yourself. During this hour add a new dimension to your life that is not there because you didn’t feel you had the time for it. Read the books, learn a hobby, learn a foreign language, develop computer skills, start a business, spend time on health development etc. One hour per day is 365 hours in a year. The average college course is about 35 classroom hours. That equals 10 college courses per year. One hour per day and you become a full-time student! By taking one hour per day of focused study, any of us can become a world-class expert in a topic of our choice. Would your future be more secure, certain, and successful if you became a world-class expert in a topic of your choice?
  2. Establish A Regular Reading Program. It can be just fifteen minutes a day. Even with that small investment, the average person will read fifteen books in a year. Also, consider taking a Speed Reading course. I did. It helped me to double my reading rate and comprehension. I can now read twice as much in the same time period.
  3. Overload Your Days. Build a daily action plan that includes not only the things you “have to do,” but the things you “want to do.” Parkinson’s Law tells us that a project will tend to expand with the time allocated for it. If we give ourselves one thing to do during the day, it will take us all day. If we give ourselves two things to do during the day, we get them both done. If we give ourselves twelve things to do, we may not get twelve done, but we may get eight done. Having a lot to do in a day creates a healthy sense of pressure on us to get focused and get it done. We almost automatically become better time managers, less likely to suffer interruptions, not waste time in meetings, etc. by having a lot to do. (“If you want to get something done, give it to a busy person.”)
  4. Prioritize Your List Of “Things To Do.” Some of our tasks are “crucial” and some of our tasks are “not crucial.” We have a tendency to gravitate to the “not crucial” items because they are typically quicker, more fun, and easier to do. Identify the most important task you need to do and label it as a “1,” the second most important task as a “2,” etc. Then tackle your items in the order of importance, doing the most important items first.
  5. Radiate A Genuine, Positive Attitude. Often, like attracts like and it repels the opposite. When you are in a negative mood you tend to repel the positive people who do not want to be strained and drained and brought down by your negativity. And, when you are in a negative mood, you have a natural system set up to attract the other negative people to you who want to share their stories of their misery so the two of you can compare experiences to decide who has the worse life. Positive people help to bring us up. Negative people help to bring us down.

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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
127 Jefferson St.
Stratford, CT 06615
(203) 386-8062
(800) 969-3773
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