Category: Productivity

Rethink Balance: The 56-56-56 Approach

When it comes to time, people toss around many phrases without thinking about them. One of the most common? "You spend the majority of your waking hours at work." For most people, this is not true. There are 168 hours in a week. If you sleep 56 (8 hours per day), that leaves 112 waking hours. You would have to work more than 56 hours per week in order to spend the maj… read more »

Time strategy #6: People are a good use of time

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the late Stephen Covey tells a story about the limits of forcing efficiency on relationships. One of his sons was quite into scheduling (perhaps a genetic trait!) One day his calendar "included down-to-the-minute time allocations for every activity, including picking up some books, washing his car, and 'droppi… read more »

Time strategy #5: Leave breathing room

In years of writing about people's schedules, I have learned that we all have different activity tolerances. My inclination in life is more toward "full." I don't mind having things push out a bit at the seams. On the few package tours I have been on, I have been amazed to see how much downtime is considered normal. That said, I do know this: a day has exactly 24 hou… read more »

Time strategy #4: Satisfice

Back in 2011, when we learned that our third kid was on the way, my husband and I decided to cast our real estate sights beyond our already crowded New York City apartment. While much of my industry is in NYC, I seldom have to be there more than once a week. My husband is a consultant and often travels to clients. In other words, we didn't have to live anywhere.… read more »

Time strategy #3: Hollow the stone

When it comes to time, the human brain has many foibles. We overestimate what we can do in the short term. Sure, I will respond to 1000 emails in the next hour, and write that report too! But the corollary is also true: we tend to underestimate what can be done in the long term, even with very small actions. Small things done repeatedly have great power. One of my fav… read more »