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Finding the “25th” Hour

Time evaporates even for the most organized among us and finding the “25th hour” is the Holy Grail for many. There just doesn’t seem to be enough of it and if you ask anyone how they are, the standard reply underscores just how busy they are. And after all, who has time to stop and analyze actually how we spend the gift of 168 hours weekly. Reality check; the time really is there but scheduling takes discipline. Tracking activities is an eye opener and may be the best and easiest tool for people to see where they can tighten up and avoid turning 15-minutes of mindless/reactive behaviors into a one-hour time suck.

When you focus on how you actually spend your time, this heightened awareness is empowering. One client found that he was on social media sites in the late evening every day. With defenses and self-discipline depleted, it’s easy to slide down that on-line rabbit hole which may be more mind numbing than relaxing. Imagine “finding” lost time as easily as turning off your phone/computer consistently, one-hour before bedtime.

Another client recently shared two techniques that she employs to keep herself and her staff on time. This female entrepreneur sets all clocks and watches ten-minutes ahead and avoids focusing on her cell to cheat with real time. One-hour meetings are always scheduled for 45-minutes. She calculates that on a given day with several back-to-back meetings, she adds anywhere from 30-60 minutes of time to her day.

Multitasking might appear to be the answer to saving time and managing numerous activities simultaneously. For the most part there are costs to cognitive switching with respect to effectiveness, stress, and taking more time to complete tasks. However, there are exceptions and you can certainly listen to an audiobook or podcast while exercising, cooking or commuting without the risk of an executive misstep. With your newly found “25th” hour, if even partially dedicated to reading, or reflecting on the audio content of books during a workout, for example, you’ve already taken back control of your time.

  1. Where does time evaporate for you?

  2. What’s one immediate change you can monitor to free up more time?

  3. If you found the “25th” hour in your day, how would you spend it?

And, however comfortable you assumed you were with change, you may experience unexpected pushback, making this the ideal time to engage the support of a career coach with experience in helping professionals achieve better, faster, results. At KICKSTART Your Transition we offer a broad range of services customized to fit your needs.


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