I hear it all of the time. I experience it a lot. There is not enough time in the day not only to tackle your own to-do list but manage everyone else’s to-do list.

Why do you need more time? What would you do if you actually found yourself with the available time you crave? Would you build your business? Complete big projects? Relax and renew?

Most of us know exactly what we would do, yet we allow ourselves to get buried in the avalanche of managing others and our task list.

What can you do? Pay attention to the “Third Quadrant.”(Covey) Are you doing what is not urgent but most important? If you are only doing things that are urgent, you are in need of systems in your business that will allow you to safely meet deadlines, customer service needs and employee direction. If you are attending to the not important then the finger is pointing at you. You need to create systems for yourself.

The answer to the the time management question has been best answered in terms of energy management. (Thank you, Tony Schwartz.)

Since you can’t manage time, manage energy. Be sure that for each burst of energy,  you fully renew. It is in this renewal that you will be able to come back with full, focused energy. Here are two examples of ways to be sure that you incorporate renewal:

•The 90 minute rule: Work fully focused for 90 minutes at a time. Then take 10-15 minutes in renewal. That can be as easy as a walk around the block, a meditation break or enjoying a snack.

•The 50-10-50 rule: Same idea. Work focused for 50 minutes. Renew for 10. Focus another 50.

Tip: Fully focused means:- fully focused. Multitasking in NOT a virtue. If you want to accomplish something, don’t do your email, Tweet and talk to employees at the same time. For example: If I want to help an employee become successful at a task and we are going to have a conversation about aligning them to that task, I fully focus on my preparation. Then I fully focus on the conversation. No interruptions. If I am going to write this article: email, phone, Facebook off.

What would you accomplish if you gave yourself some focus? Do you think that if you start to choose how you spend your time and build in renewal you would start to manage your energy? When you do, I promise you may not have more time but you will accomplish more and feel the spaciousness of more energy and focus.

Try it for one week and send  me  your results.


Ruth Schwartz

Ruth Schwartz is the author of "The Key to the Golden Handcuffs". She is a high performance business consultant and leadership coach. Connect with Ruth to participate in the conversation. Google+, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube .