THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION How to make the most of your time
By, Jessica Sitomer

Interesting, that when you have nothing but time on your hands, you can come up with pretty creative solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems. Take Andy Dufresne, a successful banker who was sentenced to life in prison. Pretty insurmountable, yet he spent his time in a very strategic and productive way, always with his eye on his goal of FREEDOM.

One of the biggest complaints I hear not only from my audience, but from myself as well (that’s right, I’m human) is, “I don’t have enough time.” And though I hate to say it, because while I know it’s true, I still roll my eyes when I’m being torn in ten directions is this: we all have the same 24 hours in a day, it’s how you use them.

Here are some strategies to try out:
1.    The To-Do List: my favorite because I’m motivated by crossing things off a list. There are a few ways to use the to-do list:
a.    Have a fluid list where you tackle the tough stuff first, cross out and add as you go along, and always prioritize it.
b.    Have a to-do list of 3 priorities for the day and get them done. Then crumple up the list and go about your day.
c.    Have a yearlong business plan, broken down into months, then into weeks, then into days. This plan is also fluid as different projects come and go and priorities change.

2.    Time Chunking: in your calendar, chunk out your time. Literally schedule your week. You can take a tip from iCal and have different colors for personal, health, business. You can break business time down further into administrative work, money/job generating work, creative brainstorming, and maintenance work.

3.    Manage Your Distractions: I’m guilty of this. I’m actually writing this from a coffee shop so I can’t be distracted by my phone, my dogs, and the emails that I must check the moment I know they’ve come in. Do you have any idea how much time you waste checking and responding to emails and social media, during time chunks that should be specifically for money/job generating work? It’s ridiculous. So turn off your email and your Internet, and turn it back on during the administrative chunk of your day.

4.    Just Say No: That’s the beauty of creating a schedule on your calendar for the week/month. When your friend asks you to come over and help put his Playstation together, you can say no. When your friend who likes to vent about how bad business is, wants to have lunch, you say no. Blame it on your calendar, but setting boundaries is a MUST for time management.

5.    Have an email folder specifically for things you have to get to and have a day & time frame dedicated to this folder.

There are SO many strategies for time management so if I missed something that you’d like answers on send me an email at

And Action!

1.    Make a list of personal and professional drains that are causing you to feel overwhelmed and time deprived

2.    Put a date next to each drain on the list even if it’s a year from now, so you can get it off your mind

3.    Schedule the pressing drains immediately to get them off of your list.

Remember that the biggest obstacle in regards to time is the energy spent “spinning” on the drains that are on your mind. Use one or more of the 5 tips to eliminate the drains and you’ll be amazed at how much extra time materializes in your day.