Neen James

Make Time in Time: Clever Creates Capacity

Using snippets of time wisely can greatly improve your productivity.

August 12, 2014

Neen James

In “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” one of the main characters, Hermione, carried a “time-turner.”

This hourglass pendant on a necklace allowed her to travel through time and be in two places at once.

Each turn of the hourglass equaled one hour of time. It was essential in using this time-turner that she never be seen by her past or future version of herself—unless, of course, she was aware she was using the time-turner.

This allowed her to attend multiple classes at the same time and accelerate her schooling. Oh some days how do we wish we had Hermione’s time-turner!

As we don’t have access to this piece of jewelry, we need to make time in time. We can cleverly use aspects of time to increase capacity by applying several strategies:

• Combine activities. Carry a reading file with you so you can always read journals, magazines, or best-selling books while waiting for your next appointment or for your kids to finish their sporting activity.

• Walk and talk. While you walk from one office building to the next, consider inviting someone to join you.

Early in our career with a large Australian bank, we worked for an amazingly successful women who was the queen of making time in time. Her busy calendar required walking between our office and the corporate head office, which was connected by an underground tunnel.

Often we would walk and talk to accelerate project process, share learnings from internal clients, and agree on action steps for marketing initiatives.

During those 10-minute walks and talks I sometimes felt like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle as we scurried back and forth, but we sure did accomplish a lot!

• Use your elevator time. Use your time in the elevator to collect your thoughts, silence your cell phone before a meeting, and conduct a 30-second check on your appearance (pop in a breath mint, check your hair, adjust your tie).

Making time in time is an important skill. Leverage all moments you have in a day to increase your capacity for completion.

What can you do to make time in time? Share your thoughts here.

NEEN JAMES is a leadership expert and author of “Folding Time” and “Secrets of Super Productivity.”