Gone in 60 minutes: There goes your day

What can you do in an hour?

Sure you can get caught in the black hole time suck also known as YouTube. Or Twitter or Tumblr or your particular brand of social media vodka. Or you can set aside one hour.. maybe you turn off the smarterthaniamPhone or other distractions.

In an hour I can:

  • Write a blog post, sometimes. Okay draft. Maybe not the coding, or finding the perfectly inappropriate funny graphic, but well on its way.
  • Read and comment on two to five blog posts. Plus share them around Twitter, LinkedIn.
  • Draft and send pitch to a reporter or blogger, but not the crappy sucky kind.
  • Review some ed cals, scan for publicity opportunities and pitch ideas, devise a plan of attack.
  • Read 20-30 emails (mostly crap) and clean my inbox, triage what’s top priorities.
  • Participate in a marketing or blogging Twitter chat and maybe make a few good new connections.
  • Spend 20-30 minutes on Twitter, chatting with friends and blocking a few spamming howler monkeys; 5 on linked in, another 10 on Facebook to check or update a client’s FB page or see a request from a media “friend” or group, then another 10 minutes on FB (totally NOT for business, since I am already there). .. and 5 minutes to sip my Coke.
  • Each lunch, work the USA today puzzles after a run to the bank. Atlanta traffic permitting.
  • Zone out 14 times during an ass-numbingly dull conference call, fight the urge to let loose some ticked of avian critters.
  • Review Google analytics, keywords, and top referrers to rethink my SEO and PostRank stats, whilst not wasting time with Alexa. These hours are sadly a semi-annual events for this slacker.
  • ADHD or multitasking, I can “watch” a show like White Collar via Hulu while working on other projects, tapping the creative juices to design the perfect flyer or write dreamy website copy or a publishable blog post (doing it as of this typing).

Time – and its effective management – is critical in today’s businessplace. Time can go so quickly; a lot can be accomplished or a day can be wasted.

How do you make the most of an hour?

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29 thoughts on “Gone in 60 minutes: There goes your day

  1. I try to make the most of my work days, but I tend to have spurts of high and low productivity. I always need to take a siesta in the afternoon. I follow a daily to-do list and I’ve recently started working in 50 minute blocks using a kitchen timer. It seems to be helping me finish things in less time.

    If I’m watching live TV during the evening, I use commercial time to do chores like folding laundry and doing dishes. Now that I have Uverse, though, with my gajillion channels and ability to record 4 shows at once, I rarely watch live TV. This means that I can watch more TV and do fewer chores! 🙂
    Marianne Worley recently posted..When Priorities Go Out the Window

    1. More TV and fewer chores, I’m all for that plan. 🙂 I’ll block out time as well Marianne, limit myself on some things… so I don’t let any one thing run take over the day. And yes, some work days I will work at lunch and/or stay up later, do what I have to do to get some things done.. that way I can have a better day the next, and not stress over what I didn’t finish. Thanks.

  2. Since you can’t “make” time (there’s only 24 hours in a day) or “find” time (it’s not hiding under a rock) you have to “take” time…commit, in a focused way, on the task at hand.

    I’m a priority management type. I schedule my days in time blocks, to ensure that the most important things come first. That way, at the end of the day, each hour has had its priority items attended to and the rest…well, it either wasn’t that important to begin with, or it needs to move up the food chain to become a priority for the next day. Been doin’ it this way for over 25 years, and it works for me. I feel productive, I’m rarely overwhelmed because I know that, as long as I attend to the most important things, I can more easily take care of the rest.

    Don’t get me wrong: I’m no expert at it, but I am fairly proficient at it, after all these years of practice. It works for me, and each hour has its main goal. Keeps me sane. Cheers! Kaarina
    Kaarina Dillabough recently posted..Business Lessons from a 10 year old

    1. I don’t go hour by hour, but do make priorities, what’s most critical, what can I finish and clear from the list quickly. I’m also one of those who would rather eat and work through lunch if I’m that close to finishing a project; I’ll fly back late at night so I can have the whole day rather than using my time traveling. You’re right Kaarina you can’t make more time, so the closest thing may be to cut out the waste, the unproductive.

  3. Davina, that image scares me. The food is scary enough…to have it come to life like that? Yikes.

    Love the iterations of your 60 minutes of time. And like Adam said, the difference is whether it’s the focused kind or the random, roaming kind that make you think, “dang it what did I just do?”
    Erica Allison recently posted..Happy Father’s Day to My Dad!

    1. That picture cracked me up Erica.. have you ever seen the Fancy Fast Food blog, when they take Chick fil A or Wendy’s and make it look ‘gourme’? Kinda fun.

      Lately I’m bothered by ‘stupid problems to have’ you know, those time wasters that if you just did X or they just tried Y, then you wouldn’t have to waste so much time solving it. I’m also turning into one of those.. “in the time it takes me to tell you..” DIY types. My list.. I’m not always that ON, but there are days when I try to block out my time and really clear the list, get as much done as possible. So I can better enjoy the slacking later. 😉

  4. I think this is the perfect compliment to the discussion we were having at Erica’s. What you can accomplish in an hour IS directly related to whether it is a focused hour or a typical 50 interruptions hour. It is amazing what you can accomplish when you really focus on one thing. Your list is proof, though I am pretty familiar with Atlanta traffic and you might be overstating what you can accomplish if you are actually driving in the ATL. 🙂

    Hilarious pic, btw!
    Adam Toporek recently posted..Paper.Li: Clever Curation or Spammy Automation?

    1. Hmm Adam.. your latest post looks interesting. You’re right, this does relate to Erica’s video.. if you cut out distractions, you can do A LOT with your time. It’s also a matter or priorties and managing workflows; I let calls and emails pile up a little b/c if you start mono-tasking that stuff.. there. goes. your. day. BTW I try to schedule no meetings before 10, nothing that has me out after 3-4p.m. as I’m quite opposed to the traffic; just a stupid waste of my time. And yeah, I thought that picture as a nice touch for the post. Thanks.

  5. I love you for this! Every Monday I’m in staff or clients meetings for the good part of 10 hours. Today I found myself with 15 minutes extra (which never happens) and was unprepared. If I’d had my to-do list in front of me, I would have been able to scratch something off. Instead I wasted my time. Oy. Vey.
    Gini Dietrich recently posted..Four Reasons You’re Not a Media Company

    1. There are ‘productive’ ways to ‘waste’ 15 minutes Gini. Maybe you read an extra blog or added another comment? Caught up on email? Or enjoyed staring out the window for a few? It all depends, but yeah.. there are times I’m very frustrated when I’m stuck waiting on someone and I’m like, I’ve already shut down the computer when I could have had that time to DO something. Grrrr…

  6. Er ma’am……..’eat’ lunch and ticked ‘off’…….no, I’m not your wordsmith but did want you to know I read the whole article……..I am not a skimmer……….:).

    If you stick to a plan and have in mind or outline what you want to do in that hour, you can probably accomplish more than just jumping in. Of course, you can plan to death so sometimes just jumping in and ‘free-styling’ is the way to go.

    Time is precious especially when you lead the double life of on and off line existence.

    Hope all is well in the A T L and you can call me out on one of my posts if you would like.
    Bill Dorman recently posted..Don’t try this at home

    1. The double life thing is very real Bill. We’ve trained our brains to pay attention to what we’re reading or replying (online) and to what we’re hearing live (on TV or a friend talking to us); attention – and focus – divided so we can do more. Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s dangerous (per Erica’s post).

      IDK I like my downtime a lot; and have blocked off whole or half days to do the ‘nothing’ I want to do or the productive, hobby projects like a scrapbook. And of course when it’s fun.. you can sit there for hours, not notice.

      Things are hot and stormy – not in a fun way, don’t get any ideas 😉 – here in ATL, thanks. Have you been bad on your blog? May have to check it out. Thanks.

      1. Hot and stormy huh………….

        No, I wasn’t bad on my blog; I was just trying to help you with your spelling above but didn’t want to seem a nitpicker albeit better than a nose picker……just sayin’
        Bill Dorman recently posted..Don’t try this at home

  7. There’s a fine line between productive/accomplishment and busy/time wasted.

    One produces things you can eat and pay bills with, the other consumes your time with very little benefit.

    The key is to recognize which activities provide the greatest value for the time invested and invest more hours into that 🙂

    Thanks for the link Davina, you’re too sweet.

    Now shut up and get back to work! — hehe, just kidding ma’am.
    Mark Harai recently posted..Three Personal Development Mistakes and How To Fix Them

    1. You’re welcome Mark.. and I hear you on the time that pays. Of course going to a movie or taking in a ball game can be time (and money) well-spent, if that’s how you want to spend your off time. And we certainly have productive hobbies, reading or writing for pleasure. Oh and I HATE the ‘busy work’ time wasters, projects and tasks that serve no purpose; so I guess this is my way of trying to combat those. FWIW.

  8. This reminded me of the show, About A Boy, in which Hugh Grant’s character divides his day into time units of 20 (or was it 30) minutes each!

    I love reading about the way you use your time! It’s great insight into a person…and I guess that’s the point, isn’t it! I think the primary goal for me right now is to be more mindful of the way I spend time, period.

    1. Getting to know each other is something Mimi, and you’re learning that there are times I have no patience. Or at least some weird multitasking compulsions. BTW I liked that movie and there’s a part of me that aspires to be such a slacker. 😉

  9. Great pic. The Golden Arches of hope and happiness. Well that’s how I call them because sometimes that’s what they are to me.

    60min is a lot and at the same time it’s nothing. I always wonder at how 60min can last a lifetime (when something is stressful or difficult) and then just fly- by (when on social media!)

    I think time management is a misnomer we should manage our activities. Time is way too elastic to be managed.
    John Falchetto recently posted..Walls, Holy Land and Hummus

    1. Yikes, you went all zen on me John. Does Danny Brown know you’re doing that? I’m telling. 😉 So no we don’t manage ‘time’ itself (unless you have super powers you haven’t shared) but what we do, how we do things and manage our schedules and activities.

      Time is very fluid, elastic: do something you love, an hour can go by in a flash; do something you hate, an hour could feel like 2 weeks of your life you’ll never get back. All relative.

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