Max Out Your Minutes!

Make every extra minute work for you later.
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Feel like there's never enough time in the day? You probably have more time than you think. Maximize it by using those spare moments that typically go to waste. Here's what you can do with:

Five minutes

  • Enter the month's appointments in your calendar.
  • Send a fax.
  • Return a phone call. If the other person isn't there, you may be able to return several calls. Leave detailed voice mails about what action you need the other person to take, and you're one step closer to finishing the task.

10 minutes

  • Write a letter.
  • Open your mail or check your e-mail. Even if you don't have time to read it, you can immediately trash the obvious junk, then sort the rest into "urgent" and "regular priority."
  • File the papers cluttering your desk.
  • Delete old files from your computer.
  • Skim the newspaper of your favorite Web site.
  • If your office location allows, go outside for a 10-minute walk to energize yourself and clear your head.

30 minutes

  • Work on a small chunk of a complicated project.
  • Skim a magazine or two and clip relevant articles for later. (Read them next time you have a spare five, 10 or 30 minutes.)