My article, “time up”, struck a chord with many readers.  It is clear that in the high-pressure world we live in, some of course being self-inflicted, we are increasing becoming time poor.  The old lessons of time management need to be updated to reflect the world in which the millenniums work.

I would like to share some wisdom I have gathered through wise friends over the years.

When you wake ask your subconscious,  ‘What don’t I want to do today?’ Then do it. All of us, like William Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, have issues that we face that will not go away because we avoid confronting them.  I learnt, on a weekend self-development course, that when you wake it is a good idea to ask your subconscious,  ‘What don’t I want to do today?’ The subconscious will answer you back honestly.  Then do it.  You will find out that it was not so hard and that the relief is palpable.

Your task, when you arrive at work, is to make that call, organise that appointment or, write that report you have been avoiding.  The course leader said two things will happen. The feared task will not be so hard to complete and, secondly, you will feel much lighter as a big weight has been lifted off you.  Try it, you will find it useful.

Adopt the Fifteen second rule. I am a member of a dining club and I need to pay fees at each monthly dinner I attend.  It is a task I always leave to later, until I get chased up and am embarrassed into action. Murray, a successful businessman, told me about the fifteen second rule.  The consciousness holds short term “to do” actions for about Fifteen seconds.  When you realise you have to do something you have fifteen seconds to take some action or resign yourself to having to think about it again, some other time. I am now a follower of the fifteen second rule.

Have a ‘Blue Sky Morning’ every week.  During an overseas speaking tour, I was with a good friend one Sunday afternoon, visiting a church fair. We had run out of things to do.  Among the stalls was a person selling new lounge chairs.  We soon got into conversation with the salesmen.  My friend Clive said “I think I have one of these in the shed, but I have never used it.”  The salesman, too honest for his own good said “So do I, and likewise, it is never used.”  Both of them too busy to use their lounger and contempt the future.

When I arrived back at my office I realised that I, too, had an unused lounge chair and also, was not spending enough time focusing on my future.  Every Friday morning I would move my laptop from my home office to the lounge, bring in my lounge chair I would then begin to undertake tasks that would shape my future.

I met a Partner in an accounting practice who had attended some expensive practice development course.  Having invested £5,000 in training, he had not implemented anything.  So, one week, he stayed at home on the Thursday morning and focused on one thing to implement. Emails were sent and phone calls made. Before he had even arrived at the office that afternoon, the new procedure was in place.  He felt so energized by the success, that he has since stayed at home every Thursday morning to focus on implementing change. These two lessons help shape this advice.

The rules I adopted to start focusing on the “important but not yet urgent tasks,” as discussed in my earlier article, “time up” are:

  • No answering phone calls, texts, emails
  • No time spent on Facebook, Linked-in
  • Making strategic phone calls
  • Writing important emails and reports

Having read the book on “Blue Ocean Strategy” and totally agreeing that it is far better developing business in a space which is not over crowded, I called this time my “Blue Sky Friday”.  I urge you to vanish, one morning a week, so you find the time to totally focus on tasks that will be crucial to creating a future for yourself.



  1. Adopt the five second rule for 8-12 weeks and notice the difference
  2. Tackle that very thing you are procrastinating about.
  3. Buy my working guide and accompanying E-Templates

Look inside the working guide

Written by international writer, David Parmenter. This working guide will transform the lives of you and your team through the adoption of practices your peers have used successfully who come from top performing teams around the world.

This working guide covers:

  • The Good News- You Have More Time Than You Think
  • First Things First
  • Why You Should Eat a Frog Every Morning
  • Importance of Abandonment at Home and at Work
  • Have Two, Two-Hour Blocks of Time Every Day
  • Balancing Customers’ Needs with Your Effective Time Management
  • 15 Second Rule for Short Term “To Do” Actions
  • Adopt the Golden Rules for Handling Emails
  • Move to a Stand-Up Desk with Three Screens
  • Culling Your Time Spent in Meetings
  • Adopting Scrum Stand-Up Project Meetings
  • Adopt “Action Meetings” Methods
  • Blue Sky Fridays -Working from Home
  • Suggested rules for a blue-sky Friday
  • Working from home
  • Have a Meditation Walk During the Day
  • To Decide or Not to Decide
  • Advice from The Past
  • Frame Your Decisions
  • Automate as Many Decisions as Possible
  • Sleep and Decision Making
  • Why the Law of Attraction Can Make You More Time Efficient
  • Knowing Which Road, You Are Travelling on Will Save You Time
  • Next Steps

Click here to purchase working guide at sale price of USD$9.90 discounted from USD$40.00

[i] Stephen Covey “First Things First”, Free Press; Reprint edition, 1996[/fusion_text]