Put More Hours in Your Day

person looking at silver-colored analog watch

As you know, we all have the same 24 hours. And yet, at some point everyone wishes they had more time, if only they could put more hours in the day. In fact, for 60% of my clients, time management is a primary goal.

Recently, 3 of my clients have had great success with exactly that — putting more hours in the day. Here’s how they did it.


“Samantha” is a working woman, approaching retirement. She has a grown child and a husband. She needed to find more time, with the caveat, “Don’t make me do anything at night, that’s when I wind down.” Now, after she returned home from work, she’d cook, eat and watch a couple hours of tube.

But she was clear: nothing new at night. So instead of using that down time, I just asked her to have less of it. “Would you be willing to go to sleep an hour earlier an wake up an hour earlier, that way you’d have an extra morning hour.”

“I love mornings. Let’s give it a try.”

I am happy to report, that for the last 2 months, she’s woken up between 5 and 5:30 (5:30-6 on the weekends), had tea, walked into her office, and started her big personal project. We put 5-8 more hours in her day, by paying attention to her natural time preference. This gal’s a true morning glory.


“Cindy” is an entrepreneur and mom of 2, a 3-year and a 3-month old. It goes without saying that she doesn’t get much sleep. And doesn’t seem to require more than 5 to 6 hours total. When her children go down, she goes to town working on her start-up. She goes to bed around 11 or 12, wakes a couple times during the night to feed her daughter and is up by 6 or 7.

I’ve had enough of Peter Maas classes at Cornell to know just how important sleep is. She noticed that she was forgetting the simplest things, concerned about losing weight post baby, and just generally foggy. Where could she get more hours in her day?

Get more sleep. Have fewer hours, and more quality hours to get work done.

Mission accomplished; she’s made a commitment to get to bed earlier a couple days a week and notices a significant difference in her mood and productivity thereafter.


“Jeremy” is a father of 4 and partner in a large law firm. He is the primary breadwinner for his family, and he works hard in an industry where you never leave the office. He takes early trains on Friday to see his children play sports, then wakes early on Saturday and Sunday to complete work that didn’t get done on Friday.

Except he really doesn’t want to wake up early on the weekends (would you?). We changed his work schedule to give him sufficient “ramp down” time on Friday and “ramp up” time on Monday. Weekend work is out of the question. By making a more clear line between work and family, he was able to be more present for both, respectively.

Did we bend the time space continuum? No. Did we put more quality hours in their days? You betcha.

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