Wow! I just wish I had just a little more time!” John says at the end of a long work week. He then sits down in his favorite recliner and flips on his favorite television show, curls up with a bowl of popcorn, and settles in for the night. Three programs later, he says, “I need to get in shape! But I guess that round is a shape, so I’m in shape.” He plops down in the chair and loses himself in the latest tale of Law and Order. John and his wife need a new roof and don’t know how they are going to pay for it. His stress level increases until the theme to Family Guy begins. Three AM rolls around and he awakens in a cold sweat wondering where they will ever get the money for the new roof. They both work full time, and they are financially strapped. John has been selling real estate for several years, but the media has been convincing him that the economy has crashed and he can’t expect much income in the near future. While the story above is slightly over the top, it is all too common. Millions of people are addicted to The Electronic Income Reducer! This box is in nearly every home, and in most cases, in almost every room within the home. Why do advertisers pay millions of dollars to have just a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl? That’s because people are hypnotized and advertisers can access their subconscious minds directly! Have you ever heard someone talking to you when you were engrossed in a television program or movie, but couldn’t remember what they said? We all have! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to imply that all television is evil. What I’m getting at is that most of America is in the habit of television. One of the strongest forces in the universe is that of habit. Have you ever known that you needed to stop by the store on the way home from work, but realized you completely forgot as you were pulling into your driveway? Let’s take a look at the math: The average American watches a little over five hours of television per day. (No wonder we have an obesity epidemic!) If you can pry yourself away from that box for just one of the five hours, you would “add” 7 hours of time over the course of a week. That is 365 hours per year, divided by 24 hours in a day that equals 15.2 days of extra time in a year! In my live program, How to Keep Your Head On…While Working Your Butt Off! I show audiences how they can improve the outcomes in their lives by simply managing their time and shutting off “Media Autopilot.” Here are a few other tips that may help you stretch more out of your work day: 1.Instead of asking or telling someone about and idea or a project right away, keep a notepad with everyone’s name on a separate page. When something you need to discuss with them pops to mind, write it on the page assigned to them. Visit with them at the end of the day and cover many items at once, instead of making several visits throughout the day. 2.Eliminate the “Gotta Minutes” in your life. When addressing business groups, we talk about the “Gotta Minutes”. Have you ever been knee deep in a project and Fred “Gotta Minute” pops by your office and asks, “Jim, gotta minute?” You end up totally distracted and need to spend 10-15 minutes to catch up where you left off prior to the unplanned interruption. If you are working on a project, shut your door, or let your secretary know that you are not to be disturbed. 3.Take periodic times throughout the day to give yourself a mental “time out”. Meditate; look out the window, or just chill. You can only keep your brain on overdrive for so long. When I am on the road, I typically work very long days. I frequently book multiple speaking engagements, have meetings with prospects, and often squeeze in phone coaching and media interviews throughout the day. I make time in the afternoon to just relax or take a nap (if possible). It may only be for 20-30 minutes, but it recharges better than anything I know of. I have found these ideas to be quite useful in helping to get more accomplished in a day, week, month, or year. I welcome your success strategies at email@example.com. I would love to send you my goal planning e-book, free of charge, just email me at the address above and my assistant will get it right out to you. If you have a program you really can’t miss, just record it. Whether you are into Oprah, Family Guy, or National Geographic; schedule the down time to enjoy the show. Don’t turn it into a habit!