Ron Carucci

It’s a common complaint among top executives: “I’m spending all my time managing trivial and tactical problems, and I don’t have time to get to the big-picture stuff.” And yet when I ask my executive clients, “If I cleared your calendar for an entire day to free you up to be ‘more strategic,’ what would you actually do?” most have no idea. I often get … [ Read more ]

Jennifer J. Deal

When organizations reward people—whether through reputation, opportunities, or promotion—for saving money even if they waste time, employees orient their behavior accordingly.

But organizations can take actions that will start to change this mind-set. For example, company leaders could start counting time as carefully as they count money. Projects and organizational initiatives can have time budgets just as they do financial budgets, enabling organizations to track whether … [ Read more ]

Alan Weiss

Money is not wealth. Discretionary time is wealth. You can always make more money. You can’t make more time.

James Gleick

People today work more than they really need to—for the wrong reason. “It’s their own fault, for treating time as a mere status symbol. And a negative status symbol at that: the less time, the more prestige. The more time you have on your hands, the less important you must be.”

R. Alec Mackenzie

Urgency engulfs the manager; yet the most urgent task is not always the most important. The tyranny of the urgent lies in its distortion of priorities. One of the measures of a manager is the ability to distinguish the important from the urgent, to refuse to be tyrannized by the urgent, to refuse to manage by crisis.

John Donahoe

Everything seems urgent and very little actually is. When I come back from a long trip and haven’t been current on my voicemail or email, I’m always struck by the fact that what seem like crises on Day One resolve themselves without any interaction from me.

Lew Platt

Your calendar epitomizes your values and will dictate your behavior.

Seth Godin

Smart organizations ignore the urgent. Smart organizations understand that important issues are the ones to deal with. If you focus on the important stuff, the urgent will take care of itself. A key corollary to this principle is the idea that if you don’t have the time to do it right, there’s no way in the world you’ll find the time to do it over. … [ Read more ]

Heidi M. Neck, Paul Graham

Paul Graham, essayist, programmer, investor, and co-founder of YCombinator, the Silicon Valley tech accelerator program, describes a contrast between “maker schedules” versus “manager schedules.” Manager schedules break the day into hourlong chunks conducive for meetings and communication, but not for work that requires deep thinking, creative problem-solving, writing, or making. The work of [entrepreneurship] necessitates uninterrupted blocks of time.

Peter Drucker

Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.

Douglas Rushkoff

The Industrial Age was based on a new relationship with time. Instead of paying people for the things they produced, we began to pay people for their time. The Industrial Age also brought a new kind of time-based money. In order to transact, merchants and companies needed to borrow coin, and then pay it back with interest. In a sense, it is money with a … [ Read more ]

David Whyte

Our relationship to time has become corrupted exactly because we allow ourselves very little experience of the timeless. We speak continually of saving time, but time in its richness is most often lost to us when we are busy without relief. At speed, the world becomes a blur, and all those other lives we encounter that aren’t our own become another blur, too.


If you’re too busy to help those around you succeed, you’re too busy.

John Steinbeck

Time is the only critic without ambition.

Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy

To access the energy of the human spirit, people need to clarify priorities and establish accompanying rituals in three categories: doing what they do best and enjoy most at work; consciously allocating time and energy to the areas of their lives—work, family, health, service to others—they deem most important; and living their core values in their daily behaviors.

Dan Baker

Balance is not a math problem: It’s not a matter of shifting a few hours each week from one activity to another. If it were that easy, everyone with a PalmPilot would look as serene as the Dalai Lama. Balance is a design problem — a matter of coming to terms with your values and priorities, of reckoning with the trade-offs that they require. Balance … [ Read more ]

Tom Peters

Create a “To-Don’t” list that contains tasks, rituals, and meetings that you should never waste your time on again. Then stick to it.