Maximize your discretionary time

productivity tips Jump Start Monday | Get your week off to a great start with the Day-Timer blog. Each Monday we’re going to feature a new tip to help you gain a more productive week at work and at home.
Today’s tip: Maximize your discretionary time

How much free time do you have today? Fifteen minutes here — twenty minutes there? Here’s a way to make that time work.

Discretionary time is the free time you have when no person or no event is claiming your attention. It’s also the time when you have the most control over what to do next.

Unfortunately, your day may seem as though it offers very little discretionary time because the free time you have comes in small segments. Often, it doesn’t seem enough to get things done.

Try this:

Whenever possible, group your meetings, phone calls, and other commitments into consecutive time slots, thus giving you bigger blocks of time to work your task list. Save bigger periods for your discretionary time in the afternoon.

Here’s why:

Very often, our days can be filled with appointments, meetings, phone calls, errands, and other important scheduled activity. Successful people are able to batch together their blocks of work time so that they can get things done. Even if 75% of your day is scheduled, you can still get things done if you keep your discretionary time in large chunks.

[photo by Dave-F]
Jeff Doubek Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at