Professionally, we often hear people say that they are busy. Some people repeat it so much that they sound like broken records. But are they really that busy? Or do they suffer from faulty time management skills? In the vast majority of cases, it's the latter reason.

There are 24 hours in a day. People who claim to be "super busy" will tell you that they wish the day consisted of 25 hours or more. The inference is that if they had an additional hour, they could get more done, and thus be more productive. Such is not the case. An hour, or even several more hours will not yield increased results. Here are the reasons why:

First, people who live in a vacuum make the choice to do so. Sure we can point to counterproductive habits such as procrastination which rob people of time, but it does not tell the whole story. Procrastination is not the real problem; it's the symptom of a greater problem - lack of discipline.

Secondly, most people who fit this profile are addicts. Not drug addicts, but adrenaline addicts. They like the "rush" that comes with waiting till the last minute to do things. They get excited when frantically plowing through tons of details to complete tasks, assignments or projects.

Richard Koch, author of the 80/20 Principle, says that 80% of the execution of a project gets done with 20% of the remaining time available to complete it. From "cramming" for exams, to submitting million dollar proposals, many people (especially those previously mentioned) function in this manner.

The drama created from knowing that they are not as organized as they should be, and may still be able to achieve their objectives in spite of it, heightens the drama and reinforces the behavior.

This leads to the final personality trait of those who are perpetually time challenged: egotism.

Once people manage to achieve results with a fair amount of consistency they no longer question their process. In fact, they often develop pride (if not arrogance) that they can successfully operate - at will - under a cloud of chaos and disorder. This becomes their modus operandi. When this occurs, where is the incentive to change?

People who fit the above descriptions like being busy - or at least having the appearance thereof. It makes them feel and look important. Never mind the chaotic state of disarray and melodrama that accompanies them.

There's plenty of time in the day. How we use that time is the real issue. We are sure to feel pinched for time when deadlines approach; especially when we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to work methodically toward a projects completion.

Personally, distractions are a part of life. Discipline helps to minimize both distractions and procrastination. There are two areas in which a constant battle with distractions and procrastination are being fought: social networking sites and television.

Nielsen Online reported that people spend more time on Facebook than any other Web site. The study also notes that 87.25 million U.S. users visited Facebook from home and work during June, and each of those spent an average of four hours, 39 minutes and 33 seconds on the site during the month.

When people are not "networking" online, they are watching video clips.

The amount of time U.S. Internet users spend watching video is up 40 percent over last year. Watchers tuned in for 273.1 minutes of online video in the month of November 2008, up from 195 minutes in November 2007, according to comScore. The number of videos viewed increased 34 percent, to 12.7 billion videos, up from 9.5 billion last November.

When they are not watching video clips, they are watching TV.

Nielsen Media Research reports that the average American watches 142 hours of TV in a month. Last season the typical home had a television on for eight hours and 18 minutes each day. That's up an hour per day from just 10 years ago. And the older you are, the more TV you watch. Nielsen said Americans aged 65 and up watch more than 196 hours per month.

People who are truly interested in getting maximum productivity in the minimum of a 24 hour span, might be interested in conducting a comprehensive time expenditure analysis. This is a documentation of how you spend every minute, of every hour, of every day. The adage that math doesn't lie holds true here. If you add up the time spent on all of your daily activities, you might be surprised by how and where your time is spent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor released 2008 results from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS). This annual release of ATUS data focuses on the average amount of time per day in 2008 that individuals worked, did household activities, cared for household children, participated in educational activities, and engaged in leisure and sports activities.

The complete report can be found here:">

For a break down of how Americans spend their time in various activities visit here:">

Everyone can benefit from improved time management skills.

Time management skills are your abilities to recognize and solve personal time management problems. But like any problem, you have to first acknowledge that there is one before it can be solved. Make no mistake about it; you are never going to get 25 hours out of a 24 hour day. It's not possible. Your best alternative is to debunk the myth of not having enough time by learning how to make the most effective use of the time you do have. That's possible, and it's also advisable.

Author's Bio: 

Gian Fiero is a speaker and author who lectures throughout the country.