Recently I was working with a senior manager, John, who loved to "wing it". He was great at "winging it" most of the time. But people knew (and so did he) that he would let them down at some point.

Ever found yourself saying, I will, when I find the time or, time got away from me? We'll this time management article is for you This is part of the series of articles on time management benefits outlining the 7 Secrets to Create an Extra Hour a Day?

So let's go through these little used secrets quickly. The seven secrets are:

1. There is no such thing as time management!
2. Time is for spending.
3. Crossing the knowing-to-doing GAP
4. Ready FIRE aim
5. Achieving Focus and Effectiveness
6. Tapping your Energy
7. Don't mistake activity for achievement!

Step 3 in creating an extra hour a day is about crossing the GAP between what you know and what you consistently do.

So let's go back to John's story. John loved to fly by the seat of his pants. He was great at improvising most of the time. But people knew (and so did he) that he would let them down at some point. He would forget an appointment, he was almost always late. He often left critical information behind.

For this guy, "winging it" gave him a big adrenalin rush, BUT it was also hugely stressful leading up to the event or appointment. In our coaching program we went below the surface and found some interesting programming that was causing John's behaviour. Changing his "programming" allowed John to go outside his comfort zone - and massive change occurred. (more about John later).

There are two key aspects to this secret. The first is that all of us prefer to stay in our comfort zone. The second is that most of what stops us is below the surface.

In our time management coaching programs we notice that most people get nervous just inside the edge of their comfort zone. For example, you go to a time management seminar. You learn great things about how to be more effective. You know how you can implement them. You even plan a day to start. Then you get a little nervous. It seems harder now than when you were at the seminar! And you start thinking what if .... (fill-in your thoughts and fears).

So, nothing changes and your current ineffective habits get reinforced. To create an extra hour a day you MUST go outside your comfort zone and do things differently. This is very hard for all of us. That's why the best of the best in sport and business have coaches to constantly push them outside their comfort zone, yet, at the same time support them through the process. When you are clear on the time management benefits you get then it is easier to go outside your comfort zone.

To get past the barriers that keep you in your comfort zone you need to look deeper into your thinking. To go below your usual conscious thoughts and habits. Imagine you are looking at an iceberg and you can see what is above and below the surface. Less than one third is above the water. The same applies to the blocks we all have that stop us moving forward as quickly as we would like.

Going below the surface is a critical element of our coaching. Lasting change only occurs when you address the underlying cause of your blocks and habits. Under the surface are values, beliefs and your mental programming. Yes it takes some effort, but the time management benefits are worth -- what would you do with an extra hour a day?

Now back to John. Remember how he some beliefs that were stopping him from planning -- even though this lack of planning also caused major stress in his life.

"I think being organized is "anal" and boring!" John blurted out one day. He could not see how he could get the time management benefits and still be himself. So we put this belief to the test.

What he found was that - all the really successful people he knew where either organized or highly organized. AND none of them were anal or boring! From that session on there was a HUGE difference - he was much more open to being "organised" and his behaviour changed too.

How do you "go below the surface"? What time management benefits do you want to get? Most people tell me an extra hour a day would be quite beneficial!

Action: In the next 24 hours.

Think of one action you can take to step outside your comfort zone. Do it today. Get support from a friend so that you will push through the comfort zone and make some real changes. One example that we get our coaching clients to do is to go into a convenience store and ask "where can I buy some milk?"

Author's Bio: 

Michael Erwin is an internationally certified coach who specializes in Time Creation. He has created the unique Time Management for the 21st Century system. Get the FREE version here. He has collected the most effective time management resources, including time management videos and made them available to FREE at