Posted on: April 13th, 2012 by Jen Mueller

Jen Mueller, America's Expert Talker“If only I had 12 more hours in the day…”

That used to be my response when someone would ask, “How’s your day going?”  I’d give them a smile and say “If only I had 12 more hours in the day, I’d be right on track.”  Or “I could really use 12 more hours in the day to get everything done.”

Sound familiar?

My dream of adding 12 hours to the day came true about 2 weeks ago.  I had traveled to Japan with Mariners as part of their broadcast team and anyone who’s crossed the international dateline knows that you either gain a day or lose a day depending on which direction you’re heading.  When we left Japan it was about 3pm on a Friday afternoon when we arrived in the US it was 10am that same Friday morning.

When I first noticed this quirkiness on the itinerary I was thrilled – finally a chance to add hours to my day!  Plus, when you make that trip, it’s advised that you stay up all day to get your sleeping patterns back on track.  It was everything I ever wanted.


It was exhausting.

Just to be clear, I wasn’t so silly to think I could be productive during a day that I had traveled halfway around the round, but it was an eye opening experience.  Wishing for more time doesn’t solve anything and you’re “lucky” enough to get it, it’s a waste of time because you’re so tired.

The only real way to get more hours in the day is to make better use of the ones you already have.  I’m not telling you something you don’t already know, but here are a few of the ways I create a little time in my day.

  1. Make an organized checklist.  Don’t just throw everything on a to-do list.  That can be counterproductive.  Try organizing the list in 3 sections: Appointments and Meetings, Action Items, and the Extra Time list (those are things that aren’t time sensitive that you can work on if you find extra time.)
  2. Identify 3 top priority items.  When you take the time to prioritize you know exactly where you need to start.
  3. Know you won’t get everything done.  The key to being productive has nothing to do with crossing everything off your to-do list.  It’s about what you don’t do.  Be willing to leave some item on the “Extra Time” list.  Know that if you don’t get through the “Action Items” list today, the remaining items can be top priorities tomorrow.

These three tips are based on how I approach the TV shows that I produce and host.   It’s the exact thought process used to determine which stories I should be in a show and how long to spend on each story.  I’ll share more of my Time Management tips Monday April 16th at Gordon Beirsch Restaurant and Brewery in Seattle.  Register here for this awesome Power Chicks Power Shot event and let’s find a few more hours in your day!


What Do I Say? Overcoming Barriers to Effective Communication in the WorkplaceJen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, helps business professionals understand the sports conversations that happen every day at work.  She’s also helping them climb the corporate ladder through her program “What Do I Say?” Jen’s practical approach helps professionals join the conversations, sound intelligent, and understand how their communication skills play an important roll in their success.  Her conversation strategy comes from 12 years of experience as a sports broadcaster.  Jen is available to speak for keynotes, presentations and workshops.  Contact for more information and read more at