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Ask Mr. MarketingColumns

Making progress in 5 minutes

If you’ve wondered how I consistently meet a weekly deadline, the answer’s simple: I’m always working on several columns. I inch them forward as time permits, and as they’re completed, they go into the queue for publication.

You see, early in my career my mentor advised me to always carry work with me.

He said, “There will be 5- or 10-minute gaps in your schedule, where you’re awaiting a meeting or taxi. Put that time to good use by writing a sales letter or reading an article.”

This advice has proven invaluable. Because there are only 1,440 minutes each day, and there’s never enough time to finish all your work. Ever.

But those little pockets of time could be enough to keep you moving forward on various tasks.

To this day I always carry something I’m in the middle of, invariably scrambling to get ideas written down before transitioning to the main event (meeting, ride, etc.) of the moment.

I’m guessing you also have projects whose completion remains out of reach. This adds to your stress, frustration and sleepless nights.

Yet odds are excellent you stand around looking at social media or playing Wordle when waiting for your appointments. Why aren’t you instead considering your marketing plan from a fresh perspective?

My mentor was fond of saying, “When you’re killing time, you’re murdering opportunity.” I concluded it was more profitable to play games after hours…once the work is done.

Conclusion: Because I’m always carrying several working columns with me, I am always able to make my deadlines.

Because my columns typically require two hours to write. And 10 extra minutes can make quite a difference in such a case.

Though you’re not asking, I’d suggest you also always carry with you an incomplete project.

Of course, this necessitates consistently bringing your phone, pad or laptop with you. Or, if you don’t wish to carry the technology, printing out a page or two and using pen and paper.

What a concept, right?

Do whatever works best for you to help you make more of your day and your time.

And consider that picking up 10 extra minutes each workday is the equivalent of gaining an additional week of work time each year.

It’s like finding free money!

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

Discover greater success in 5 minutes at

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