Found Time

Today is Wednesday, so this post is on Outstanding Performance.

I subscribe to a lot of e mail newsletters.  Success Magazine’s Success Daily Motivation is one that I really like.  Early this week, the daily motivation was a quote from Yogi Berra.  Yogi played major league baseball for the New York Yankees.  He played on several teams that won the World Series and was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. He was one of only four players to be named the Most Valuable Player of the American League three times, and one of only six managers to lead both American and National League teams to the World Series. 

On the other hand, he is also well known for mangling the English language.  Today’s quote is a good example.  “You give 100 percent in the first half of the game, and if that isn’t enough, in the second half you give what’s left.”

At first glance, this is pretty funny.  However, I have found that Yogi is on to something when it comes to performance.  Outstanding performers have the ability to find a little something more when they have to.  Good performers give 100% all the time.   Outstanding performers have the ability to dig a little deeper, and to give more than they thought possible.

You might be saying, “how can you give more than 100%?”  I know that it is impossible to exceed 100%.  I get as frustrated as anyone when I hear coaches and athletes repeating the cliché “we gave 110% out there today”.   

However, the common sense point I want to make here is that most of us are capable of doing more than we think we can.  One way to give more than 100% is by using what I call “found time”.  Here’s an example of found time. 

I was in New York last week.  I had meetings till late in the day on Friday.  I was scheduled for a 9:00 flight on Saturday morning.  But it snowed heavily in the New York area on Friday.  Most flights to and from New York airports were cancelled on Friday and Saturday.  The people who were on Friday flights were rebooked for Sunday.  People like me, who were on Saturday flights, got rebooked for Monday.  In other words, I was stuck in New York for the weekend.

This was terrible as far as I was concerned.  It was cold, damp and snowy in New York, and 75 and sunny in Denver.  I wasn’t happy about being in New York for the weekend, but I decided that I had some found time on my hands.  I have been working on a new book.  I’m close to having a first draft completed.  I decided to use Saturday and Sunday to work on the book.  I spent several hours writing on both Saturday and Sunday, and finished the first draft of the book.  (Truth be told, I also had the NCAA basketball tournament games on the TV in the background, so it wasn’t an all work, no play weekend.)

This is an example of how I gave more than 100% last week by using found time.  I could have done a lot of things in New York this weekend.  I could have gone to the Saint Patrick’s Day parade.  I could have gone to see a movie.  I could have visited friends.  I could have shopped.  Instead, I decided to treat this unexpected weekend away from home as found time that I could use to finish writing the first draft of my new book. 

Using found time in a productive manner is one way to give more than 100%.   There’s a lot of found time around if you look.  I carry business related reading material with me.  I read it on airplanes.  I know a lot of people who use their train and bus commute time to catch up on reading and e mails.  A lot of sales people I know treat waiting time for sales appointments as found time.  They use it to keep up to date on product knowledge for the products they sell and to stay on top of what’s happening with their competition.

Where have you found time?  What are some ways you have found that you can give more than 100%?

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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