In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey illustrates the secret of doing first (important) things first by putting big rocks into a jar first followed by smaller rocks then pebbles and finally sand. You cannot add the big important rocks on a life filled densely with sand.
Still, there are many day-to-day activities that can be added in while the sands of time are pouring your day away. Being prepared to leverage that time can help you maximize your effort and avoid the frustration that can occur when you feel like you are wasting your time. Waiting for a friend at the coffee house, or for your doctor to call you from the waiting room or in a line at the grocery store is a perfect time to check or update your list, sequence your next step or think about the challenges you need to work with next. You can often to this in your head but you can usually find paper and pen if you need to make notes.
If you have technology such as the iPhone at your disposal, you can do even more: call and setup that appointment or make it via their webpage form, reply to that email you haven’t had time for, find and order that birthday present and so much more. The iPhone is a great tool that can crystallize all the tasks that keep getting lost between the rocks and ever blowing sand of time. The only trick is to use it effectively and not let it fill your time with more sand.
One last note: driving is not sand time.