Think fast: If you could plan your perfect day, what would you have time to do? Maybe you'd take a yoga class, spend an extra hour in bed with your husband, or finally read that book you've been trying to finish. The key to making your dream day a regular reality is to change your mindset about time.

"We treat time like it is the problem rather than us — like there's just not enough of it and it goes too fast," says Samantha Sutton, Ph.D.; vice president and director of courses and seminars at The Handel Group, a coaching group that helps people learn how to design their lives. "Time is simply a medium we live in, and we need to treat it responsibly in order to get the most from it." Dr. Sutton says we tend to underestimate how long it will really take us to complete a task. Or we lie about time, like when telling our friends we'll be able to meet them at happy hour at five o'clock when we never leave the office until five. And often we say "we don't have time," when really we mean we're dreading the task at hand and have no other way to get out of it. In order to fit in all of the things that are truly important to you, you have to reassess your relationship with those precious minutes that are passing you by. The secret, explains Dr. Sutton, is owning up.

1. Start by telling the truth. If you feel like you can't get a handle on time, it's likely that you're not being honest with yourself and others about how long tasks take and how much you can actually accomplish. "You may know in your heart that you can't finish a report for your boss in an hour, but you tell her that you'll have it on her desk by then. We're so used to lying about time that we actually start to lose touch with it."

The first step is to start giving yourself more time than you estimate it will actually take to complete a task. For instance, if you think that your drive home will take an hour, give yourself an hour and twenty minutes. Giving yourself a "time padding" helps retrain your brain so that estimating time correctly will eventually become natural.