Tom Menold, owner of Menold Construction, in Morton, Ill., a $6.5 million company with 45 employees, believes time management skills make employees far more efficient. He became a believer back in 1990, after reading R. Alec MacKenzie's The Time Trap. MacKenzie's classic text focuses on what the author says are the 20 biggest time wasters (telephone interruptions, inability to say no, et cetera). He offers prescriptions for eliminating them.

Menold was sent a free copy by the American Management Association when he joined. So impressed was he that he ordered extra copies and in 1992 began holding weekly classes for his employees on different chapters. Employees read a chapter and meet to discuss it.

"We've gone through every chapter in the book," Menold says. "Some many times."

Restoration division manager Patrick O'Neill concedes he hasn't read all 20 chapters, but what he has read proved useful. "We sit down and pick out points," he says. "Simple things you forget about on a day-to-day basis."