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Time Management

Everyone, at some point, wishes that there were more hours in a day to finish all the things that need to be done. While there is no way to stop the clock, add hours to the day, or eliminate the need for sleep, you can learn to use your time more wisely. Effective time management can help you maximize what you can accomplish and minimize your stress in the process.

Take Action:

Download the quiz worksheet and assign each item a score based upon your current time management habits.

Download the quiz


Total your score and read the suggestions based on your current time management practices.

65 – 75: Master Maximizer
You regularly exhibit solid time management practices and are in the habit of making every minute count. Minimize interruptions and distractions when focusing on high-priority activities since multitasking lowers the quality of your thinking and your ability to perform any task. There will always be many demands for high performers who manage their time and tasks well, so guard against the desire to say “yes” to everything and everyone. Among high-performing and highly successful executives, this is one of the greatest challenges to their productivity, time, and life management. Be smart about what you commit to so that you can consistently deliver quality.

50 – 64: Daily Doer
You are well on your way to maintaining control of your time and your life. You recognize the value of time well spent and seek to make the most of things. Review the items above to identify the types of time management activities you should work on. For example – you may be great at making to-do lists, but you may need to work on actually completing those tasks. Or maybe your issue lies in the area of being easily distracted or overcommitted. A good way to think about time management is to look at the value of each activity and think about which holds the greatest interest for you and can help you move toward your long-term goals. Be strategic in how you use your time and look at the prioritization article to help you become a master maximizer.

35 – 49: Scattered but Sane
You are well-intentioned, but you still have some areas for improvement. You may know the basic tenets of time management and have attempted to employ some of them. Perhaps you have got a bunch of to-do lists scattered in your pockets, in the car, or used as coasters throughout your apartment. You cannot always put your finger on them, so maybe you continue to create new lists without making sure the older ones are accounted for. It is likely you have great intentions and want to streamline your time and your life, but you just have not managed to find the system that works. First, try using a priority matrix to determine what is most important so that your lists and choices hold the greatest meaning to you. Once you do that, it will be easier to make one central list that can be prioritized, maintained, and managed. Be sure to include fun, rest, and sleep to keep you motivated.

Below 35: Last Minute Maniac
You manage to get by, but you are likely feeling frazzled most of the time. Perhaps you have found yourself dashing from one event to the next. You might feel a sense of anxiety because nothing ever feels quite done or you know you are not doing your best work. Maybe you are a last minute test crammer, the friend who is perpetually late to events, or the one who pulls out the least dirty clothes from the hamper since laundry just slipped your mind. Building new time management skills starts with awareness. Review the list of items above for the one that most resonates with you, and put it to work for the next month. Once you have mastered that, select the next one. In one year, you can begin to change at least 12 time management techniques that will change your habits, conserve your energy, and improve your effectiveness and outcomes.