Quiz: Do You Need to Improve Your Time Management Skills?

Efficient time management requires that you know what tasks you need to accomplish and you use the self-discipline necessary to keep your attention focused on accomplishing them. 

Quiz: Evaluate Your Planning Skills

Time management is all about your ability to plan. Use the following rating scale to assess how frequently you do each of the planning activities listed below:

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Sometimes
4 = Frequently
5 = Always

___ Write my plan down
___ Refer to my plan and make midterm corrections
___ Keep my plan in sight
___ Communicate my plan to others
___ Anticipate obstacles
___ Prepare a backup plan
___ Delegate
___ Set deadlines for myself and others
___ Keep track of where my time is spent
___ Keep in mind the value of my time
___ Focus on those activities that will have the greatest impact
___ Review my list of goals
___ Have a clear idea of what I want to accomplish next week
___ Set priorities according to importance, not urgency
___ Isolate myself for quiet thinking time
___ Focus on results, not just activities
___ Keep the organization’s mission and goals in mind
___ Finish on time
___ Reward myself for meeting my plan

Total: ____

Add up your points. If your total is less than 60, you need to develop your planning skills.

Time Management

Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules for managing time that will work in every case, but there are several time management techniques that can help you manage your time better. Use the following 6 steps:

1. Identify your objectives
2. Prioritize your objectives
3. Make a “To Do” list of the activities to accomplish your objectives
4. Prioritize your "To Do" list
5. Schedule your day
6. Try to keep to the schedule throughout the day

Time management is not something that generally comes easily. It takes a dedicated effort to be a good time manager. It requires learning how to prioritize and how to keep to a schedule.

Try to practice effective time management to maximize your personal productivity. Attempting to work faster or harder is not the answer; learn to work “smarter,” instead:
  • End each day by reviewing the day’s accomplishments and identifying work that remains unfinished.
  • Prioritize a list of the work to be done the next day, with a tentative schedule and job assignments.
  • When you arrive at work the next morning, make adjustments to include any new and unplanned events.
  • Put your day's plan to work without wasting time.

Problem Solving as a Manager

Managers should focus their attention on significant problems and weed out the trivial ones. Time is a valuable management resource, so problem evaluation should be completed before beginning any problem solving process. When evaluating the significance of a problem, managers should consider:
  • How much control the individual or group has over the problem and solution.
  • How serious, or urgent, the problem is to be resolved.
  • How difficult it will be to work through the problem in order to find a solution.
  • How much time it will consume.
  • What the expected benefits of solving the problem will be.
  • If there are enough available resources to solve the problem.


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