By Luis S. R. Vas December 2005 People who are in control of their lives somehow manage to be on time without arriving hurried,” Eknath Easwaran in Take Your Time: Finding Balance in a Hurried World. Write down the letter (A, B, C, D) to indicate how much you agree with the following statements: A-Strongly Agree;B-Mildly Agree; C-Mildly Disagree;D-Strongly Disagree. 1. The urgencies of the day don’t put much pressure on me. 2. My various tasks and activities are executed according to their priorities. 3. The quick, easy or enjoyable jobs don’t necessarily get my attention first. 4. My weekly plan includes specific goals, activities and priorities. 5. Getting better organised and using a more effective system for planning time is not something that weighs on my mind. 6. I allow time for unexpected things I cannot control, in my daily plan. 7. I usually leave things that are either unpleasant or take big blocks of time, for the next day. 8. Only pressure from a looming deadline can get me started and everything gets done at the last minute. 9. I need the right mood and time to get started on any creative work and keep worrying about possible mistakes and wrong decisions. How to score yourself For questions 1-6, give yourself the following points: A(4), B(3), C(2), D(1). For questions 7-9, give yourself the following points: A(1), B(2), C(3), D(4). What your scores reveal 9-17 : You have limited understanding of how to manage time, and need to improve. Skill development is a high priority. 18-27 : You have the basic knowledge and skills for managing time though some areas need continued development. 28-36 : You have mastered time management well and can actively share it with others. Q1-Q3 pertain to priorities; Q4-Q6 to planning; Q7-Q9 to procrastination Improve your skill Time management is a skill that can be learned and perfected. Here are ten quick time management pointers you can use to help you squeeze more out of each day. 1. Don’t waste your time waiting for other people. If you must, find ways to make good use of even a few minutes. While holding on the telephone to get connected to the right person or waiting for a meeting or appointment, you can make lists, sort mail, go over your schedule or complete small but essential tasks. At home you can sort the laundry or your mail while catching up on the news, and make phone calls while preparing dinner, etc. 2. Stock up on the small items you frequently run out of or make special trips to purchase, such as postage stamps, greeting cards, wrapping paper. 3. If possible, buy nonperishable groceries and household goods in quantities to last as long as possible, so that frequent shopping trips are then confined to picking up fresh items only. 4. While attending to essential household chores, either switch off the phone or put it on voice mail. 5. To reduce waiting time, make medical and dental check-up appointments well in advance and ask for the earliest morning appointment. If the doctor takes a midday break, ask to be placed first on the afternoon schedule. 6. Schedule the most demanding tasks for when you know you’re at your peak mentally and physically. You’ll work more efficiently and save time. 7. If you need to schedule meetings or appointments that are likely to drag on indefinitely, try keeping them right before lunch or near the end of the business day.
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