Time management

How do you manage your time when you are working? Do you jot down (= write quickly) a list of jobs to do and then prioritize them (= put them in order of importance)? Do you stick to your priorities (= do what was planned), no matter what happens or are you a procrastinator (= you tend to delay work)?

For some people it’s a problem to get down to (= begin to do) a decent day’s work because of activities that constantly distract them (= take their attention away), like people asking for information or the phone going constantly. As a result they can’t achieve a proper day’s work (= can’t do what was originally planned). Others are not able to set rigorous time limits to the meetings they conduct (= decide on, fix). The meetings go on for (= continue) too long and do not seem to be getting to a constructive end.

Whatever your problem is, take a look at a few time management tips. Who knows, maybe they will come in handy (= be useful)?

Plan. A few minutes spent planning will be saved many times over. Scheduling (= planning) time can be done as first thing in the morning or you can do plan a whole week beforehand.

Act. One of the key things is the ability to get down to work quickly. The state of neither enjoying yourself nor doing proper (= appropriate, according to the expectations) work is neither pleasant nor productive.

Don’t be too perfect. Each work comes to a point when it’s not really worth putting more effort into it (= use more of your energy doing it). Spot (= notice) this point, leave the task and focus your attention on something new.

Slice. Large and discouraging tasks will become more manageable (= easier to deal with) if you break them up into small tasks and tackle them (= deal with them) one by one.

Say ‘No’. Remember that saying ‘yes’ to everyone who asks you to do them a favour means no time to do other things. After all, you want to work according to your priorities and not someone else’s. Assertiveness is an essential skill.


Match words from the text with their synonyms.

1. to schedule

2. to spot

3. to jot down

4. to get down to

5. to tackle

6. to procrastinate

a. to delay

b. to write down

c. to deal with

d. to notice

e. to begin

f. to plan


Complete the questions with the correct words (the first letter is given) and answer them.

1. Which of the time management tips form the text above may come in h…………….. for you?

2. Do you always s…………….. to the plan of work that you’ve made at the beginning of the week/day? If not, think why.

3. Do you get easily d………………………….? What stops you from continuing your work?



  1. f

  2. d

  3. b

  4. e

  5. c

  6. a


  1. handy

  2. stick

  3. distracted

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