Stop Wasting Time

by Jamie Novak

How much time do you really waste? No clue? If your to-do list merges into yet another to-do list and you can't keep track of appointments and important deadlines, it may be time to re-evaluate your daily routine. Are you ready to discover your true time-management personality and learn how to make the most of each day? Let's go...time's a wasting!

A neighbor asks you to help out with the town bake sale. You:
1 of 10 questions

Option A

Say yes, then kick yourself for accepting yet another commitment

Option B

Agree to man a table for three hours, then remind her of a new neighbor who may want to get involved

Option C

Volunteer on the spot. That’s what good neighbors do, don’t they?

Option D

Gracefully decline the offer. You already actively volunteer at the local thrift store.

Your to-do list is:
2 of 10 questions

Option A

Nonexistent. You misplace every list you make.

Option B

Written on the back of an envelope

Option C

A three-page-long printed document that is backed up on your computer

Option D

Written in a portable-size spiral notebook and composed of about five to seven key tasks that you complete by the end of the day

In the evening you:
3 of 10 questions

Option A

Get into bed without preparing a thing for the next day

Option B

Sometimes remember to make lunch and pull out clothing for the next day

Option C

Finish folding the laundry even though you’re exhausted — you’re determined to finish what you start

Option D

Check your calendar for the next day and make a short to-do list, prep the coffeemaker, check the weather, choose an outfit, charge your cell phone and make tomorrow’s lunch

What would you do if you had 15 minutes to spare?
4 of 10 questions

Option A

Spare time? What’s that?

Option B

Not sure

Option C

Take advantage of the time by reorganizing the CD collection in release-date order

Option D

Look over your mini task list, pick an easy job and get it done

When was the last time you misplaced your house keys?
5 of 10 questions

Option A

Just five minutes ago

Option B

Last week, but you found them quickly. You knew they were in one of three places.

Option C

It’s been a while. You have spare sets of keys lined up for just that emergency.

Option D

Rarely, if ever. You hang them on a hook near the door you use most often.

Your mail:
6 of 10 questions

Option A

Sits in a pile on the countertop

Option B

Is separated into three piles — one for bills, one for magazines and one for envelopes — on the countertop

Option C

Gets opened and dealt with immediately. Any excuse to use your new electric envelope opener and cross-cutting shredder!

Option D

Gets sorted immediately. You toss the bills in the bill basket, drop junk mail in the recycling bin and replace old magazines and catalogs with new ones that just arrived.

When it's time to clean out the pantry, you:
7 of 10 questions

Option A

Procrastinate

Option B

Clear and clean only the area that’s visible

Option C

Pull everything out, redo the shelf liners, and clean and reorganize the entire space

Option D

Work on the project in increments, with your supplies — a label maker, cleaning products and baskets — at the ready

You have a 3 pm hair appointment, so you:
8 of 10 questions

Option A

Arrive a day early. You were sure she said Tuesday, not Wednesday.

Option B

Call before leaving the house to see if your stylist is running on schedule

Option C

Show up at 3:15. You just had to finish matching the socks from the laundry before you left home.

Option D

Call and reschedule the appointment. You’d rather arrive first thing in the morning, when the shop is not busy and you don’t have to wait.

An odd-sized light bulb in the hallway needs to be replaced. You:
9 of 10 questions

Option A

Will get to it later

Option B

Write down any identifying information and head to the store

Option C

Search through your alphabetized file drawer to track down the original packaging

Option D

Know a shop where you can buy a replacement. You plan all your errands for that side of town and take the old light bulb with you so you can ask a sales associate.

While taking this quiz, you:
10 of 10 questions

Option A

Got sidetracked, clicked on another link and then came back to finish your answers

Option B

Picked your answers quickly in an effort to save time and move on to the next task

Option C

Were also replying to an e-mail and writing out a grocery list. You’re a skillful multitasker!

Option D

Questioned whether or not this is a good use of your time (in case you’re still wondering, it is)