Time is a very valuable commodity. People who spend their time wisely tend to be more relaxed, accomplished, and productive.

One of the greatest obstacles to time management is what we might call “time wasters.” It’s easy to get distracted by wanted and unwanted interruptions.

How susceptible are you to time wasters? Try taking this short quiz and find out!



Rate each statement as a 0, 1, or 2:
0 = Never
1 = Sometimes
2 = Always

  1. I do things that interfere with my work because I hate saying “no” to people.
  2. I am easily distracted.
  3. Even when I am doing important work, I will still take a break to chat with co-workers if they stop by my office.
  4. I check my email frequently.
  5. When I have something difficult or unpleasant to do, I procrastinate.
  6. I spend little time planning.
  7. The day before a big project is due, I have to rush to get it done.
  8. When I am researching a topic for work, I end up searching for information on unrelated topics.
  9. I lose track of time.
  10. I spend more time surfing the internet than I do on work.

Add up your scores to arrive at your total.



If your total score is between 0 and 4: You are good at managing your time and avoiding distractions.

If your total score is between 5 and 12: You make an effort to manage your time and avoid distractions, but you are not always successful. As a result, you may sometimes feel overscheduled and overwhelmed.

If your total score is between 13 and 20: You are not managing your time very effectively, and you do engage in a lot of time-wasting activities. This most likely causes you to feel a lot of stress. You would like to do everything, but you often have a hard time completing critical tasks. You may feel frustrated and overwhelmed – like there are simply not enough hours in the day.


If you’re not very happy with your result, don’t despair! There are techniques that you can use to manage your time more effectively and avoid time wasters.

  • Make a list – Make a list of the things that you need to accomplish during the day to help you stay focused on what you need to do. Arrange them in order of importance and try to get the most important things done first.
  • Remove distractions – When you’re working, try to find a quiet spot, away from noise and distraction. Only check your email or take phone calls during certain, prearranged times during the day.
  • Learn how to say “no” – It is just not possible to make everyone happy all the time. If you say “yes” to every request, you will end up overscheduled and under stress. You need to protect your time and learn how to say “no.”

Your time is very precious. Time-wasting activities can rob you of that time, often leaving you with nothing to show for it. So try using these time-saving ideas and techniques and start spending your time on the things that really matter!