The Organizational Tune-Up — Time Management Assessment

By Bruce Breier – An excerpt from the book, Cracking the Business Code by Dana and Ellen Borowka

Feeling disorganized? Take the following organizational assessment and see how you can address your specific challenges. Review all the statements that apply to your office below. Now choose which ones you feel are the top challenges and look to the following chart for tips on how to make changes.



Needs Assessment

Listed below are tools and techniques that increase effectiveness and efficiency. Which ones do you need? Check all that apply in the column to the right.


1,A more balanced calendar (schedule) that enables me to accomplish my priority tasks.
2.Consistent on-time delivery of requests I make of others.
3.Qualitative proactive communications with each of my direct reports.
4.Highly organized, effective, and efficient group meetings within our business.
5.A better master task list system to manage my projects, promises, and priorities.
6.A more proactive weekly and daily planning method.
7.A reduction in the number of interruptions, disruptions, and distractions I receive each week.
8.A stack-free, clutter-free office environment and work space.
9.A better system to organize and manage my email environment.
10.More time each week for personal life priorities.

For the items you selected above, which number represents the biggest need right now?

Next, for the number you selected, see the tips for improvement in the chart below.

Organization Systems


Private Work Time (PWT) 1. Schedule 5-10 hours of PWT each week (recurring) 2 Move rather than cancel if necessary 3. Predetermine tasks to be done during PWT


Acutely Clear Delegation 1. Be very clear with what and when 2. Provide adequate lead time for non-crucial requests 3. Proofread for clarity if delegating elctronically


One-to-One Briefings 1. Customize the frequency and schedule for all staff 2. Begin and end on time (reschedule, don’t cancel) 3. Follow a framework agenda


Organized Group Meetings 1. General policy: no agenda = no meeting 2. Always begin and end on time 3. Institute acutely clear endings


Master Task List 1. Decide on the best system for you (digital v. paper) 2. Fully populate your list with tasks and due (do) dates 3. Download and upload from the list every day


Personal Planning Process 1. Produce a realistic weekly task list prior to Monday 2. Institute the scheduled workday bookends 3. Predetermine the top 3 priorities each day


Managing Interruptions, Disruptions, Distractions 1. Diagnose prior to causing or accepting (3 sec.) 2. Establish a company-wide policy re: diagnosing 3. Seclusion and privacy during PWT


The Uncluttered Office 1. Perform a total office purge of the unnecessary 2. Organize chronological and categorical filing system 3. Maintain this system during the Daily Wrap-UP


Email Management 1. Select the best email management option 2. Setup the option and practice it daily 3. Follow email etiquette and policies at all times


Work-Life Balance 1. Develop written and specific personal goals 2. Put applicable personal items on your weekly plan 3. Prioritize “you”



What’s the one thing you will start doing within the next 30 days to become more organized?

What’s the one thing you will stop doing within the next 30 days to become more organized?


Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014

Bruce Breier is an Organizational Consultant headquartered in La Jolla, California. Bruce began his consulting career in January 1978 and has many years under his belt as a facilitator, trainer, and consultant. He presents practical tips in the areas of time, paper-flow, information, project, and people management. The primary purpose of his programs is to assist busy people in leadership and management positions to become more successful by becoming more organized. Bruce has been a speaker for Vistage International since 1985 and has addressed hundreds of leaders and managers on this subject. You can reach Bruce at 858.551.8860 or

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