clock face with second hand

Time Management

Getting Things Done

Manage Your Time

Objectives to focus on:

(Click on the image for a larger view.)


WII-FM  (What's In It - For Me)

narrow trail up in the clouds with steep cliffs on either sideEach of us only gets 24 hours in a day. How you use those hours is up to you.

This module will help you visualize how you spend your time on the essentials such as sleeping, eating, and working. With that information you'll be able to make decisions on how you want to spend the time that remains.

Making decisions like this gives you power... Power (and the time) you need to accomplish what you want to accomplish.

Establish your own path (and stay on it!) without getting side-tracked and falling off the sides.

Complete these Learning Activities.

Print your To-Do Checklist for this module.

As you complete the items below, check them off your list. This will help you keep track of what you are doing as well as give you a sense of completion as you work through the course.

Note: Each link below will open up in a new tab or web page. This allows you to easily return to this page for the next learning activity.



Leverage your 168 to accomplish an important goal in your life.

  1. Discover: What is 168?
  2. Learn about: SMART Goals
  3. Determine one important goal you would like to accomplish in the next few months. (Write it down!)
  4. Noodle Around with your time: 168 Activity Page Fill in how much you spend on each area. Use all 168 hours.
  5. Type in your goal and how many hours you want to dedicate to this activity.
  6. Your instructor may ask for a printout or screen shot of the page.

Estimated time: 30 - 45 minutes

laptop with life line coming out of it Journal Activity: Time Management: SMART Goals (page 9). Write down a goal and then re-work it making it into a SMART goal.

laptop with life line coming out of it Journal Activity: What is your 168? (page 9). Use your journal to document how you spend your time each day. Give yourself some time for doing your SMART goal: Working towards something YOU want to accomplish.


Read the article, Time Management Principles , from the University of Duluth Student Handbook, listing seven prime techniques you can use to spend your 168 hours each week more effectively. (I especially like the "Twofer" technique.)

Jot down one or two that you plan to use to manage your time better.

Estimated time: 30 minutes


Read Dave Allen's article, "Make it Up and Make it Happen " (PDF file) (Used with permission.)

From the article:

"There are only two problems in life. Isn't that nice to know? You only have two things you ever need to be concerned about. Not only are there only two problems–they are really quite simple. Ready?"

"It turns out that those two issues match the two sides of your brain. The 'make it up' part relates to the right hemisphere–the imaging, gestalting, creative part of our thinking. The 'make it happen' part is identified with the left side–the linear, logical, figure-it-out aspect."

Estimated time: 30 minutes

laptop with life line coming out of it Journal Activity: Use Page 11 - Time Management: GTD. List two things that you plan to change in your life to help you manage your time from the Time Management Principles and the Dave Allen article.


On Your Own: Dave Allen is the author of "Getting Things Done"  (GTD) - an effective personal management system. Click for some snippets from his corporate presentations .


Here is a presentation David Allen gave to the folks at Google. (46 minutes)

- Your brain is not designed for holding lists - That's why making a to-do list can be so satisfying. (You are letting your brain do what it does best.)
- "People say, 'Oh, grody, I don't want an in-basket in my house.' Oh yeah, guess what. Your house IS your in basket!"
- GTD as a martial art
- Two aspects of self management

Nice work!

You now know about 168 and how to leverage it for your own goals.

Next, Does your mind remind you of a yippy puppy sometimes? In the next module you'll learn more about training your mind to be more like a well-trained retriever.

Click here to move on to Module #4 - The Focus Module.