The key to time management is knowing ourselves, as we can't actually "manage" time; all we can manage is our own behavior.
For many of us this is more than enough of a challenge. While we claim that effective time management is a top priority and that we just have to get more organized, our actions don't match our stated desires. I've invented these personality "types" to describe patterns of behavior that sabotage many people's attempts at time management.
Which of the following time management "types" are you? While intended as fun, this exercise may provide you with some clues for more effective use of time.
The Fireman - For you, every event is a crisis. You're so busy putting out fires that you have no time to deal with anything else - especially the boring, mundane things such as time management. Tasks pile up around you while you rush from fire to fire all day.
Typically seen - Running to car.
The Over-Committer - Your problem is you can't say 'No'. All anyone has to do is ask, and you'll chair another committee, take on another project, or organize yet another community event. You're so busy you don't even have time to write down all the things you do! For some strategies on dealing with over-committing see How to Say No to People and Saying No to Your Boss.
Typically seen - Hiding in rest room.
The Aquarian - There is such as thing as being too "laid-back" - especially when it starts interfering with your ability to finish tasks or bother to return phone calls. Getting to things when you get to them isn't time management; it's simple task avoidance.
Typically seen - Hanging out with feet on desk.
The Chatty Kathy - Born to socialize, you have astounding oral communication skills and can't resist exercising them at every opportunity. Every interaction becomes a long drawn out conversation - especially if there's an unpleasant task dawning that you'd like to put off.
Typically seen - Talking on cell phone.
The Perfectionist - You have a compulsion to cross all the "t's" and dot all the "i's", preferably with elaborate whorls and curlicues. Exactitude is your watchword, and you feel that no rushed job can be a good job. Finishing tasks to your satisfaction is such a problem you need more time zones, not just more time. See Perfectionist Traits: Ten Telltale Traits of a Perfectionist and Overcoming Perfectionism - How To Work Past Perfectionism.
Typically seen - Hunched over latest project.
Hopefully none of these time management personality profiles is a photograph of you! But perhaps these descriptions will provoke some thought about the different ways we manage or mismanage time, and some clues about how we might change our behaviors to make our time management efforts more successful.