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Managing time in life and work Quick Maths Menu


Main course

Can you...

The famous quote from the former US president, Eisenhower:

Estimate how long different tasks will take you, so you know what is realistic in the time you have available? Use bus and rail timetables to plan a journey?





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Task Task Task Task Task

‘Critical activities’

X Importance



Working when not at work In a survey, 92 per cent say they make or take work-related calls (or texts or emails) outside work time, including during holidays. Nearly three-quarters say they stay “switched on” during weekends, and a fifth have interrupted a date for work reasons.

‘Important goals’

Use software tools, such as a Gantt Chart, to help organize your time?


Being interrupted The average person gets one interruption every eight minutes during a working day. That is approximately seven per hour, or 50−60 per day. The average interruption takes five minutes, that is about four hours or 50 per cent of the average workday. Eighty per cent of those interruptions are mostly rated as “little value” or “no value”. So that is approximately three hours of wasted time per day.

is thought to have led to the development of the ‘Eisenhower’ or ‘Urgent/Important Matrix’ time management tool.

Use an electronic or paper calendar to enter and manage appointments?


Did you know?

Work out the number of hours worked in a week?



“What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.”

Important but not urgent: you need to remember to set time aside!

Important AND urgent: these tasks need doing now!!



Neither important nor urgent. Do you really need to do this?

Urgent, but not important. Is this your priority?


Lexamark International study, Wall Street Journal

You can find games to help you to practice your time management skills on many websites, including and

Maths Takeaway Template - Managing time.indd 1-3

Answers – Set menu: A: 2 hrs; B: 12.25; C: 0645

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Set Menu


Gender pay gap

A: The staff in one office have been looking into how much of their time each day they spend answering email enquiries. The results have been produced in the bar chart below, rounded to the nearest hour.

Grin or groan?

Example (see Eisenhower Matrix in ‘Main Course’) It’s now June, and your workplace is due to make some staff changes in October. You have set yourself a goal of improving your maths skills, in time to be ready for a job move. It is important, but not (yet!) urgent, so you’ve plotted it in the position of the red X in the matrix Plot your own Eisenhower Matrix Take all the tasks you have to complete, and score them from 1−5 for importance (important tasks help you to achieve your goals), where 1 is ‘not important’, and 5 is ‘very important’. Now do the same for urgency (how soon do they need to be done?). Now draw your own Eisenhower Matrix and plot all your tasks. It’s the same skills that you need to plot points on a graph. If it helps, draw numbers from 0–5 on each of the lines marked ‘Importance’ and ‘Urgency’. Hint: mark 0 at the point where the two lines meet. Find out more about how to use the matrix on the Mindtools website. Have a go at the Procrastination Quiz as well, You can take a quiz to learn more about your time management skills to see how good you are at wasting time! newHTE_88.htm

Maths Takeaway Template - Managing time.indd 4-6

No. of employees


“Lost time is never found.” “Time and tide wait for no man.”

6 5 4 3 2 1 1 2 3 4 5 Time spent answering email queries (hrs per day)

How many hours do most people in this office spend answering email enquiries? B: You start a task at 11.40am and set yourself 45 minutes to finish and break for lunch. What time do you hope to have lunch? C: You need to travel from Swindon to London, to arrive no later than quarter past eight in the morning. Using the timetable below, which is the latest train you can catch to get there in time? Chippenham















“One hour of planning will save 10 hours of doing”. And finally….

“If you want to get something done, give it to a busy person.”

0838 0854

0735 0925

If you would like to improve your time management maths skills, or maths skills in general, contact your union learning representative for more information.

Slough London



24/04/2013 12:42

Managing time in life and work - unionlearn Quick Maths Menu