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Leadership Unlimited

Leadership Unlimited is a career column by Terry Wall, MBA '97. Terry is a recognized expert on strategy, leadership, and productivity, who will share his experiences and tips each month.

Alumni are encouraged to send comments, questions or suggestions for future column topics to

14 Strategies for Better Time Management
July 2014

  1. Take a positive attitude toward time. If you believe time overwhelms you, it will. If you believe YOU manage your time effectively, you will.

  2. Break large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks.

  3. Establish SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound [have the Smith Report on my desk by close of business Friday]). Reviewing these goals will show what you need to do.

  4. Solicit help from others by telling them that you're working on time management--they'll help keep you on track.

  5. Know your internal biological clock, your prime time--the time of day when you're at your best, and you do your best work. Then, operate by it. (If you're a morning person, schedule those more important, difficult tasks for the morning, when you're sharpest).

  6. Establish priorities by differentiating between urgent and important. Ask, "Is it important? Is it urgent?" If the answer to both is yes, it's crisis work. If it's important, but not urgent, it's work to do. If it's urgent, but not important, it's trivial work. If it's neither important nor urgent, it's time-wasting work.

  7. Set aside quiet time for when you can't be disturbed unless it's an absolute emergency, then hold people to it.

  8. Reward yourself for time management victories, large and small.

  9. Schedule specific times to perform certain tasks. It's funny how tasks that aren't scheduled seem to slip through the cracks.

  10. Spend a few minutes at the beginning and end of each day for planning and scheduling.

  11. Get rid of paper to-do lists, and use software (Outlook, ACT, etc.) to track all your important to-do's.

  12. Identify time guzzlers--people who show up unannounced, interrupt your day, talk too much, etc. And tell them they have to change their interactions with you (Be careful if it's your boss!).

  13. Learn to say no.

  14. Start delegating appropriate tasks.


About the Author

Terry Wall

Terry Wall, MBA '97, accelerates success for individuals and organizations. For individuals, he accelerates success through coaching. For organizations, he accelerates success by building winning teams, working with management teams in groups. Either way, Terry teaches people how to improve how they manage and lead, so that they and their direct reports are more engaged in their work, more committed to organizational goals, and more productive in what they do.

That accelerates success. That improves profitability.

Terry specializes in strategic planning, leadership development, change management, corporate culture, and productivity improvement. He works in a wide range of industries, including service and manufacturing, non-profit, and large and small organizations. He is a skilled facilitator who provides coaching on individual, executive, or team levels.

A recognized expert on strategy, leadership, and productivity, Terry has a B.A. in psychology from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, and an MBA from Drexel University in Philadelphia. He is a professional speaker, and a professional writer who coauthored a book on teambuilding, and has been published in many publications.

Terry Wall accelerates success, and improves profitability, for individuals, teams, and organizations.

Issue Archive

October 2009
4 Best Practices to Destroy Employee Retention

January 2010
What is Responsibility Based Management, Engaging Leadership?

February 2010
Do You Have a Leadership Deficit?

March 2010
Trust is the Foundation of Leadership, Teamwork, Sales

June 2010
Look in the Mirror First, but Beware of Blind Spots

August 2010
Five Strategies to Improve Company Profitability

October 2010
The Leader's Role as Teacher, and the Threat to Put My Hand in the Shredder

December 2010
The First 48 Principle of Conflict Resolution

January 2011
Talk Makes People Do Awful Things

March 2011
3 Reasons to Pursue Social Responsibility

April 2011
Visibility is a Great Leadership Strategy

July 2011
Casey Anthony and 4 Dysfunctions of a Team

August 2011
Choice is a Key to Motivation, Engagement

September 2011
Labor Day, and Engagement's Missing Ingredient

February 2012
3 Trends, 4 Questions for Developing Innovative Strategies

September 2012
Mastering the Art of Public Speaking

December 2012
Leaders Use Purpose to Increase Profitability

January 2013
Leadership Model Accelerates Success, Focuses on 5 Areas

February 2013
Look in the Mirror First, but Beware of Blind Spots

March 2013
The Most Powerful Phrase in Leadership

June 2013
Public Speaking As an Important Leadership Skill, and Three Improvement Tips

July 2013
5 Tips to Avoid Snore-Filled Meetings

August 2013
The Adapt or Get Zapped Approach to Innovation

October 2013
Relentless Communication About Purpose
Engages, Motivates Employees

December 2013
3 Rules to Uncover Your Purpose

January 2014
Increased Employee Engagement Leads To Improved Profitability

February 2014
Leaders Should Embrace Conflict

March 2014
To Promote Values, Preach What You Practice

May 2014
Avoid Death by PowerPoint Presentations