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Time Management


Discuss with your partner:

1. If a party is starting at 8pm in your country, what time do people normally arrive? Why?
2. Do people always go to work on time in your country? Do they always leave on time? What does it depend on?
3. Are the people in your family normally on time or often late? Who? Why?
4. Do you mind if your friend is 10 minutes late to an appointment? How about 30 minutes?

Time Management

1. Check you understand the words in the sentences below. Decide if the sentences are true or false for you, and why.

I am often late for things.
I often need to rush to get to places or to finish things.
I usually make a list of things I need to do during the day.
I hardly ever do everything I plan to do in a day.
I always do things which are a priority first.
I often delay doing things I don't like doing.
I never write down any appointments or things I arrange in a diary.
I occasionally miss appointments because I forget I have them.
I sometimes stay up late to finish things.
If I'm finding something very difficult to do, I usually take a break.

2. Work in groups. Compare your answers to Exercise 1 and discuss these questions.

Which are good things to do and which are bad? Why?
Who manages their time best in your group?
Do you think you can learn to manage your time and be more efficient? How?
3. 🔊 Listen to two conversations. The first is between Martin and Tula, the second is between Rachel and her mum. Take notes on the work these people need to do this week.

4. Work in pairs and compare your ideas. Do you think each speaker manages their time well? Why? / Why not?


5. 🔊 Listen again and complete the sentences with three words in each space. Contractions like don't count as one word.

I'm trying to write something for marketing, but I'm _____.
Hey, _____, are you going to that training session on Friday?
It said all _____ have to attend.
It's probably a _____ then.
I'm going. Can you do _____ things for me?
The washing machine's on. _____ the clothes outside?
You need to _____, my girl. You're nineteen, not a child!
Yeah, but you _____ your work. And anyway, you're my mum.
6. Work in pairs. Discuss the questions.

Do you think either of the conversations could happen in your country? Why? / Why not?
What do you think is good or bad about working in an office?
What things stop you from doing work?
How much housework do you do?
How much time do you have to relax? What do you do?
Do you think you do a good balance between work and relaxation? Why? / Why not?

Collocations are two or more words that we often use together. For example, on these pages you learned the word appointment. In English, we make or arrange an appointment and sometimes we miss an appointment (we forget to go or we're late); we have / have got an appointment with the dentist. Sometimes you can't arrange to do something because you have a previous appointment (one you made before).

Don't learn just the word appointment. Try to learn some verbs, adjectives or phrases that usually go with the noun. It's a good idea to learn words together because:

it can help you hear and read more quickly.
it's easier to use the word correctly.
you see more words more often – and remember more.
10 Complete each group of collocations with one word.

contract interview job meeting priority project staff training

apply for a _____ / lose my _____ / have a well-paid _____ / a part-time _____
employ part-time _____ / need more _____ / train the _____ / friendly and efficient _____
have a job _____ / the _____ went badly / a phone _____ / a hard _____
need more _____ / give _____ / attend staff _____ / get basic _____
arrange a _____ / go to a _____ / have a staff _____ / a positive _____ (not be) a _____ / make it a _____ / agree what the _____ is / my main _____
have (got) a temporary _____ / sign the _____ / my _____ ends / agree a new _____
manage a _____ / work on a new _____ / big _____ / launch a new _____

11 Work in pairs. Say one more collocation for each of the nouns in Exercise 10.

12 Work in groups. Discuss the questions.

Do you know anyone with a well-paid job?
Do you know anywhere that needs more staff? Why?
Do you think phone interviews are good? Why? / Why not?
Do you know anyone who gives training? What in?
What do you think is good about going to meetings? What about?
Have you ever been on a temporary contract?

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