The Think Progress productivity quiz – do you know your time masters from your time wasters?

Lucy Hattersley

Friday 21 November 2014

Are you a productivity master or do you struggle do plan your week, day or hour? Find out which one by taking our quiz and perhaps discover some more productivity tools and tips along the way…

1. What famous time-management technique was invented by David Allen?

a) Getting Things Done
b) Get Stuff Done Fast
c) Do Things Right Now

2. Which highly regarded time-management technique involves working with an egg timer?

a) The Guivennse Method
b) The Pomodoro Technique
c) The DaVinci Approach

3. A productivity filing system uses 43 folders to sort documents. What is it also known as?

a) A Tickler file
b) A Giggler file
c) A Chortle file

4. What are the five steps in David Allen’s famous time-management technique process?

a) Capture, File, Action, Reflect & Do
b) Capture, File, Think, Reflect & Flee
c) Capture, Clarify, Organize, Reflect, Engage

5. How many hours a week could you spend working according to productivity guru Timothy Ferriss?

a) Four (you get others to do the work)
b) Fourteen (you learn to kick back and relax)
c) Forty-four (because lunch is for wimps)

6. The 80-20 rule sits at the heart of Ferriss’ productivity technique. Which law is it based on?

a) The Pareto Principle
b) The Placebo Process
c) The Pilates Practice

7. Getting rid of all the emails in your inbox is a technique known as?

a) Inbox Zen
b) Inbox Zero
c) Flat Inbox

8. A technique where you do the hardest thing first thing in the morning is known as?

a) Slap that otter
b) Swallow that frog
c) Hug that bear

9. A technique using a yearly calendar and a red marker to do the same task each day without breaking a chain is credited to which comedian?

a) Seinfeld
b) Frasier
c) Woody Allen

10. The use of entertainment mechanics to engage people in work, education and solving problems is known as?

a) Playativity
b) Edugaming
c) Gamification


1. Getting Things Done (GTD)
David Allen’s time-management method is the most famous, referred to by Wired as “a cult for the new age”.

2. The Pomodoro technique
The 25-minute egg timer helps you to focus on the task at hand and avoid distractions.

3. A Tickler File
The 43 folders consist of 12 (one for each month of the year) and 31 to cover all the days in a month.

4. Capture, Clarify, Organize, Reflect, Engage
The GTD process captures everything in your life into a system based on what is truly important.

5. Four
Timothy Ferris’ book The Four-Hour Work Week advocates owning businesses and outsourcing your work to spend more time doing personal things.

6. The Pareto Principle
The 80-20 law suggests that improvements in productivity can be made by eliminating, or simply ignoring, unproductive tasks.

7. Inbox Zero
This technique involves instantly replying to emails or moving them to folders for later action (all other mail is either archived or deleted).

8. Swallow That Frog
The phrase is based on a quote by Mark Twain: “If you have to swallow a frog, don’t stare at it too long.” Quickly getting rid of unpleasant tasks enables you to be more productive during the rest of the day.

9. Seinfeld
The technique, known as The Seinfeld Strategy, reinforces daily habits because you don’t want to break the snake (formed by adding red blocks daily to a wall calendar).

10. Gamification
This is a relatively new technique being employed by training sites and other enterprises. Gamification bases learning, or productivity, upon competition and rewards. Gamification structures have rules and goals, and offer points and awards linked to real-world outcomes.