Yet another set of skills helps us interpret, retain, and create information that is in linear or serial order. Sequencing helps us understand and use ordered information—from simple information like the alphabet to conceptual information such as historical events and processes like photosynthesis. These abilities are also related to appreciating, estimating, and making effective use of time.

People with strengths in this area are often good at managing their time effectively. They may tend to sequentially process information that others process differently. For example, they may prefer to think about and follow driving directions as a step-by-step process, versus using a map.

People who have challenges with keeping track of time or order may have poor time management skills. They may tend to procrastinate and miss deadlines. They may confuse the steps of procedures or instructions. Or they may present ideas out of logical order.

Strategies for managing challenges with keeping track of time and order

  • If you often run out of time, make a point of estimating in advance how long a certain task or activity will take. Later, review how long you actually spent on it, and use this insight to build the right amount of time into your next effort.
  • Examine your time management techniques. “To do” lists that are not prioritized or whose schedules you routinely don’t meet, are not very effective. Similarly, compulsive over-planning is a poor use of time.
  • Use staging when you undertake a project. Break a complex task into smaller, shorter, or less complex “mini-tasks” and tackle them in order.
  • Support your understanding of processes with visual information, such as diagrams or flow charts.
  • Use computer software programs that facilitate planning and organizing. For complex projects with certain steps that must happen in sequence, a Gantt chart is a good tool.
  • Mind Tools offers a variety of tools (many of which are free) designed to help professionals with both time and task management. 


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