Quiz: How good are you at organizing?

Good organizational skills can help diminish chaos in your life … and not just at the office, says productivity guru Laura Stack. “Steps taken in one area often spill over into the other, increasing productivity and a sense of well-being,” she says.

How organized are you? Answer these questions according to the following scale:

1 — to no extent
2 — to a little extent
3 — to some extent
4 — to a considerable extent
5 — to a great

To what extent do I:

1. Manage my reading pile so it doesn’t “mushroom.”

2. Create systems for repetitive tasks.

3. Know and avoid my biggest time wasters.

4. Eliminate bottlenecks in my work caused by people or processes.

5. Recognize that different personalities relate to time differently; I understand how to work effectively with each style.

6. Know how much my time is worth and eliminate those things that waste it.

7. Save time in bits and pieces; I know that little things add up.

8. Make effective use of downtime.

9. Make decisions quickly once I have the appropriate information.

10. Try to reduce “information overload.”

11. Use proper e-mail protocol and don’t waste others’ time with its use.

12. Leave effective voice-mail messages.

13. Understand the features and purposes of electronic and paper systems and when to use each.

14. Find electronic files quickly, since my computer files are well organized.

Add your total for your final score:

64-70: Congratulations, you’re a consummate organizer!

50-63: Improvements needed, though you’re still above average. Make adjustments where you scored low, and give yourself credit for doing a terrific job.

38-49: Average. Work on kicking it up a notch.

26-37: Major overhaul required. Work on improving one area at a time, so it doesn’t overwhelm you. Once you’ve developed a good habit in one area, start on another.

25 or below: Red flag. Delve into the subject matter with a good workbook, such as Laura Stack’s Leave the Office Earlier.