Latest research suggests that typical middle-class city-dwellers  (= people living in the city) now have so many time-saving (= that save our time) gadgets that they can fit into 24 hours the same quantity of tasks that a decade ago would have taken 31 hours to complete.

For many people, the frenzy (=rush, craze) starts over breakfast, reading emails while making toast. It carries on in the car where a driver with an earpiece (= a piece that you use for talking on the phone without holding it) holds a conference call. Work is then in a blizzard (= a great number of) of emails, phone calls and meetings, often happening simultaneously (= at the same time). The most intense period of multitasking appears to be in the evening. People will be pressing the TV remote control while using a wireless (= not using wires) laptop, emailing or texting your friends on mobile phones and holding a conversation with family members. Multitasking is nowadays a perfectly natural everyday occurrence (= something that happens). We can cook dinner while engrossed (= so interested and involved in sth) in a soap or we can chat to a friend while walking down the street without bumping into (= meeting sb by chance)anybody or getting run over (= hit sb or sth with a vehicle). However, can our brain get overloaded at any time???



Decide if the sentences below are true of false. Correct the false ones.

  1. City –dwellers spend 24 hours fiddling with gadgets.
  2. People are naturally unable to perform many tasks at the same time.
  3. Talking on the phone walking in the street you bump into others.
  4. People multitask because the times have changed.



Categorise the expressions into 3 categories:


the 50s       night     New Year’s Eve    the summer     the afternoon     March     Christmas

6th May   the weekend    the moment     a moment    9am     the Middle Ages     noon

the nick of time    no time    midnight   time =punctually Easter    Monday

our anniversary    Christmas Day     


At In On





Remember that these are two different expressions:

In time = early enough

On time = punctually





Match two columns to find definitions:

1.IN THE NICK OF TIME a)Time and again/often/repeatedly
2.TIME AFTER TIME b)It is finished
3.IN TIME c)Temporarily
4.ON TIME d) When the time is favourable
5.TIME’S UP e) Not to hurry
6.FOR OLD TIME’S SAKE f) Rushing/in a hurry
7.FOR THE TIME BEING g)More time available than you need
8.ALL IN GOOD TIME h) Be in prison
9.HAVE TIME ON YOUR HANDS i) Delay things to gain more time
10.IN NO TIME j) At the last possible moment
11.PRESSED FOR TIME k) Wait for sth doing sth else
12.DO TIME l) Very fast/soon
13.PLAY FOR TIME m) Punctually
14.TAKE ONE’S TIME n) With time to spare
15.BIDE ONE’S TIME o) As a way of remembering enjoyable times in the past




RUN OUT  = to use all of sth / stop being legal / not to have any more left / be left by sb


Many hospitals are running out of money.
They returned home from holidays when the money ran out.
My contract runs out next month
When does your passport run out?
Jane’s husband ran out on her when their children were young.



To stop wasting a finite resource, companies should tackle time problems systematically rather than leave them to individuals.

When a critical strategic initiative at a major multinational stalled recently, company leaders targeted a talented, up-and-coming executive to take over the project. There was just one problem: she was already working 18-hour days, five days a week. When the leaders put this to the CEO, he matter-of-factly remarked that by his count she still had “30 more hours Monday to Friday, plus 48 more on the weekend.”

Extreme as this case may seem, the perennial time-scarcity problem that underlies it has become more acute in recent years. The impact of always-on communications, the growing complexity of global organizations, and the pressures imposed by profound economic uncertainty have all added to a feeling among executives that there are simply not enough hours in the day to get things done.


Stalled = almost stopped

Targeted = aimed

Up-and-coming = likely to develop 

Take over = take control over

Perennial =always existing 

Time scarcity = having not enough time

Imposed = sth that people are forced to do

Profound = huge


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Ex. 1

  1. False.
  2. False.
  3. False.
  4. True

Ex. 2

At In On



The weekend

The moment





The 50s

The summer

The afternoon


A moment

The Middle Ages

The nick of time

No time

New Year’s Eve

6th May

Time =punctually


Our anniversary

Christmas Day


Ex. 3 

  1. J
  2. A
  3. N
  4. M
  5. B
  6. O
  7. C
  8. D
  9. G
  10. L
  11. F
  12. H
  13. I
  14. E
  15. K