Index of all articles, click here

Time management

Time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity. Time management may be aided by a range of skills, tools, and techniques used to manage time when accomplishing specific tasks, projects and goals complying with a due date. This set encompasses a wide scope of activities, and these include planning, allocating, setting goals, delegation, analysis of time spent, monitoring, organizing, scheduling, and prioritizing. Initially, time management referred to just business or work activities, but eventually the term broadened to include personal activities as well. A time management system is a designed combination of processes, tools, techniques, and methods. Usually time management is a necessity in any project development as it determines the project completion time and scope.

Pareto analysis

This is the idea that 80% of tasks can be completed in 20% of the disposable time. The remaining 20% of tasks will take up 80% of the time. This principle is used to sort tasks into two parts. According to this form of Pareto analysis it is recommended that tasks that fall into the first category be assigned a higher priority.

The Eisenhower Method

A basic "Eisenhower box" to help evaluate urgency and importance. Items may be placed at more precise points within each quadrant. All tasks are evaluated using the criteria important/unimportant and urgent/not urgent and put in according quadrants. Tasks in unimportant/not urgent are dropped, tasks in important/urgent are done immediately and personally, tasks in unimportant/urgent are delegated and tasks in important/not urgent get an end date and are done personally. This method is said to have been used by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and is outlined in a quote attributed to him: What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.[citation needed]

Implementing goals

Time management literature in relation to implementation of goals frequently centres on the creation and management of task lists. There are also time management approaches that emphasise the need for more focused and simple implementation including the approach of "Going with the Flow" - natural rhythms, Eastern philosophy. More unconventional time usage techniques, such as those discussed in "Where Did Time Fly,"[11] include concepts that can be paraphrased as "Less is More," which de-emphasizes the importance of squeezing every minute of one's time, as suggested in traditional time management schemes.

Task list organization

Task lists are often tiered. The simplest tiered system includes a general to-do list (or task-holding file) to record all the tasks the person needs to accomplish, and a daily to-do list which is created each day by transferring tasks from the general to-do list.

Software applications

Modern task list applications may have built-in task hierarchy (tasks are composed of subtasks which again may contain subtasks),[19] may support multiple methods of filtering and ordering the list of tasks, and may allow one to associate arbitrarily long notes for each task.

Time Management Systems

Time management systems often include a time clock or web based application used to track an employee’s work hours. Time management systems give employers insights into their workforce, allowing them to see, plan and manage employees time. Doing so allows employers to control labor costs and increase productivity. A time management system automates processes, which eliminates paper work and tedious tasks.

Elimination of non-priorities

Time management also covers how to eliminate tasks that do not provide the individual or organization value.

See also

. Action item
. African time
. Attention management
. Chronemics
. Flow (psychology)
. Gantt chart
. Interruption science
. Maestro Concept
. Opportunity cost
. Polychronicity
. Procrastination


1. Project Management Institute (2004). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide). ISBN 1-930699-45-X
2. Buck, M. L., Lee, M. D., MacDermid, S., & Smith S. C. (2000). Reduced load work and the experience of time among professionals and managers: Implications for personal and organizational life. In C. Cooper & D. Rousseau (Eds.), Trends in Organizational Behavior (Vol. 7). New York: John Wiley & Sons.
3. The 4-Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferris, Crown Publishing Group 2007
4. The Principle of Relevance, Stefania Lucchetti, RT Publishing, Hong Kong 2010 http://www.stefanialucchetti.com
5. Covey, Stephen (1990). The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Fireside. ISBN 0-7432-7245-5.
6. *Covey, Stephen (1994). First Things First. ISBN 0-684-80203-1.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Time management", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.