Generally, time management refers to the development of processes and tools that increase efficiency and productivity.
In business, time management has morphed into everything from methodologies such as Enterprise Resource Planning through consultant services such as Professional Organizers.
When we think of time management, however, we tend to think of personal time management, loosely defined as managing our time to waste less time on doing the things we have to do so we have more time to do the things we want to do.
Therefore, time management is often thought of or presented as a set of time management skills; the theory is that once we master the time management skills, we’ll be more organized, efficient, and happier.
Advantages of Time Management
- Gain time
- Motivates and initiates
- Reduces avoidance
- Promotes review
- Eliminates cramming
- Reduces anxiety
Keys to Successful Time Management
Self knowledge and goals: In order to manage your time successfully, having an awareness of what your goals are will assist you in prioritizing your activities.
Developing and maintaining a personal, flexible schedule: Time management provides you with the opportunity to create a schedule that works for you, not for others. This personal attention gives you the flexibility to include the things that are most important to you.
Time management literature paraphrased:
- “Get Organized” – paperwork and task triage
- “Protect Your Time” – insulate, isolate, delegate
- “Achieve through Goal Focus” – motivational emphasis
- “Work in Priority Order” – set goals and prioritize
- “Use Magical Tools to Get More Out of Your Time” – depends on when written
- “Master the Skills of Time Management”
- “Go with the Flow” – natural rhythms, Eastern philosophy
- “Recover from Bad Time Habits” – recovery from psychological problems underlying, e.g. procrastination
But in contrast, some of the recent general arguments related to “time” and “management” point out that the term “time management” is misleading and that the concept should actually imply that it is “the management of our own activities, to make sure that they are accomplished within the available or allocated time, which is an unmanageable continuous resource”.
POSEC is an acronym for Prioritize by Organizing, Streamlining, Economizing and Contributing.
The method dictates a template which emphasizes an average individual’s immediate sense of emotional and monetary security. It suggests that by attending to one’s personal responsibilities first, an individual is better positioned to shoulder collective responsibilities.
Inherent in the acronym is a hierarchy of self-realization which mirrors Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of needs”.
- PRIORITIZE – Your time and define your life by goals.
- ORGANIZING – Things you have to accomplish regularly to be successful. (Family and Finances)
- STREAMLINING – Things you may not like to do, but must do. (Work and Chores)
- ECONOMIZING – Things you should do or may even like to do, but they’re not pressingly urgent. (Pastimes and Socializing)
- CONTRIBUTING – By paying attention to the few remaining things that make a difference. (Social Obligations)
I’ve found that learning and applying time management skills made a huge difference to both my productivity and the way I felt.