Time management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity. It involves a juggling act of various demands upon a person relating to work, social life, family, hobbies, personal interests and commitments with the finiteness of time. Using time effectively gives the person “choice” on spending/managing activities at their own time and expediency.
It is a meta-activity with the goal to maximize the overall benefit of a set of other activities within the boundary condition of a limited amount of time, as time itself cannot be managed because it is fixed. 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. 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. Time management is usually a necessity in any project development as it determines the project completion time and scope. It is also important to understand that both technical and structural differences in time management exist due to variations in cultural concepts of time.
The major themes arising from the literature on time management include the following:
Creating an environment conducive to effectiveness
Setting of priorities
Carrying out activity around prioritization.
The related process of reduction of time spent on non-priorities
Incentives to modify behavior to ensure compliance with time-related deadlines.
Time management is related to different concepts such as:
Project management: Time management can be considered to be a project management subset and is more commonly known as project planning and project scheduling. Time management has also been identified as one of the core functions identified in project management.
Attention management relates to the management of cognitive resources, and in particular the time that humans allocate their mind (and organize the minds of their employees) to conduct some activities.
Organizational time management is the science of identifying, valuing and reducing time cost wastage within organizations. It identifies, reports and financially values sustainable time, wasted time and effective time within an organization and develops the business case to convert wasted time into productive time through the funding of products, services, projects or initiatives at a positive return on investment.