What is Time Management?

Working Smarter to Enhance Productivity

What is Time Management?

Time is our most precious asset, and yet we let it slip away.

© iStockphoto/BranAJackson

It seems that there is never enough time in the day. But, since we all get the same 24 hours, why is it that some people achieve so much more with their time than others? The answer lies in good time management.

The highest achievers manage their time exceptionally well. By using the time-management techniques in this section, you can improve your ability to function more effectively – even when time is tight and pressures are high.

Good time management requires an important shift in focus from activities to results: being busy isn’t the same as being effective. (Ironically, the opposite is often closer to the truth.)

Spending your day in a frenzy of activity often achieves less, because you’re dividing your attention between so many different tasks. Good time management lets you work smarter – not harder – so you get more done in less time.

What is “Time Management?”

“Time management” refers to the way that you organize and plan how long you spend on specific activities.

It may seem counter-intuitive to dedicate precious time to learning about time management, instead of using it to get on with your work, but the benefits are enormous :

  • Greater productivity and efficiency.
  • A better professional reputation.
  • Less stress.
  • Increased opportunities for advancement.
  • Greater opportunities to achieve important life and career goals.

Failing to manage your time effectively can have some very undesirable consequences:

  • Missed deadlines.
  • Inefficient work flow.
  • Poor work quality.
  • A poor professional reputation and a stalled career.
  • Higher stress levels.

Spending a little time learning about time-management techniques will have huge benefits now – and throughout your career.

Key Points

Time management is the process of organizing and planning how much time you spend on specific activities. Invest some time in our comprehensive collection of time management articles to learn about managing your own time more efficiently, and save yourself time in the future.

This site teaches you the skills you need for a happy and successful career; and this is just one of many tools and resources that you'll find here at Mind Tools. Subscribe to our free newsletter, or join the Mind Tools Club and really supercharge your career!

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Comments (12)
  • Midgie wrote This week
    Hi Lofu,
    Glad to hear you found the article, and explanation, helpful. Raising our awareness of effective strategies to improve our productivity and efficiency means that we can implement some of the ideas to improve ourselves!

    Mind Tools Team
  • Lofu wrote This week
    It is helpful explanation.
  • Midgie wrote This week
    Hi Faraz,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Time management is so beneficial to learn at the start of one's careers, like at college before they actually get into work! It can make such a difference to the quality of work and the results they achieve!

    Mind Tools Team
  • Faraz wrote This week
    I am working as training placement officer at Sun Engineering College, Durg. Key words used over here seems to be highly helpful for the beneficial of students for their upcoming future.
  • Yolande wrote This month
    I like your idea of colour coded to-do lists - it works for me too.

    Mind Tools Team
  • Hanna wrote This month
    Time flies, thats true. I am using EfficientPIM to manage time. And I always make a to do list before the work days and prioritize them with colorful labels. and the most important is to set a reminder in case forgetting any. During work days, just check
    them in calendar view.
  • andrewbakes wrote This month
    For more key principles of time management in education please the article "The Importance of Time Management in Education": http://www.essayshop.org/articles/time_management_in_education.pdf
  • Midgie wrote This month
    Hi yreff,
    I teach academic writing, including referencing, to first year university students and we use the Harvard Referencing format.

    For corporate websites such as this one, the standard is to use the corporate name as the author, eg 'Mind Tools', and the year as the current year which you are looking/accessing at the document.

    Mind Tools Team
  • yreff wrote This month
    what year was this article being published? and who wrote this article? please reply. I need it for my research. thanks God bless.
  • Yolande wrote Over a month ago
    Hi sony7

    Maybe it will help to set some goals in order to get certain things done? If you know that the outcome of your lack of time management will be negative, that could motivate you to do better in future.
    There isn't a magical quick fix for a lack of time management - it's going to take focused and persistent effort to fix it.

    If you become a member of Mind Tools, you may want to consider our "Certified Time Manager" course where you work with a coach to improve your time management skills.
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