What Is Time Management?

Working Smarter to Enhance Productivity

What is Time Management?

© iStockphoto

Improve the way that you use your time.

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!

Add this article to My Learning Plan
Mark article as Complete
Comments (60)
  • This month Michele wrote
    Hello AdamSma,

    We agree! Beginning your day with a plan that identifies what needs to be done and placing tasks in order of priority manages your day. Some time management experts would say that creating your action priority list at the end of your work day sets you up for success for the following day. Preparing at the end of the day also allows you mind to relax and sets you up for a good night's sleep.

    Mind Tools Team
  • This month AdamSma wrote
    In my opinion the most important thing in time management is to plan your day at the morning. When I get up i'm turning on my notebook and then imake a plan in program and trying to predict how much time all my activities should take. Then after a few days you can see what takes you too long or what you should focus on in each day.
  • Over a month ago Michele wrote
    Hello Kent Lawrence,

    To learn how to cite this article, please visit our Permissions HelpDesk. You can access the HelpDesk here:


    For APA format, it is best to check the citation requirements for the university you are attending. Most online university libraries provide the format accepted by the university.

    Mind Tools Team
View All Comments