What Is Time Management?

Working Smarter to Enhance Productivity

What is Time Management?

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Improve the way that you use your time.

Time Management Definition

“Time management” is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities. Good time management enables you to work smarter – not harder – so that you get more done in less time, even when time is tight and pressures are high. Failing to manage your time damages your effectiveness and causes stress.

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.

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Comments (96)
  • Over a month ago wrote
    Very good article to learn how to manage the time effectively to get the results done.
  • Over a month ago Michele wrote
    Hi Cheyenne,

    When citing this article, use Mind Tools as the author. We also do not assign a year to our articles as we continuously revise them. In APA format it is acceptable to use n.d. for the year the article is published. To find the full APA format to cite an online article, check the APA style guide. Here is an online version.


    Mind Tools Team
  • Over a month ago Cheyenne wrote
    Hi MindTools,
    I am doing a research paper on time management and was wanting to use this article as one of my sources. I can't find the name of the writer of this article and was wondering if you could help me out by telling me how I should cite it in APA format? I would really appreciate it.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Signed a struggling college student,
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