Time management is the process of conscious management of the amount of time spent in performing a task. It is aimed at increasing one's productivity by ensuring effective and efficient allocation of time. The process involves planning, allocating, setting goals and delegating duties so as to use scarce time resource for unlimited tasks. As a student, time management is very essential. This is because they have to concentrate on their studies as well as their social life.
The advantages of time management include: increasing productivity, reducing stress levels thus giving you more time to enjoy other activities. Time management goes hand in hand with self management. Self management on the other hand involves understanding and knowing oneself. This is essential in stress management which plays a key role in time management. The way we respond to stressing event is vital in stress management.
Time management is essential in the accomplishment of goals in a specific task or project. Time management is made up of planning, allocating and prioritizing of events according to urgency and time available. Time management is useful as it helps to increase productivity as well as reduce stress resulting from mismanagement of time. It involves coming up with "to do list" and reminder tools that are effective in time management. Reminder tools include: watches, calendar, appointment books and other computer applications. "To do list" includes allocation of events to different times in reference to their priority. Self management goes hand in hand with time management as they are both aimed at the accomplishment of goal (Sharma, 2006).
This paper will focus on three articles that discuss time and self management and its importance. It will also analyse the approach used by the writer to tackle the topic.
While writing this report it is assumed that time is a type of a resource. However unlike capital time cannot be manipulated. It is thus scarce resources whose utilization is necessary for optimal achievement of project goals and objectives. It is assumed that once the resource is wasted it cannot be recovered.
It is also assumed that time management is universal and a requirement for each individual. It is not only an activity of those who are engaged in many activities but also those who are engaged in few activities.
It is assumed that time management is the most important component in achieving the project goals. The article assumes that the other resources are abundant with the exemption of time. It thus emphasizes on the role of time management in the achievement of a project goals and objectives.
According to Don Farris in the article "time management: An exercise in Self Awareness", time cannot be managed rather we manage the utilization of it. He further argues that time is a human creation that is used as a measure to calculate the activity of a task. According to this article time management involves planning, goal setting, organization and establishment of good study habits. Time, self and task management is necessary for management of oneself. Planning involves predicting of future developments and coming up with strategies of how to manage these events. Goal setting is the specific, measurable, accurate, reliable and time bound objectives. They are also known as SMART goals (Farris, 2002).
Organization on the other hand does not transform to effective working. Some people may be organized but they do not meet their goals. Being organized therefore means, the act of being functional while focusing on meeting of goals. Developing good study habits involves appreciating the dynamic of goal focused behavior and circumstances that lead to one's self optimal function. It involves understanding ways of motivation that will lead to self development and efficient achievement of goals.
Don Farris explains self management as a function of self management. He advocates that in stress management we manage the response rather than the event or issue. He also argues that the events that happen to us are not as important as how we react to the event. According to Farris, stress is defined by how our bodies respond to external stimulus. These external stimulus are events that force us to adapt so us to cope. Adaptation involves active interaction between the external and internal environment to come up with solutions. The most stressing event according to Don Farris is that resulting from unknown events. This is because a person cannot adapt to unknown external environment. Although self management skills are not congenital they are acquired through experiences in life. It is thus important for one to understand different events and issues differently and learn from each situation (Farris, 2002).
Self awareness involves understanding and knowing truths about oneself. This will help us in eliminating bad behavior. Farris believes that self acknowledge meant is vital in time and self management. This is because it helps one make logic decision that forms that key role in self and time management. Failure to manage time results from failure to plan and set goals as well as failing to prioritize. It also results from allowing work to pile while failing to utilize prime time. Prime time is when a person is most productive. In order to succeed in time management one should try to be effective then efficient. It is also important to delegate work to others where necessary. Avoid working overtime and always try to take short breaks in between a specific task.
In the second article, "time management skills by Donall Wetmore," time management is the control and use of time. It involves coming up with priorities and utilizing the available time in completing the task. It involves recognizing and eliminating time wasters in the process of performing a task. According to Wetmore time management, results in ability to manage one's time, energy level and stress. Unlike other resources for example capital which can be reduced and transformed time cannot be maneuvered. Thus one can only use time rather than influence its function. The writer argues that time is not a scarce resource rather it abundant. This is because there is time to waste and use without exhausting the resource (Wetmore, 2004).
There are various misconceptions related to time management. This include that the concept of time management are simple and that one performs best when under pressure. Others include the belief that one lacks the time to perform a necessary task and that self management is not an aspect of time management. The symptoms of poor time management include: constant rushing through a task, low productivity and energy, constant frustration and frequent delays in delivery of a task (Wetmore, 2004).
Poor time management results from poor planning, procrastination, interruptions and bad attitude towards a task. Poor planning may result from the failure to understand the intensity of a task. It results in unproductive time utilization thus lack of appropriate time to complete a task. A poor plan fails to prioritize tasks in accordance to urgency. It also leads to paying attention to interruptions and distractions. This include: visitors, telephone and unscheduled meeting.
Procrastination on the other is putting aside task for a future date. It is as a result of fear of failure or wrong priorities. Wetmore also believes that it may result from wanting to perform a task in perfection thus failing to do it. This leads to accumulation of work and thus resulting in rushing through the topic. Procrastination is thus referred to as the key feature of poor time management (Wetmore, 2004).
Failing to delegate may also result in poor time management. This results to low productivity due to exhaustion as well as constant frustration. They say that "too many cooks spoil the broth" but also unity is strength. A bad attitude towards a subject results in focusing more on the problem rather than the solution. A student who has a bad attitude towards a specific task is likely to waste time complaining about the subject rather than the solution.
There are two main approaches to time management: monochromic and polychromic approach. Monochromic approach is objective and focuses on speedy and punctual performance of a task. Monochromic time users tend to follow a strict schedule from which they don't deviate. They prefer performing one task after the other. Polychromic approach on the other hand, is subjective and focuses on flexibility and dedication. Polychromic users do many things at once by switching between tasks. They may study two related subjects at once by switching in between the related books. Although the two approaches are effective in time management, monochromic approach is useful in predictable task while polychromic is useful when creating a new idea.
A time management matrix is useful in time management. It involves categorizing events as urgent and not urgent. It is made up four quadrants where different tasks are listed. This will enable a student to prioritize the urgent task. Activities in quadrant I are regarded as the most important and urgent. Those in quadrant II are important but not urgent. Those in III and IV are not important or urgent at the moment. Another tool of management involves the use of activity time log as well as to do list.
URGENT NOT URGENT
IMPORTANT Quadrant I: Crises, Projects Quadrant II: Exercise, Plans
NOT IMPORTANT Quadrant III: Visitors, Calls Quadrant IV: TV, Novels
Figure 1. Time management matrix
In conclusion Wetmore feels that for effective time management one has to plan, prioritize, delegate and well as set in goals. Although time is an abundant resource, wasting it results in adverse repercussions.
In the third article, "time management for college students by Lisa Miller" identifies time management as the act of using limited time to unlimited task. The writer assumes that those in need of time management are those with limited time. This includes students on a full time schooling yet they also have a full time job. Lisa attributes poor time management to procrastination. This is defined as delaying jobs for a future date. This is done due to lack of skills and knowledge or where the student views a task as irrelevant.
Poor planning and fear of success/failure are a function of procrastination. Lisa argues that lack of clear objectives and goals leads to postponement of urgent task. It may also result from external forces that act as stressors and distractions. Interruptions when performing a task force one to postpone the task.
The various ways of dealing with procrastination include: setting of realistic goals, do school work during prime times, allocate realistic periods for study and always reward yourself after finishing a task. Lisa further advocates for the incorporation on physical activity in the daily to do list.
A "to do list" should include all school activities as well other activities. Urgent and important tasks should be given priority. It is also important to identify one's strength and weakness so as to allocate more time to tasks that require a lot of effort. Another tool of time management includes the time management matrix and the student time calendar. The student time calendar is a record of how time is spent on a daily basis. This is appropriate for students as they function on an already stipulated schedule (Miller, 2008).
The three articles have clearly stipulated though in different words the benefits of time and time management. This includes effective and efficient accomplishment of goals. Time and self management are vital in the achievement of goals and objectives both in and out of school. The articles have also stipulated on the importance of planning, allocating and prioritizing so as to archive time and self management.
Farris and Wetmore clearly define the relationship between time and self management. They further explain the concept of time, time management and self management. They use both sociologist and scientific approach in their article. This helps in putting emphasis on the importance of time management. A scientific approach in writing the articles makes it universally applicable to different groups of persons. It also raises the confidence level of the articles. The sociologic approach allows the writer to examine the problem and establish the cause of the problem. It also enables a writer to address the possible solutions to the problem (Farris, 2002).
The third article on the other hand is simple and easy to understand by the target audience. The use of examples and illustration enables the audience to associate themselves with the topic as well as apply in their lives. However, Lisa miller explains time and self management as a topic that is vital for a selected few. The article focuses on an individual who suffer from poor time management. It is true to say that time and self management is universal and is applicable to everyone. The article also focuses on procrastination as the main cause of poor time management. However there are many causes of poor time management. Stress may be a cause of poor time management but it does not always function as a procrastinator. This is because how we respond to a stressor determines how we will manage our time while performing a task (Miller, 2008).
In my opinion time management involves the active control of time spent in performing a task. It involves planning and allocating adequate time that is essential for performing a task. Although delegation is an important aspect of time management it may also lead to time wastage. This is because some people may not take their work serious leading to constant revisions. Time management is essential in effective completion of a task, however it is not the only resource required in the completion of a task.
In my opinion there are various ways of time management. This includes the use of calendar marking and duty records. Calendar marking involves marking important events on the calendar and allocating adequate time to the task. Duty record involves recording events in time of occurrence. This will help one account for the time spent in one task. It will also help in allocating time to the important and urgent issues while reducing the time allocated to the less important activities.
In conclusion, time and self management is important for the effective and efficient achievement of goals. It is important to plan, allocate, delegate and prioritize events with reference to their urgency and importance. Self acknowledgement is a vital factor in establishing self management. Time although a scarce resource can be utilized to yield maximum results. Time management equals to adequate stress management which is a function of self management. It is thus true to conclude that time management equals to self management.
These two aspects have to go hand in hand as they determine how on will use their time. Stress maybe a form of distraction or a time waster. It is thus important for one to develop effective stress management skills that will help in time management.
Farris, D. (2002). Time management: An Exercise of Self Awareness. Workforce Journal, 31, 124-136.
Miller, L. (2008). Time management skills for management students. Quarterly Journal of Human Behavior, 19, 45-54.
Sharma, S. (2006). Handbook on time management skills. London: Elsevier.
Wetmore, D. (2004). Time management skills. Elusive time Journal. 5, 235-240.