Time management can be defined as an act or the process of planning and exercising conscious control over the total amount of time which may have been spent on specific activities, especially in order to increase efficiency, effectiveness or productivity. Time management may be aided by a range of skills, techniques, and tools used to manage time when accomplishing specific tasks, goals and projects complying with a due date. The term “Time management” broadened to include other personal activities it was initially referred to as just work activities or business as well. A time management system can be referred to as a designed combination of tools such as time tracking, processes, techniques, and methods. Time management is always a necessity in any project development as it determines the project completion duration and scope.
Time management is often considered necessary because
(1) Available time is limited
(2) Time cannot be stored: if unused it is lost forever
(3) One's goals are usually multiple, sometimes conflict and not all goals are of equal priority
(4) Goals cannot be accomplished without the application of effort, which requires the use of time.
If you control your time, you control your life, says Alan Lakein (1973). Time is a precious commodity; everyone gets an equal share but we use it very differently. We also look at the time very differently. About 57% of us are present and future-oriented, 33% are mainly future-oriented, 9% are present-oriented and only 1% focuses on the past. Societies have different attitudes toward time, some are rushed and punctual, and others are relaxed and disregard the clock. Successful managers, professionals, and students are future or goal oriented. Productive people have set their priorities and scheduled their time accordingly. Unsuccessful, unskilled workers and procrastinating students are present-oriented and unorganized, fatalistic, and hedonistic. When current needs demand your attention, whether that is because the family must be fed or you "must" have a good time with friends, it becomes harder to carefully plan for the future. Our situation and needs influence our time orientation, but our time orientation (and needs) can be changed, leading to more success in life.
Actually, once a time-utilization problem is admitted, scheduling your time may not be as difficult as you might think since several hours are already "filled" with sleeping, eating, showering, working or classes, and other essentials using time tracking. You only have to schedule the available hours (which for college students may be about 10 hours per day). If you don't plan how to use those hours, it is easy to be lulled into watching TV, talking with friends, etc.
The idea is to decide "what is the best use of my time?" Make a list of what you need to do each week and then, based on the time available, make a daily "to-be-done list" for working on your high priority tasks.
Purposes of time management
To make better use of your time, both in terms of devoting time to high priority activities and avoiding wasting time or spending your time on less important things.
To be time effective, not necessarily time efficient, by selecting the best thing to do at this moment from among the infinite possibilities.
THE BENEFITS OF TIME MANAGEMENT
Time is finite. We have only so many hours available in a day to live our lives, accomplish the tasks that we need to accomplish, and enjoy our lives. Every minute we waste in frustration over a task that seems overwhelming is a minute subtracted from the time we’ve allotted to enjoy life. Even our jobs should provide us with pleasures, a sense of accomplishment, the gratification of recognition for a job well done, and financial rewards, too that enable us to enjoy our personal lives even more. It can be done. Less stress, more confidence, reduced frustration, greater fulfilment these are all benefits that flow from leading a time-managed life. Time tracking can also help to increase in your on-the-job productivity. It’s intended to assist you, refine your time-management skills, and make your jobs easier and in turn making them more productive, increase your effectiveness and efficiency, and reduce stress.
The proliferation of time management aids points out how commonplace time pressures have become, and how people are struggling desperately to cope with and find time for the demands placed on them. Why do so many people have so much trouble managing their time? We are to blame, in part, for creating our modern lifestyle. We believe that a full life is a busy life, with work, family, hobbies, civic duties—all of which place real and conflicting demands on our time. Many of us believe that the answer to this problem lies in compressing more activities into each day—having more things to do than there is time in which to do them is a problem that can be solved by becoming more efficient. If you have ten things on a typical day’s to-do list and normally finish only five of them, then figuring out how to do six is a productivity increase of 20 percent. That’s great if you’re comfortable not doing four things. But that’s not time management. Some people believe that the answer is to apply more time doing those ten things. If they’re work-related tasks, then, obviously, it’s necessary to spend more time at work. Because time cannot be created, however, and only reallocated, spending more time on one activity means spending less on another. So, spending more time at work is great if you don’t have a family, any relationships, hobbies, personal interests, or need sleep. But that’s not time management either. At least it’s not healthy time management. Time management is activity management and involves defining what tasks need to be done and finding a realistic way in which to do them. Having more tasks to do than time in which to do them ensures failure. And having so much to do that you spend your entire waking life ticking off items from your to-do list will lead to frustration and burnout.