Time is a part of the universal structure of the universe. It is a dimension in which events occur in sequence. Simultaneously, time can also be measured and since this is the realist’s view to which Sir Isaac Newton subscribed, it is often known as Newtonian time (Wikipedia). Time has also been considered as part of the mental measuring system. It is a part of the fundamental intellectual structure within which human sequence events, decide on the duration of the events and the intervals between the events. In this case time is neither an entity that flows nor a container for events. Periodic events and periodic motion have been used as standard for units of time. The motion of sun across the sky, the phases of the moon, and the swing of a pendulum are all examples of such events. The unit of time interval is defined as a certain number of hyperfine transitions in Cesium atoms. Time is a prime motivation in astronomy. Time has economic value as people value time in terms of money. Time has social significance and time influences decisions in everyday life. Time has personal value as people are aware of the limited time that each one has at disposal in a human lifetime.
1.1 Passage and measurement of time
A question that often arises in the mind is how does time flow? Is time understood only by those who have time? Is there no passage of time for beings that do not have mind? Can time be defined relative to the instrument that measures time? We perceive time as flowing in smooth and perpetual continuous motion. The passage of time appears to us humans as a flow. Can this flow change? Everything moves all the time. It was initially measured by the movements of the sun and the moon.
The passage of time is measured by hours, days, weeks, months and years. According to physics, time is measured based on the revolutions and rotations of the planets or the heavenly bodies (Heller, 2006). The current time measurement can be dated back to the Sumerian civilization of approximately 2000 B.C. This is known as the Sumerian Sexagesimal System based on the number 60. There are sixty seconds in a minute and sixty minutes in an hour. Number twelve also has importance in the definition of time as there are twelve hours of the day and twelve hours of night. There are twelve months in a year. The passage of time is supposed to change us in significant ways.
Human have been measuring time since the beginning of civilizations all over the world. In ancient days time was measured with the help of sundials placed above the doorways which could identify the mid-day and the four tides of the sunlit day. Mechanical and quartz clocks appeared much later. Is this an accurate measure of time? Will two different clocks continue to give the same time even after a length of time? Does time stop its flow if the clocks stop functioning? In 1878 Sir Fleming recommended that the world be divided into twenty four time zones each spaced 15 degrees of longitude apart. Since the earth rotates once every 24 hours and there are 360 degrees of longitude, each hour the earth rotates one-twenty-fourth of a circle or 15° of longitude (Extreme Science, 2006). This is being followed even today.
1.3 Past, present and future
A philosophical problem concerning time is what is the present? The human mind perceives the past flowing through present time and into the future. The present is deeply connected to the past and the future. Even as we write this word in the present, the present has become the past. Everyone talks of ‘living in the present’ – is this statement wrong? ‘Live’ is right, ‘live’ in that status. What is the present? By the time I have spoken this, it has already become the past. Everything is either the past or the future. When there is nothing steady, no stop of even a fraction of a second, how can I call something as present? By the time you start living in the present it has become past. Before you realize the time has passed. When everything is past how can I live in the present? People say ‘just now’ is living in the present but by the time you finish speaking it has become past. By the time you finish giving instructions it is past, the next moment is different. Within a fraction of a second a disaster hits or there is an earthquake – all instructions given become invalid. When you roll films on a reel, you know what you have seen (past) and what you have not seen (future). Between one film and another there is a gap (present) but very difficult to identify where exactly it is. Hence we are never living in the present. The thoughts are mostly of the impressions already created in the mind which means the past or we are planning for the future. Every action, be it physical action or a thought is based on the past and planned for the future. There is no present at all.
1.4 Time Management
Time keeping through clocks and watches allowed human beings to have a control over the time they spent on different activities.
Any activity, as discussed, is based on the past experience and connected to the future. This requires that time has to be managed efficiently for optimizing the use of time. Time can thus be created. People are often heard saying they do not have time to execute a particular job. This just shows that they do not give priority to that particular assignment. Human beings manage time for what they like and wish to pursue. This demonstrates that time is in our hands and we can ‘manage’ time. Thus time management is a type of self-management. It includes tools and techniques for planning and scheduling time. It aims to improve the efficiency and efficacy of time. Tasks and events are organized by first estimating how much time it will take to complete the task, when it needs to be completed and then plans are made accordingly. Technology changes the use of time. The use of time is an important indicator of human behavior and education. How an individual allocates time for different activities depends upon his level of education and understanding of life. Based on these, this paper will discuss the importance of time management, its benefits and application in different fields.
2. Time management
2.1 The importance of time and timing
Time causes existence. Music does not exist without the dimension of time. An idea is of no use unless it is tried or applied and observed over a period of time (Technidigm, 2000). Goals and objectives need time to attain. Anything that is related to existence is connected to time. The parameter of time has to be optimized in dealing with small and large issues. Rome was not built in a day – is what we all have heard time and again. This conveys the message that big projects cannot be accomplished overnight. Projects of such magnitude take time to be completed.
Time and timing are critical to success and time-related constraints cannot be changed. Timing may not always improve the situation or matter. In fact at times over a period of time, things may even deteriorate. Technology has advanced over time but not all developments are beneficial for the society. Delays in certain things may even result in harm or injury. For instance, a person requiring an immediate surgery, if delayed may lead to loss of life. One who knows driving knows how critical even a second can be in averting accidents.
2.2 Time as a variable factor
A variable is an unknown quantity that is subject to change. Variables are often contrasted with constants, which are known and changing. In physics, treatment of time is a central issue. One can measure time and treat it as a geometrical dimension, such as length and perform mathematical operation on it (Wikipedia1). Time is treated as a fundamental quantity and is also combined with other fundamental quantities to derive other factors like motion, energy and fields.
Realizing the importance of time, many countries prolong the daylight for afternoons during summer. They use the Daylight Saving Time (DST) as the clock adjustment (Buchholz & Tjaden, 2007). During the spring the clocks are set forward by one hour and in the fall they are set back by one hour. Each country devises its own rule regarding the DST. At the same time, June 22 is supposed to be the longest day of the year and December 21 as the shortest day of the year. In winter, nights are longer while in summers the days are longer.
If two real clocks are synchronized and run together, after some time they will invariably disagree with the actual time. In fact, which of these is the actual time of the world? There definitely is come constant with which we compare the time, otherwise how would we know that a particular clock has become fast or slow.
2.3 Cost of time
Globalization, internationalization and opening up the world for global economy has resulted in turbulent markets, excessive competition and has created an atmosphere to do more in less time. Long stretched hours of work have led to stress and reduction in efficiency. This has cost the individuals damage to health, damage to relationships and poor quality of life. To the organizations the cost is alarming. It has led to reduced efficiency and resultant productivity. Stress also leads to high absenteeism and labor turnover, all of which can be measured in terms of money. Deadlines are missed which hampers customer relations, affects the image and competitiveness of the firm.
The solution suggested to combat these costs is to ‘work smarter not harder’. This in simple terms implies that individuals should know how to manage their time effectively and efficiently. This led to the concept of time management training.
2.4 Managing time
The first lesson in management is to learn to manage yourself. If you cannot manage yourself it is not possible to manage an organization. If you cannot manage yourself and try to manage a sub-ordinate, you become a part of criticism amongst the staff. A group of people are also critical about their own thoughts and ideas. These are called critical or negative thoughts.
Time management can be categorized into four generations of time management. Initially people relied on reminders, checklist and notes. Then people and organization started preparing, planning, scheduling, setting goals and featuring appointments on paper or computer (Green & Skinner, 2005). In the third generation people started prioritizing and started reviewing the values. They set long and short term goals and prioritized according to necessity. These did help to improve the overall efficiency but still these approaches failed to enable people to match what they regard as important and how they actually spend their time. Thus these three generations of time management techniques were not found to be effective.
The fourth generation focuses on identifying what is important in life and spend more time on that. This helps to eliminate all unwanted work. Workload has to be prioritized both in the short and the long term. If one knows of the hectic week ahead, decisions and planning in advance helps. Organizing ensures that important works are not left unattended. Prioritizing work has known to reveal that some work could be delegated or were not really important. Sometimes people procrastinate and defer important tasks just because they dislike doing such work but prioritization demonstrates that these need to be attended to first.
Succession of time brings about change. Ecological succession is the observed process of change in the species structure (PSU, 2002). Some species become redundant and may even disappear over time. At the same time, new species may enter the ecological system over time. Every species grows and prospers in a typical environment. In this set environment the species that grow most efficiently and multiply become the most abundant species.
Appearances change and it always stands in relation to some previous time. All alterations take place in conformity with the law of the connection of cause and effect. If it were not for cause and effect we would perceive everything as unrelated perceptions (Bright, n.d.). Cause and effect are simultaneous. It is the order of time and not the lapse of time that is important. Every transition in perception is a determination of time through the generation of this perception. Time is always a magnitude and hence generation of perception is also a magnitude.
Even though numbers are progressive, with succession of time things may not always progress. Often people carry memory of the past and this could even hamper progress over time. While some people are of the opinion that time is not successive, the fact that incidents take place as cause of something shows that the past is related to the present. The present in turn affects the future. Any action done at this moment will have some reaction. Time is connected to succession although it may have either positive or negative effects.
Synchronization means co-ordination of events to operate a system in unison (NTP, 2007). The importance of time synchronization has grown immensely as businesses use e-commerce. Real-time information is used as the basis for decisions. The speed of business is determined in milliseconds and hence time synchronization is important. The individual clocks on thousands of desktops PCs have to be synchronized with each other. This may result in data loss if a backup version overwrites a file with an older version.
Critical operational processes are time-dependent. If these are not synchronized, the risks could be damaging. Activity has to take place in a chronological sequence. If these individual elements are not synchronized, the process chain breaks leading to production failure and delays. In a product assembly line, various tasks have to be synchronized. If there is a delay of even a split second in one activity, the conveyor moves on and the job will have to wait for the next round. This means production line gets affected which results in delay in terms of time and cost.
3. Time management application areas
Any department requires time-critical decision and this is the work of the administration. Managerial decisions have to be applied where time and money are related. Such decisions are necessary in emergency medical treatments in intensive care units, in military command an control systems. These decisions are best taken by those who know to control and lead their own lives effectively. Hence these require leadership skills. Most managerial decisions are based on forecasts and may need to be changed as distractions are bound to occur. Time-critical events have to be recognized which cannot be compromised with. Modern communication techniques are employed to avoid delays in decisions. Meetings are held as video conferencing which saves time, cost and money. People from different regions or different parts of the world can discuss and take decisions without having to physically move out of office.
In the field of nursing, time is an important element at work. A study revealed that time was instantaneously mentioned by each nurse as the factor that most affected how she worked, how she felt about her work and how her work affected the outcomes (Bowers, Lauring & Jacobson, 2000). It was found that time was a condition that structured the planning, accomplishment and result of nurses’ work. their main source of job dissatisfaction was too little time. Limited time makes it difficult to complete the required work and it is difficult to spend time with residents. They have no control over time as factors like medical emergencies, physicians’ call and family visits affected their schedules. Nurses employ time management under two broad categories – keeping up and catching up. They learnt how to create new time and redefined the work responsibilities. Time efficiency was also attained by minimizing time spent on required work. This again requires establishing and maintaining routine work and managing disruptions by prioritizing work tasks.
In the commercial sector time has gained immense importance. Competition in every field has led to businesses adopting different technologies to reduce time and thereby enhance productivity and thereby income. Just-in-time technology, supply chain technology, six sigma are all efforts towards this enhancement. Service quality and speed have become essential.
In the work field various time management techniques like PERT and CPM are available which allot a fixed period for a particular job to be completed. Accounting period is available, budgets are fixed, sales targets have to be achieved within a particular time frame and all these departments are interlinked. Deviation in one department immediately has an effect on all other schedules. In case a project is not completed on time, the entire schedule is delayed. Time management does not stretch over several years; the time has to be efficiently managed because every moment is valuable.
Timing is important even in political campaigning and political decisions. The campaign of a candidate can be marred if some events in the nations erupt just during that period. Decision may have to be changed by leaders and politicians to keep the people happy and the impact is positive only if the timing is correct. Rudy Giulani faced bad news from the drug indictment of his South Carolina chairman to criticism for skipping meetings of the Iraq Study Group (MSNBC, 2007). The timing could not have been worse as the string of events came just as national polls showed him ahead of his rivals. His supporters had to send out a memo contending that he was still well-positioned but all these have already made a negative impact. Hence timing makes or breaks the situation; timing influences the victory or loss.
At another place politicians decide on the timings of the moon being sighted on which is dependent the fast of Ramzan. The timing of Ramzan is usually based on the Islamic Lunar calendar which binds millions around the world but due to politicians ruling even this area, worshippers in the same country would fast on different days because of the disputes over where and how the moon will be sighted (Kashmir Observer, 2007). While some follow the dictates of Saudi Arabia, others follow the decision of Egypt.
3.4 Everyday life (home, family …etc
If time is the currency of life then its value is constantly rising according to Time (2006). Forty years ago 1440 minutes of the day gave much less returns in terms of work compared to today. Today people stretch the time between sunrise and sunset much beyond what it was earlier. A study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey (ATUS) revealed that middle-class parents each averages 64 to 70 hr. a week in paid and unpaid work. they still manage to spend as much time if not more than what parents did in 1965. Mothers sacrifice sleep and leisure and a survey also revealed that mothers spend less time on household work. Since 1965 fathers have doubled their share of work at home. Another interesting revelation was that although Americans keep complaining of being overloaded, they work fewer hours in paid jobs than they did 40 years ago. Using gadgets and appliances have also reduced the workload of mothers which allows them time with family.
People are constantly racing against the clock and complaining they say do not have time for themselves, or for their spouses or for their children. Time is money not just in the corporate environment but even in everyday life and in families. Improving domestic water supplies can reduce the time women spend in collecting water (James et al., 2002). This time that they spend in collecting water has to be taken away from other activities. It thus has a cost even if cannot be measured in definite monetary terms. Irregular water supply can even force women to buy water thereby resulting in extra costs. This time saved can be used to earn extra money for the family. This extra money not only empowers money, it also gender relations within family and in village societies at large.
Further studies reveal that an average American spends 8.6 hours sleeping and a third of the day working (Bradley, 2005). The number third time-consuming activity is watching television. Adults in households without children have more leisure time while working mothers have the least leisure time. Americans on average spend 24 minutes a day shopping; 20 minutes on a weekday; 27 minutes on Sunday; and 42 minutes on Saturday.
Another study with young children revealed that they would prefer more time with their parents than the money that the parents bring in by being away to work (Pocock & Clarke, 2005). In the lower income areas people prefer money over time. They are concerned with the financial pressures and the need to pay the bills.
4. Time management benefits
4.1 Financial and economic
In the financial and economic sector, time management has led to enhanced performance, increase in productivity and reduced costs. The market conditions demanded a shift from ‘make-and-sell’ approach to the ‘sense-and-respond’ strategy (Mutsaers, Zee & Giertz, 1998). This meant procuring real time information to customize the needs of the end consumers. This requires firms to be agile and flexible to make changes at short notice. Saturn Corporation, a major US automobile maker, is an example of sense and respond supply. It has a service supply chain strategy which matches the urgency of the customers’ needs (Dawson, 2004). According to Christopher and Lee, customers’ orders may have shorter lead times and an efficient supply chain would be able to meet this demand or else miss the opportunity.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (2002), e-replenishment is the seamless automation of the buyer’s procurement and vendor’s fulfillment process (cited by Robinson, Sahin & Gao, 2005). It saves time and money as it replaces the manual activities and paper catalogs by electronic drawings and computer assisted requisitioning, electronic workflow management and electronic payment.
While competitors collect and analyze data on a monthly or quarterly basis, Zara, the Spanish fashion clothing company, does it on a daily or weekly basis. This is how it keeps itself abreast of the changing customer needs and wants. They sense the needs and respond to the changing customer tastes. To respond is to take action whether it is changing product mix or capacity allocation. The managers submit sales information to company headquarters which include financial information as well as customers’ reactions to products. The company responds immediately by designing and manufacturing new product line. It takes them just about ten days to feed the changing requirements, while in general the industry takes about nine months. Zara’s approach has been different all through (Clifford, 2005). Thus timing also enhances customer satisfaction while keeping the company ahead of its competitors.
The multiplier effect of good time management is that managers have sharpened their skills, techniques and disciplines and can now focus on important issues (ACCEL, 2007). They have learned to cope with disruptions, changing conditions and demands placed on them by others. Managers have even learnt to share this technique with others specially their subordinates. Group meetings and one-on-one counseling sessions have resulted in minimal frustrations, higher job satisfaction and improved productivity.
Profit cannot be calculated merely in monetary terms. The reputation of an organization is also a monetary gain, maybe an investment in the future. One who thinks qualitatively can produce qualitative goods. Hence a healthy organization can reap rich dividends.
4.2 Social, educational
Time management enables people to have a better work life balance and enjoy life more fully. This can be done with most effective use of time with people, project and related activities. The correct usage of PDAs and planners also aid in better time management. At home, if the work has been properly organized, couples get more quality time with each and other and also take care of the children better. Working women are too stressed to handle the work, the home and the children. Relationships improve in the social context. Commitments can be met and the time management skills can be passed on to the children as well who need it to manage their studies and other activities. Better time management aids career planning as priorities are determined. People can get time to read which could be related to the work or even for entertainment. Effective time management leads to effective communication which is necessary to give assistance, support, motivation and direction to others. If time is well managed, people can get time to indulge in relaxation activities like playing, swimming or just spending time with friends. For progress in life, one also needs time to plan and think ahead. If constantly on the move this is not possible. In nutshell, time discipline is necessary to lead a quality life.
Competition in the educational field has increased and this requires students to put in more efforts than was required earlier. Students just spend the better part of the say immersed in books and turn virtual nerds. This has a negative impact on their studies and they also tend to fair poorly in the examinations. They need time off from studies, to relax and unwind. If the week’s routine is properly organized with parental guidance, they could get more out of the same time and even get time for entertainment.
Shopping is a major activity of households and requires both time and money. While the purchasing power or money has increased in the hands of the consumers, the time at their disposal has not (Ackerman, 1989). In fact the demand on time has increased with women joining the workforce. As income rises people spend more time in shopping and purchasing decisions. To make purchase decisions, one spends time on searching before the actual purchase is made. If the weekly or fortnightly purchase lists are made, to that extent time spent on actual shopping is reduced.
4.3 Psychological (less stress) and health.
People in today’s world are under strain from the moment they open their eyes. The set the alarm clocks to wake them up in the morning but when it beeps they switch it off and get back to sleep. This is when the stress begins. Then people want to ‘manage stress’. Managing stress itself sends negative signals (Muralidharan, 2007). Managing itself is a stress. If time is efficiently utilized, there is no question of stress or trying to manage stress.
Time management training helps develop the cognitive skills. Thought processes enable an individual to understand the situation which in turn helps them to solve problems and address issues. Effectiveness of an individual translates into effectiveness of the organization. Time management enables a person to be more organized, assertive, he is able to prioritize work and achieve targets. There is an increasing amount of accountability required and expected in organizations. People are able to control their workload and they develop confidence in their own ability to fulfill the demands. This makes the whole environment less stressful and results in better health conditions of the employees (Green & Skinner, 2005).
Time management helps to build up self-esteem and recognition of their own potential and caliber. They develop new skills and capabilities. It makes an organization healthier when the employees are physically and mentally healthy. The family is healthy when a healthy father returns home after the day’s work. Stress carried home gives stress to the spouse and children as well.
Lack off information or knowledge on how a project is to be handled leads to stress as works keep piling and people resort to procrastination. Delay in execution of the scheduled work is the cause of stress and time management alone can reduce an individual of this stress. Positive thinking can eliminate the thought of a problem itself. The perception of the people change as they learn to manage time. When the mind is disturbed under stress, decisions are wrong.
4. Relativity theory of Einstein
Most people up to the 20th century thought time was the same for everyone everywhere. This is the basis for timelines where time is a parameter. The debate between absolute and relational time confronts philosophers, physicians and the common man even in the 21st century. To replace the Newtonian time there has to be a different kind of law that can make sense if one measures time by any clock (Smolin, 2003). This implies that any clock’s time, even if it is imperfect, is as good as any other. The modern conception of time is based on Einstein’s theory of Relativity where we live on a world line rather than on time line. Einstein developed the theory of general relativity which found a way to express the laws of motion so that they make sense whichever clock one uses.
According to this concept, the rates of time run differently everywhere and space and time are merged into spacetime. Here any reference to time from the basic equations of the theory is eliminated. This means that time cannot be spoken about generally or abstractly. How the universe changes in time can be described but before that it has to be specified which real physical processes are to be used as clocks to measure the passage of time.
According to the Big Bang theory, matter, space and time came into existence at the moment of creation, prior to which time did not exist. Time and universe are interdependent; they are different components of one entity. According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, time is the fourth dimension, on an equal footing with other three dimensions of space. Einstein’s theory suggests imagining all of space and time as represented as a four-dimensional space-time map on which the entire past, present and future can be represented. The four dimensions of space and time are collectively referred to as space-time continuum but we can imagine only the three dimensions. We cannot ‘see’ time. We can describe how an object is placed in a room but only where it is now. It is not possible to imagine where it will be tomorrow. According to this theory of relativity, matter and energy cause beams of light to follow curved paths instead of straight ones. The matter causes space to curve.
4.2 Relation with time management
Einstein’s theory challenged the notion of an absolute definition of times and could only formulate a definition of synchronization for clocks that mark a linear flow of time. While Newton’s laws of motion to absolutely rigid time, Einstein’s theory of relativity relates to time that is elastic. According to his theory E = MC2. His theory further states that a small mass of matter is equivalent to an enormous amount of energy (HSBM, n.d.). The nuclear bombs derive their enormous energy according to this theory. The mind is a point of energy according to Einstein and hence it is not restricted by time and space. It can be occupied in several activities at the same time. The mind is so powerful that it can generate as much as 30,000 thoughts daily. It can simultaneously remember the past and make decisions for the future based on the past and with relevance to the present situation.
To understand the implications of time existing as a dimension imagine a one ton bolder moving in front of our eyes at the speed of the light. It is in front of our eyes for less than a Femtosecond, which is one thousandth of one trillionth of a second (Mayes, n.d.). What happens to it after this very brief existence in our time frame? Does it simply disappear from the present to the past? Where does it come from? Does it just spring into existence into our time frame? Has this now become history? According to theory of relativity, the past, present and the future all exist equally. Hence the bolder too exists not just in our time frame but in every time frame.
4.3 Applications in time management (better environment)
Time is related to the mind. The time appears to pass swiftly when the mind is occupied with something interesting but when the work is a burden, it appears to stand still. It appears to be slow because of focus at shorter intervals, according to physicists this is the physical time. Physical time helps us to understand our shared experiences in the world. Psychological time is important to understand the human thought process. Human mind is aware of the passage of physical time even during sleep. We wake up with the consciousness that we have slept for the night and not for a month. The mind experiences the flow of time and also has the ability to place importance or prioritize work.
In relation to time management, while the mind can generate thousands of thoughts, action taken in the present can only be one at a time. The body may be compelled to act. In fact the mind can give instructions to the mind for an action after a thought has been generated and can get back to another though or planning. Nevertheless, action performed remains only one at any given time. Thus time management can maximize the amount of work that can be performed within a specified time. Time management optimizes the physical performance of work while the mind continues to plan ahead.
Time management training can be given to optimize time utilization. An individual may even be motivated to work harder but his physical condition determines the output. It can also determine whether the intentions are practical. If the mind is pre-occupied by something else and the physical action performed is different, this state is known as absent-mindedness. If the mind is not concentrating on the action that is being performed, mistakes occur. He is then besieged by distractions, worries and anxieties and failures are common. Success is guaranteed if the mind concentrates on the physical execution of work.
Sense of time is subjective but time is not subjective. Time is objective because there are so many events taking place in a determined order and none can change this order (Dowden, 2007). Different processes in the universe bear consistent time relations or frequency of occurrence relations, to each other. If there were no minds, time would still exist. Time is a form of conscious experience and the mind actually structures our perception.
Einstein’s theory also implies that time is not absolute but depends upon the one who experiences or upon the observer’s frame of reference. According to Einstein this observer could even be clock and need not be a conscious being with a mind.
When human beings need to manage time, it is again an individual perception of how to utilize it. They have to make a conscious choice of the work, prioritize it and plan the schedule. They have to work within certain time frames as we are bound by twenty fours of the day. No human being is devoid of the thought process and travels from the past through the present and in to the future.
Time is hence objective and is directly related to the output which is often measured in terms of money. Time is not dependent on how slow or fast the clock moves. Even if an individual’s clock slows down, time flows. Time is relational and human beings cannot find escape or take solace in the fact that their clock had stopped functioning. the old adage is absolutely true – time and tide wait for no man. The passage of time takes place and accountability is time-critical and time-dependent.
Time has been defined different by different philosophers and physicists. Time is objective and flows even when people are not conscious of it. For instance even while we are sleeping time flows. We wake up to the realization that time has flown. Time appears to stand still when the mind is bored with the activity but flows smoothly when it is happy with the action. This makes time management important in an individual’s life.
Time management improves efficiency be it an individual’s life at home, as a social being, at the work place or of the organization itself. It positively impacts the life of people of all age groups – students, parents, and as employees. To be able to manage time, to be able to be an example to others, it is first essential to manage one’s life efficiently. An individual who is able to manage his or her own life can be a leader and an efficient manager. Businesses benefit in terms of reduced costs, enhanced productivity, low employee turnover, reduced absenteeism, all of which make it a health organization. In the social context, working individuals are able to spend more time with the family if they are able to manage their time efficiently. It is important to maintain a work life balance.
Various tools and techniques have been used to manage time. Organizations even conduct training for their employees to teach them to manage time. Technologies like emails, planners, PDAs are extensively being used to schedule, plan, and prioritize work. Planning and prioritizing work ensures important work are not neglected even if it is not appealing to the mind and unimportant work or non-core activities can be delegated without compromising on quality. To lead a healthy, balanced, stress free life, time management is an essential prerequisite.
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