Time Management Theory
3 Concepts To Transform Your Efficiency
Theories abound whenever we explain something as complex as time. Time management theory underlies various training programs, presentations and courses that are designed to help you get higher efficiency in your work or life. Three of these powerful theories are explained in this report.
Time management is important to everyone. Controlling how much time you spend on various activities, and choosing which activities take priority, is at the heart of effective time management. Studying time management theory helps you plan, organize and schedule your tasks in the correct way so that they align with what really matters in your life.
Without a clear understanding about time management theory, it is difficult to formulate a strategy and come up with an action plan that will manage your time effectively. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to enhance your professional or work related life, or your personal routines. The tools and techniques that you will choose, adopt and follow will depend upon which type of time management theory appeals most to you.
1. Pareto Principle
Also referred to as the 80-20 rule, the Pareto principle formulated by Italian economist and philosopher Vilfredo Pareto states that the vast majority of impact in anything comes from a small proportion of activities, people or effort. The observation was based on demographic data in Italy. 80% of the land was owned by 20% of the population. And 80% of productivity from these lands came from 20% of those working on it.
The 20% who made things happen were generally more efficient, managed time better, and streamlined operations for the highest leverage. Based on this theory, time management guides and coaches advice you to focus on the 20% of activities or tasks that are most important to your overall success. The effort and time that you devote to this creamy layer will more than outweigh what you invest into the rest, because there will be little if any impact on your bottom line.
2. Pickle Jar Theory
Another time management theory that is easy to understand and execute is taught using a pickle jar. When you take an empty pickle jar and fill it with rocks, it appears to be full – until you fill it with gravel. The smaller granules fill the cracks between the rocks, and you can still fit in some sand, and then water.
But go about it the other way and add water or sand to the bottle first, and you won’t be able to later slip in the rocks. In a time management perspective, you will similarly be able to get less important work done in the spaces between and after major projects or tasks. But if you let trivia take up much of your working day, there won’t be enough time left for you to tackle what really matters.
3. Maslow’s Theory
Another time management theory that is very popular was that of Abraham Harold Maslow, an American psychology professor. He teaches the importance of matching time management with our other needs as human beings, and integrating everything into a nourishing and wholesome complex.
As long as the efficient use of time helps us meet higher goals of fulfilment, spirituality and well being, we perceive it as helpful. But in the interests of greater efficiency, if we sacrifice bigger things like purpose, meaning and satisfaction with our lives, then it is a moot victory.
Maslow’s theory focuses on understanding your needs, differentiating them, and setting time limits on getting each done so that you do not encroach on other essential areas of your life.
Theory Guides Practice
Time management theory can therefore help guide your method of managing time. The actions you take to improve efficiency will be guided by the principles of time managing theory.
Pick the one you most resonate with, and build your time management plans around it. Almost all have in common the concepts that lie at the root of Time Management Tao:
- Find your center – know WHAT to do
- Understand your order – know HOW to do it
- Pick your timing – know WHO to use & WHEN