controlling

Time Management

Watches & Pen 3

There is one word I have grown to both appreciate and detest. The word in question is management. We, especially business students live in a reality where management is the topic that fills libraries, book lists and fuels publishing industries.

The general definition for management is simple. Management is the process in which one achieves “his or her or the organisational goals” in the most efficient and effective manner. Based on the theory the key steps, also called activities are usually planning, organising, leading and controlling.

When time is added to the word management something strange happens. Where management is about “getting things done” time management emphasises the time aspect. Time management is literally about “how to manage time”.

Speaking for myself I never quite understood the concept of time management. I prefer to approach time management from the pragmatic angle: do what needs to be done, check, next, check, next, check ad infinitum. Time management is the kind of concept that can be theoretically described but makes no sense without practice to base it on. In the end it becomes unavoidable to reference Frederick Winslow Taylor.

There is also the relationship between us humans and time. Philosophers and scientists have researched and written about time and how time is experienced for ages. When thinking about the experience of time it helps to not think of hours, days, months and years.

Just thinking of now, saying “A” and then thinking about how you said “A” illustrates how time is an experience. When the room you are in has an echo it even becomes audible. When an action is over and the next action is being done the previous action is already in the past. The relationship between “how to manage time” and “how time is experienced” can therefore be a confusing one.

Personally I much prefer a list of tasks and deadlines. Task done, check, next and in doing so I keep track of my progress. As the list becomes shorter I approach the moment where I can enjoy not having to do anything. A breath of fresh air then really feels fresh…