Is it time well spent? The relationship between time management behaviours, perceived effectiveness and work-related morale and distress in a university context

Kearns, H. & Gardiner, M. (2007).  Higher Education Research & Development, 26(2), 235-247.

This article discussed lack of time and high workload demands as significant stressors for academic staff. This study aimed to empirically test the assumptions that time management principles are based on, in a university environment. In addition, it aims to determine which time management behaviours are most effective. A survey was developed and administered to academic staff, general staff and students at Flinders University. Four key time management strategies were examined.  Study results confirmed that those people who engaged in more time managment behaviours perceived themselves to be more effective at work, had higher levels of morale and lower levels of distress.  Effectiveness and stress management were related to (in order of importance – descending order):

  1. Having a sense of purpose,
  2. Planning and prioritizing,
  3. Avoiding interruptions and distractions, and4
  4. Being organized.

Overall, the most important aspect of time management for an academic was working out what they want to achieve and identifying long-term career goals.

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