By the end of this post, the reader should be able to:

·         Explain the types and characteristics of time.

·         Apply management principles to time management.

·         Suggest reasons for managing time.

·         Explain the guidelines for effective time use.




Time is one of the important resources. It is one of the resources available to a family and once lost it cannot be regained. Time is a resource which everyone uses along with other resources when meeting goals. Everyone has the same amount of time that is, twenty-four hours each day. Time like other resources, is limited and can be spent loosely or wasted through poor management. Time to some people may mean the period within which activities take place. The ability to manage time effectively can give order and direction to life. The concept of time varies in different cultures.


Types Of Time

These include clock time, biological tine and psychological time.

(a) Clock Time

Time is measured in hours, minutes and seconds. It is based on the regular movement of the earth in relation to the Sun and has twenty-four hours in a day. It is categorized into work time, household time and nonwork time.


Example of clock time


(b) Biological Time 

It refers to the natural rhythm of time that is experienced by all human beings. It is therefore the internal clock within a person that determines or indicates certain bodily functions. e.g. when to eat, when to sleep, etc.

(c) Psychological time 

Refers to awareness of passage of time. This type of time makes certain things pass or happen more swiftly and other things more slowly.


Categories Of Clock Time

(a) Work Time 

This refers to time spent on Income generating activities or it is time spent on activities which produce measurable results for oneself or others. This varies according to type of work a person does. People who are employed are paid according to the number of hours they work, usually eight hours a day. However, people with special responsibilities may work for longer hours. Traders, farmers, artisans, etc. do not usually have specific time of work and only stop when they are tired. Work time includes time for waiting for transportation or travel time and preparation for work.

(b) Household Time

This refers to time used for various tasks that are carried out in the home. It includes the time spent on household care, personal care and care for other family members e.g. Preparing food, after-meal clean-up, and marketing, taking children to school and from school. A long period of time spent on household tasks may make women tired, and also reduces the time available for other activities.

(c) Non-Work Time

This category of clock time refers to time used to relax, visit friends or just sit. Non-work time may also be used for leisure activities such as family pictures, reading, watching television, etc. Non-work activities may not yield income but may be satisfying to the person.

Characteristics of Time

(i) Time is measurable. The amount of time we have available can be measured. That is twenty-four hours a day.

(ii) Time is a non-renewable resource and once lost it cannot be regained. Every hour that passes is gone.

(iii) Time cannot be accumulated nor saved for another purpose.

(iv) Time is a resource that everyone uses along with other resources to meet goals.

(v) It is available to everyone in the same amount for a day, month, year, etc (vi) Time is an intangible resource— it cannot be seen or touched.

(vi) Time is irretrievable: One cannot get it back to use, it is gone, whether it was used well or not.


Time Management

Connier defines time management as gaining control over what to do, when to do it, how to do it and why you do it. Time management is the process of planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating the use of time in order to accomplish or perform certain tasks or duties. Through the application of the management process of time, individuals and families can utilize this resource effectively to achieve the desired qualities of life.

(a) Planning the use of time: 

Planning will be based on your values, priorities, goals and needs.

(i) List all activities for a day and categorize them into groups of activities.

(ii) Develop a scheme for using your time based on your priorities, goals and needs.

(a) Inflexible (fixed) time: They are specific times or fixed times during which certain activities must be performed. These include work time; time for school, church, the opening and closing of shops, banks and offices. Your planning should therefore take into consideration these times. When the inflexible time has been identified and planned you can apportion the rest of the time for various activities e.g., time for leisure, time for sleep, time for studying at home, etc. 

(b) Flexible time: Time for self-employed people such as farmers, traders, businessmen, homemakers are flexible thus their plans may be restricted if they use these facilities. Flexible time is therefore time not specifically allocated to any particular activity.


(b) Implementation 

A good time plan is easy to implement. This involves putting your time plan into action and controlling its use for some months. At the implementation stage, the homemaker (time manager) checks to ensure that activities are being carried out at the planned periods. There is need for flexibility e.g. Take into consideration activities which have to be performed at specific times, (fixed or inflexible time).

(c) Evaluation 

After using the time plan for some months, it should be evaluated to find out whether it has been successful or not. This involves critically analyzing and examining the various ways goals were achieved or not achieved.                 


Reasons For Managing Time

(i) It minimizes waste of time.

(ii) Leads to accomplishment of goals

(iii) It also helps to establish routine for household tasks and other individual and family activities.

(iv) It helps individuals and families to develop other resources or recognize priorities in life which had not been previously considered. e.g., through effective management of time, people   can save time for studying, rest, relaxation or leisure activities.

(v) It also reduces indecision in task performance or worry in the use of time and other resources so as to reach goals.


Guidelines for Effective Use of Time

The following guidelines or principles will enable a homemaker to use her time effectively so that more work can be accomplished in a given time.

Time can also be saved by the application of the following principles:

(i) Use a time-table or time plan. This helps to avoid confusion and ensure that tasks are accomplished at a specified time without much fatigue.

(ii) Arrange all the household chores properly, so that they can be done sequentially and methodically.

(iii) Plan to do related jobs at a time to avoid confusion.

(iv) Learn the best method for doing each task well. This gives the worker self-confidence and enables her to perform the task faster.

(v) Prepare properly for a given task. For instance, uncomfortable dressing, e.g., high-heeled shoes or flowing gowns can prevent a homemaker from walking about smartly when performing a task in the home.

(vi) Avoid procrastination that is, delaying activities. For instance, one may put off an activity that should be accomplished today till tomorrow or even next week.

(vii) Concentrate on the task at hand. Distractions lead to waste of time. Complete one job before starting another to avoid confusion.

(viii) Start with work that may take a long period to accomplish.

(ix) Provide and use appropriate equipment for various jobs.

(x) Alternate light and heavy jobs as far as possible.

(xi) Include rest periods, i.e. unassigned time, usually at the end of a heavy job.

(xii) Use work simplification techniques such as maintaining good body posture, reducing the number of movements involved in one task and using of household appliances effectively.

(xiii) Use left-over and convenience foods effectively.

(xiv) Wash up utensils and put them away during work process


Constraints on Effective Use of Time

i. Lack of clear goals or direction ii. Distractions and negative attitude iii. Fatigue and unproductive habits such as procrastination


SSCE/WASSCE Past Questions and Answers on Time Management 

1. (a) What is time?


Time is a resource which everyone uses along with other resources when meeting goals. Time to

some people may mean the period within which activities take place.


(b) Characteristics of time


(i) Time is a non-renewable resource.

(ii) Time is a limited resource.

 iii) Time cannot be accumulated nor saved for another purpose.

(iv) Everyone has time equal quantities.

(v) Time is a measurable resource.

(vi) Time is irreplaceable or irretrievable.

(c) Ways of saving time and energy

(i)  The use of labor-saving devices.

(ii) Use the correct equipment or tools for the job.

(iii) Omit unnecessary tasks.

(iv) Have good light and ventilation at the workplace.

(v) Arrange tools or equipment for work in the correct order or sequence.

(vi) Know the job or task and how to perform it.



l. a. What is time?      

b. Explain five characteristics of time           

2. Explain the following types of time          

(a) Clock time       

(b) Biological        

(c) Psychological time      

3. Differentiate between flexible and inflexible time and five example of each. (November 2006)

4. Explain the following categories of time

(i) Work time

(ii) Household time

(iii) Non —work time

5. State and explain the three main categories of time in daily living (November 2006)

6. Explain six ways by which a homemaker can make effective use of time.

7. State five reasons why individuals should manage time.


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