This page contains notes about research on the factor structure of time management. It is related to the Survey Research and Design in Psychology Lab report exercise but may also be of interest or use to others.
Time management can be conceptualised as a multidimensional construct (e.g., Macan, Shahani, Dipboye, & Phillips, 1990). Psychological research literature has identified several possible factor structures for time management.
3-factors (Britton & Tesser, 1991)
A study of 90 USA college students found that time management could be represented by three factors, based on 35 items (Britton & Tesser, 1991.):
- Short-range planning - daily or weekly planning, such as making a daily to-do list
- Long-range planning - setting goals for the entire quarter and being well organised
- Time attitudes - feeling in control of how time was spent and using time effectively
This three factor structure was replicated in a study of 350 Spanish students (Garcia-Ros, Pérez-González, & Hinojosa, 2004).
4-factors (Macan et al., 1990)
A more widely cited model identifies four underlying factors (Macan et al., 1990):
- Setting goals and priorities
- Mechanics of scheduling and planning
- Preference for disorganisation
- Perceived control of time
The Time Management Behaviour Scale (TMBS), for which there is some validity evidence (TMBS, Macan et al., 1990), is designed to measure these four factors. Macan's (et al. 1990, 1994) models of time management have received the most support in the literature (Claessens et al., 2007). However, there are some consistency issues and disagreement as to whether perceived control of time should be included (Claessens et al., 2007). Macan (1994) has indicated that the perceived control of time factor is actually an outcome of time management and not a component.
The factor structure of the TMBS has been confirmed by Adams and Jex (1997) via confirmatory factor analysis.
5-factors (Bond & Feather, 1988)
Bond and Feather (1988) conducted a survey study of three samples of university students, extracting a five factor model of time management:
- Sense of Purpose
- Structured Routine
- Present Orientation
- Effective Organisation
5-factors (Francis-Smythe & Robertson, 1999)
Francis-Smythe and Robertson (1999) studied individual differences in time personality and identified five factors:
- Leisure Time Awareness
4-factors (Neill, 2017)
An alternative four-factor structure is shown in Figure 2.
- Efficiency and effectiveness - General efficiency and effectiveness in use of one's time to get tasks done
- Meeting deadlines - The extent to which important deadlines are met. König and Kleinman (2005) also argue that Meeting Deadlines is also an important factor of time management.
- Scheduling or Goal setting and Planning - Setting goals, making plans, and self-organising allocations of time to tasks
- Procrastination or Distractability - Engagement in distraction and goal-irrelevant behaviour
- Time management
- Time management questionnaires
- University student time management#Time management factors
- Macan, T. M., Shahani, C., Dipboye, R. L., & Phillips, A. P. (1990). College students' time management: Correlations with academic performance and stress. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 760-768.
- Britton, B. K., & Tesser, A. (1991). Effects of time-management practices on college grades. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83 , 405-410.
- García-Ros, R., Pérez-González, F., & Hinojosa (2004). Assessing time management skills as an important aspect of student learning. The construction and evaluation of a time management scale with Spanish high school students. School Psychology International, 25, 167-183.
- Macan, T. H. (1994). Time management: Test of a process model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 79(3), 381-391.
- Claessens, B. J. C., van Erde, W., Rutte, C. G. & Roe, R. A. (2005). A review of the time management literature. Personnel Review, 36, 255-276.
- Adams, G. A., & Jex, S. M. (1997). Confirmatory factor analysis of the Time Management Behavior Scale. Psychological Reports, 80, 225-226. doi: https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.19126.96.36.199
- Bond, M. & Feather, N. (1988). Some correlates of structure and purpose in the use of time. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 321-329.
- Francis-Smythe, J. A. & Robertson, I. T. (1999). Time-related individual differences. Time & Society, 8, 273-292.