Beyond time management: time use, performance and well-being
In this review questions such as “What is a good use of time?”, “How can one achieve satisfaction with their time?” and “How can one’s relationship with time contribute to their well-being?” are raised and discussed with regard to empirical research on various aspects of positive psychology of time. This paper differs from traditional approach to thinking about time in organisations in three substantial ways. Firstly, it reviews the existing empirical research on time use, focusing on the implications of this research for organizations and individuals. Secondly, it highlights the limitations of believing that time is infinitely stretchable and defined good time use as one that results in increased well-being, rather than productivity at the expense of well-being. Thirdly, although the workplace is in the centre of the paper, we view time use from a broader perspective of life and work-leisure balance. A range of evidence is considered, based on both objective and subjective time use studies, suggesting specific measures to increase well-being through time use, first of all, at workplace, but also touching on other domains, such as media, leisure, etc. Based on Self-Determination Theory, we argue that good time use results from choosing activities that help people to satisfy their basic needs and are directed at intrinsic goals (helping other people, establishing relationships, developing and growing as a person, maintaining health and balance in one’s life). A pathway to increase basic need satisfaction and, as a result, happiness associated with good time use, is by supporting autonomy: giving people more opportunities for choosing and working towards goals that are self-congruent and intrinsic, benefitting both themselves and societies.