Activity Versus Outcome Maximization in Time Management

June, 2018


Feeling time-pressed has become ubiquitous. Time management strategies have emerged to help individuals fit in more of their desired and necessary activities. We provide a review of these strategies. In doing so, we distinguish between two, often competing, motives people have in managing their time: activity maximization and outcome maximization. The emerging literature points to an important dilemma: a given strategy that maximizes the number of activities might be detrimental to outcome maximization. We discuss such factors that might hinder performance in work tasks and enjoyment in leisure tasks. Finally, we provide theoretically grounded recommendations that can help balance these two important goals in time management.

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