Traditional approaches to management have tended to concentrate on the effective use of financial resources. More modern and progressive approaches have put far more emphasis on the value of people, or “human capital”, to use the vogue term. It has, however, often been argued that the manager’s most important resource is time. The majority of supervisors and line managers would certainly say that they never seem to have enough time, and the long hours culture is an obvious testament to this. Management gurus have, on the other hand, frequently pointed out that what really matters is not working harder but working smarter — and the key to this is effective time management.

One practical problem which almost invariably crops up is that it is necessary to invest time in order to save it. Often this investment takes the form of finding time to delegate, to develop existing employees, or to recruit new ones — all of which may well be very important. At an even more fundamental level, it may be necessary to invest some time in learning and putting into practice the basic concepts of time management.

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