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For long people have been trying to manage time in order to make daily or monthly
tasks and projects productive. Although everybody has the same amount of time
available in order to accomplish several tasks, one frequently hear people say that
“there is not enough time”. Time cannot be saved or stored; therefore one question
strikes the mind: “is it about how much time one has or rather the way one uses it? “
Strictly speaking, time cannot be managed, because it is an inaccessible factor. Only
the way a person deals with time can be influenced with corrective actions and
adjustment to time (Claessens, et al. 2004). This study focuses on how time is used
by lecturers in order to achieve set targets in terms of academic performance. This
study will be conducted at the University of Johannesburg, which vision clearly
indicates that the university wants to establish itself as a premier, embracing, African
city university offering a mix of vocational and academic programmes that advances
freedom, democracy, equality and human dignity as high ideals of humanity through
distinguished scholarship, excellence in teaching, reputable research and innovation,
and through putting intellectual capital to work (
QUERY_STRING=lan=e, Vision, Mission and Values of the University of
Johannesburg). One item from the mission of the University of Johannesburg states
that the university is committed to supporting access to a wide spectrum of academic
and technological teaching, learning and research

(,, Vision, Mission and
Values of the University of Johannesburg). From the mission statement of the
University of Johannesburg and its vision, one can easily understand that as part of
the university’s goals, teaching and learning is an important element that the
institution will consider in order to assess its overall performance. Lecturers will have
to monitor and assess their performance against the performance set by the
university, therefore key elements to be identified which are needed for the study are
the university goals with their key performance indicators with amongst others the
teaching and learning key performance indicators set by the University and the
lecturers goals, as the study will demonstrate the relationship between the two. A
comparison of those targets should provide a clear view of the role time
management plays in achieving them. An opportunity has risen which is the
motivation to undertake this particular study about the management of time and its
impact on the lecturers’ teaching and learning performance, particularly at the
University of Johannesburg.

The aim of this study is to investigate and highlight the impact of time management
on the activities performed by lecturers who are the foundation of universities. This
study will also bring into consideration the relationship between time management
and lecturers’ teaching and learning strategy by stressing the impact of time
management on the students study performance. The study will show the rapport
between a well managed time and the performance of an individual.


The University of Johannesburg has more than 4000 staff members, from
administrative to lecturing staff, including maintenance and security personnel.
Monitoring time utilisation of such a workforce can be quite a challenging
challenging task,
therefore focusing just on the lecturing staff of the university, who is the principal
participant to the study, the following question in this study is addressed, “Does time
management impact on the lecturer’s teaching and learning performance?” Leading
to this questions are the following research issues:
(1) How can a lecturer manage his/her time in order to achieve his/her goals?
(2) How does time management affect the performance of a lecturer?


As stated earlier, the University of Johannesburg has set clear goals which need to
be achieved on short term as well as long term. To monitor and assess the overall
performance of the institution on the achievement of its goals, several Key
Performance Indicators must be considered. This study will consider goals number
one and two which are respectively: A Reputable Brand and Excellence In Teaching
and Learning as the principal focus of the research around which the study will
revolve. The two goals form part of the ten strategic goals set by the University;
Table 4.1 shows the Key Performance Indicators for the two goals:
Table 4.1 – University of Johannesburg’s Strategic Goals and
Key Performance Indicators
Goal One: A Reputable Brand
To promote recognition of the University of Key Performance Indicators (KPI):
Johannesburg as a South African institution Recognition of the University as evidence
whose brand is synonymous with: in:
Excellence in teaching and learning; 1. Brand Recall
Nationally and internationally 2. Brand Resonance
competitive and innovative research; 3. Brand Reality
Contributions to the well-being of its 4. Brand loyalty
stakeholder communities.
Goal Two: Excellence in Teaching and Learning
To promote and sustain excellence in teaching Key Performance Indicators:
and learning by quality assurance practices and 1. Learning excellence
actively developing and implementing 2. Teaching excellence
innovative teaching, learning and assessment 3. Relevance/impact/diversity of
strategies. programmes
4. Keeping abreast of innovative
teaching and learning
5. Lifelong learning.

This research will complement precedent research, discussed in the literature

review, related to time management and its implications in the tertiary education


The objectives of the research are as follow:

• To identify factors influencing the management of time by lecturers;
• To underline:

o The goals set by lecturers in order to achieve the University set objectives;
o The personal goals set by lecturers.
• Emphasize on the relationship between the lecturer personal goals and the
university objectives.
• To understand the lecturer’s attempt to mange their time while trying to achieve
their different goals.
• To underline the consequence of the way lecturers manage their time on the
students’ performance.
The study will bring clear view on the impact of how lecturers manage their time in
order to achieve their goals as well as the university’s goals on their performance.
The result of the study will help management of the university in developing new
policies for teaching and learning strategies. The study will put into perspective the
importance of time management at the lecturer level therefore making time
management at the centre of management considerations when tackling issues of
staff development.


Time management is not a new topic per say. The problem of how to manage time
was already discussed in the 1950s and 1960s, with several authors proposing
methods on how to handle time issues on the job (e.g. Drucker, 1967; Lakein, 1973;
Mackenzie, 1972; McCay, 1959). They suggested simple remedies such as writing
work plans down on paper (so-called “to-do lists”) in order to increase job
performance. One can easily be misled by the term “time management”, simply
because time is an inaccessible factor which cannot be influenced or managed. Only
the way one uses time to perform jobs can be influenced. Eilam and Aharon (2003)
suggested that time
time management could be viewed as a way of monitoring and
controlling time. Based on their study, one can easily associate time management
with self-management with regard to the performance of multiple tasks within a
certain time period,
period, but further reading of the literature shows that self-management
has a different meaning. It refers to monitoring and regulating oneself, but without
any specific reference to techniques for monitoring time use (Claessens,
(Claessens, et al. 2004).

In spite of all popular attention to managing time, relatively little research has been
conducted on the processes involved in using one’s time effectively (e.g. by using
“prime time” to carry out important tasks) and completing work within deadlines at a
tertiary institution with focus on its lecturing staff. A review on the topic of time
management provides a good understanding of previous studies conducted in this
field (Claessens,
(Claessens, et al. 2004).
2004). The review aimed at looking at past empirical studies
on time management. The review considered the way in which researchers have
incorporated time management concepts and methods in their research and critically
discussed their research design. Important questions were addressed such as what
is time management behaviour? What are its antecedents? What is its impact on
outcome variables, such as health and job performance? Table 5.1 in Annexure A
clearly shows that previous studies on time management did not target academic
staff. More than 60% of the research in the literature target students from part-time to
full-time students. Therefore there is an opportunity to conduct our research on the
impact of time management on academic staff performance at a tertiary institution.

This study is focusing on a lecturer’s performance and its relationship with how the
time is managed. According to Patrick Forsyth (2000, p. xii) time management is
about working efficiently and effectively to ensure that both good productivity and
desired results are achieved. This statement will be the starting point of this study.
Brophy (1986) made the following observation by saying student achievement is
maximized when teachers allocate most classroom time to activities designed to
promote student achievement and use managerial and instructional strategies that
support such achievement. Therefore, how much time spent for student contact is
not what this research mainly focuses on, rather how the time is used in order to
achieve clear goals. Further readings have shown that, according to David Allen
(2001), productivity is directly proportional to one's ability to handle tasks in a relaxed
manner. These statements will be used to apply strategies for self-management in
order to minimize stress and increase an individual focus and efficiency. One cannot
study the impact of time management on the performance of lecturers without
considering the elements taken into consideration.

5.1.1 Management – as defined by T. Brevis et al (2000) is the process of planning,
organising, leading and controlling the resources of the organisation to
achieve stated organisational goals as efficiently as possible.
5.1.2 Time – is a basic component of the measuring system used to sequence
events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them,
and to quantify the motions of objects.
5.1.3 Time Management – past studies indicates that there is no accordance on the
definition of time management. Although Lakein (1973) suggested that time
management involves the process of determining needs, setting goals to
achieve these needs, prioritising and planning tasks required to achieve these
goals, other researchers provided various definitions. It is defined by many
academicians as the set of principles, practices, skills, tools, and systems that
work together to help one gets more value of one’s time with the aim of
improving the quality of one’s life, or simply techniques for managing time (Jex
and Elacqua, 1999; Davis, 2000; Macan, 1994, 1996; Macan et al., 1990;
Mudrack, 1997); a technique for effective time use, especially having enough
time to accomplish the many tasks required (Orpen, 1994; Slaven and
Totterdell, 1993; Woolfolk and Woolfolk, 1986); planning and allocating time
(Burt and Kemp, 1994; Francis-Smythe and Robertson, 1999a); the degree to
which individuals perceive their use of time to be structured and purposive
(Bond and Feather, 1988; Strongman and Burt, 2000; Sabelis, 2001;
Vodanovich and Seib, 1997); a way of getting insight into time use (Koolhaas
et al., 1992); a technique to increase the time available to pursue activities
(King et al., 1986); practices intended to maximize intellectual productivity
(Britton and Tesser, 1991); an application of self-regulation processes in the
temporal domain (Griffiths, 2003); coping behaviour in at-risk populations
(King et al., 1986); self-regulation strategies aimed at discussing plans, and
their efficiency (Eilam and Aharon, 2003); the use of procedures that are
designed to help the individual to achieve his or her desired goals (Hall and
Hursch, 1982); ways to assess the relative importance of activities through the
development of a prioritisation plan (Kaufman-Scarborough and Lindquist,
1999); clusters of behaviour that are deemed to facilitate productivity and

alleviate stress (Lay and Schouwenburg, 1993). Some authors gave no
definition at all (Barling et al., 1996; Simons and Galotti, 1992; Trueman and
Hartley, 1996). A clear and simple definition is provided by Claessens, et al.
(2004) as behaviours that aim at achieving an effective use of time while
performing certain goal-directed activities. Those behaviours comprise: (1)
Time assessment behaviours, which aim at awareness of here and now or
past, present, and future (Kaufman et al., 1991) and self-awareness of one’s
time use (attitudes, cognitions, e.g. Wratcher and Jones, 1988), which help to
accept tasks and responsibilities that fit within the limit of one’s capabilities.
(2) Planning behaviours, such as setting goals, planning tasks, prioritising,
making to-do lists, grouping tasks (e.g. Britton and Tesser, 1991; Macan,
1994, 1996) which aim at an effective use of time.
5.1.4 Productivity – as defined by T.J. hill (1993) is the measure which relates the
output of the process to the value or volume of input which has been made to
achieve that particular output. Sunity Shrestha (2005) defines productivity as
the efficient use of resources - labour, capital, materials, energy, information
… in the production of goods and services. The author stresses that the
specification and measurement of the output is very difficult in the
measurement of the productivity in service sector and specially, the education
sector. It is imperative to understand the educational system in order to place
into perspective the definition of productivity. The educational system can be
seen as a set of interrelated parts aimed at improving the knowledge and skill
of students and producing graduates with certain defined level of capability
(Sunity Shrestha 2005);


As mentioned earlier, the purpose of this research is to investigate and highlight the
impact of time management on the performance of lecturers. The focus is on time
management issue while regarded as reasonable motivation for undertaking an
explanatory study.

The study will take place at the University of Johannesburg, where participants will
be selected among the nine faculties of the University of Johannesburg. The

University of Johannesburg comprises of four campuses, namely Kingsway Campus
(Main Campus), Bunting Road Campus, Doornfontein Campus and Soweto Campus.
Therefore for the purpose of the research, preference is placed on the faculties of
Management and Art, Design, and Architecture located at the Bunting Road Campus
in order to take advantage of the closeness of their locations.


The research process will be conducted as follows:
(1) Literature review will be conducted on time management and the impact
on individual performance, with a particular interest placed on previous
studies related to tertiary institutions conducted in South Africa as well as
(2) The Head of Faculty Administration of each faculty will be approached to
obtain necessary authorization for conducting the study on campus.
(3) Observation of participants in their working environment for two hours per
day for twenty two weeks will take place, focusing mostly on the way they
handle tasks between classes, meetings and personal activities. The study
will focus on two lecturers per week. On-site observations are important
(4) Questionnaires will be e-mailed to the participants (See Appendix 1 for the
sample of the questionnaire) who are full-time lecturers and will be
expected to be e-mailed back within two weeks. The questionnaire
consists of four questions. The first question is covering elements of daily
planning that the participants would like improve, the second question is
about the knowledge as well as application of daily planning and long-term
planning. The third question regards the ability to control the time aspects
of implementation of the planning. Lastly, the fourth question covers daily
activities and the ability to keep them under a certain level of control. This
particular question is scaled on the 5 point Likert Scale.
(5) Interviews will be conducted with each lecturer to clarify and provide
insight into their daily work, the goals that the university has set their
personal objectives. These interviews will be conducted twice a day, on
arrival at the work place and at the end of the daily observation period.
Refer to interview guide in Appendix 2

(6) Undertake a situational analysis of the field notes and interview notes,
guided by The Pickle Jar Theory.
(7) Write a research report that combines our understanding of the relevant
theory and previous research with the results of our empirical research.
(8) Demarcation of the study and units of analysis
The study will take place at the University of Johannesburg. For the
purpose of the study, all the lecturers from all faculties will be considered
as participants to the study.


E-mails with attached self-administered questionnaire will be sent to participants.
An investigation using structured questionnaire and one on one interview with
participants will be used to collect data. The questionnaire will combine
numerical ranking, yes – no and open-ended questions.
Statistical methods and formula will be applied on the answers from numerical
ranking and yes – no questions. Histograms as well as pie charts will be used
to represent the data. Open – ended question will be analysed guided by The
Pickle Jar Theory


The following is a provisional schedule of research activities:

1. Literature review, research proposal – 2 months
2. Survey design, field work and data collection – 1 months
3. Data collection, data analysis and interpretation – 5 months
4. Review project with supervisor – 1 month
5. Writing up of final report – 2 months


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