Activity versus outcome maximization in time management

Curr Opin Psychol. 2019 Apr:26:49-53. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2018.04.017. Epub 2018 Apr 30.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Appointments and Schedules*
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities
  • Task Performance and Analysis*
  • Time Management / psychology*