A Model of Time Use at Work: Individual Differences, Time Use, and Performance




Stachowski, Alicia Ann

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As jobs become more complex and autonomous, issues surrounding time use are becoming more important. At present, we know relatively little about how time-related individual differences influence how people choose to structure their time, and furthermore, how these choices impact task performance. Based on an interactionist approach, a model was proposed incorporating both person and situational variables associated with time use. Several time-related individual difference variables (i.e., time perspective, polychronicity, and time urgency) were expected to predict time use behaviors. Individual differences were hypothesized to relate differentially to time use dimensions (i.e., time management, pacing, and multitasking), and time use behaviors were hypothesized to relate to performance outcomes. Situational moderators (i.e., autonomy and time scarcity) were also examined. Ninety-four undergraduate students enrolled in a psychology research methods course tracked their progress on a final course project once per week for four weeks leading up to the deadline. Self- and instructorrated project grades served as performance measures. Findings provide some support linking time-related individual differences to time use dimensions. Specifically, future time perspective was positively related to time management. Polychronicity and time scarcity were positively correlated with multitasking. Situational variables (autonomy and time scarcity) moderated some of the time-related individual difference-time use relationships. Support was not found for the relationship between time use dimensions (i.e., time management, pacing, and multitasking) and performance. Implications for the workplace and future research directions are discussed.



Time Use, Time Perspective, Polychronicity, Time Urgency, Performance