In the 19th Century
The concept of time management started to gain impetus in the 19th century because of many factors:
- The advancements in the Industrial Revolution led to a shift from an agrarian economy to an industrial trade-based economy and raised the need to manage time well. Success in the new world order depended on the timely trading of goods.
- The development of a postal service, the arrival of the telegraph, and the subsequent spread of railroads all required precise time keeping and raised the importance of time-related values of productivity and speed.
- The enlightened views of scholars and scientists such as Isaac Newton began to gain ground. Isaac Newton's ideas about the disciplined working of the universe strongly influenced the thought and science of the age, and people began to discipline their lives likewise.
Credit for establishing the importance of time management goes to Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. Thomas Jefferson installed a clock that had a dial with three hands to indicate hours, minutes, and seconds to schedule indoor household chores. Benjamin Franklin’s famous views on time and management included advice such as “Time is money," and “Time is the stuff of which life is made."
Inspired by such leaders and enlightened thought, society then began to consider timeliness as a sign of maturity, and the wearing of a watch symbolized a child's entry into the time-conscious world of grownups. By the 1830s schools started to enforce punctuality, organizing school hours and lessons by the clock, punishing lateness, and awarding certificates for punctuality.
The pre-19th century workmen balanced work and home-based duties by doing them intermittently, akin to the approach based on flex-time and telecommuting today. The spread of factories and standardized work hours led to work and home becoming two distinct entities. With lesser time available for home chores, the concept of managing time better received impetus. Catharine Beecher’s “A Treatise on Domestic Economy," published in 1847, deals with household habits designed not to waste time and became a bestseller of the times.
While the 19th-century workmen had rigid schedules, the 19th-century businessmen were flexible in managing their time. Their typical time scheduling involved three hours of business duties, with the rest of the day spent on government, church, and other social obligations.