National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems

The Voice for Public Pensions


Improving Members’ Well-Being: The Benefits from Time Management Training

By: Thomas Anichini, CFA, CFP, GuidedChoice/3Nickels

The topic of people's psychological well-being has emerged as a common concern. An important aspect of people's well-being depends on their financial wellness. Financial concerns rank among the top causes of anxiety, insomnia, and marital strife. Surely paying them more would help? Not so fast! In our consumption-happy world, many people, upon receiving more income, merely spend more: if the size of their paycheck increased, they would just spend more and their pattern of living paycheck to paycheck would remain.

This is an excerpt from NCPERS Spring 2024 issue of PERSist, originally published April 25, 2024.

When people think of learning time management, they likely think of it as a productivity enhancement.

This article suggests instead you think of learning time management skills as a wellness enhancement, regardless of whether it makes people economically more productive. It makes them feel better: feeling more in control of their time, they have lower stress and greater well-being.

To understand how time management training enhances well-being, consider whether it is already part of an employer's benefits and culture.

Do Employers' Emphasis on Work-Life Balance Include Time Management Training?

Employers who emphasize work-life balance do so via benefits and culture, which might be missing time management training.

Benefits pertaining to time may include flexible work arrangements, paid time off policies, and parental and caregiver leave.

Culture also matters. A culture that respects work-life balance allows people to use their benefits appropriately. Additionally, affording employees autonomy in terms of how they get their work done can enhance their sense of agency.

Help Employees Enjoy a Sense of Control Over Their Time

While employers provide the necessary framework for well-being through benefits and culture, the individual employee's skills in managing time play a critical role in their own well-being. Specifically, employees arrive with varying levels of proficiency in time management.

Unfortunately, time management is not commonly taught in school. Thus, choosing how to plan, prioritize, and budget time is a skill employers should offer to teach.

Acquiring Time Management Skills Can Improve Employees' Sense of Empowerment

Workers can have an improved sense of empowerment via:

      Skills Development: Employees can learn how to prioritize tasks, set realistic deadlines, and manage distractions.

      Enhanced Autonomy: Employees feel more in control of their workloads: they can better negotiate work dynamics, manage expectations, and assert boundaries (i.e., say “No”), which are essential for maintaining balance.

      Stress Reduction: In applying their skills and sensing their autonomy, their stress declines.
Now let's explore how literature and empirical studies reinforce the positive outcomes associated with these competencies.

Literature Support

Popular Nonfiction Books
In Stephen R. Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People1, Covey stipulated that by applying his method of habitually organizing and prioritizing, people would live more organized, purposeful, and effective lives, in others word, their wellness would improve.

In David Allen's Getting Things Done2, Allen observes when people use a productivity system they know they can trust, stress falls and creativity ensues.

While seminal books provide compelling narratives, empirical studies offer concrete evidence to these claims.

Evidence from Psychological Studies
Time Management Training and Perceived Control of Time at Work3
Researchers found that after receiving time management training, subjects' perception of their control of time improved and their stress levels dropped.

Does Time Management Training Work?4 Researchers found that workers who received time management training became more productive (as scored by their managers), and their perception of their own time management skills improved, resulting in lower stress.

The insights from both popular literature and rigorous studies converge on a critical point: time management training transcends mere productivity, fostering substantial improvements in an employee's well-being.


A sense of lack of control over one's time can be debilitating for stress and well-being. By recognizing that time management is a skill that many did not learn in school, employers can improve their employees' sense of well-being by providing time management training.

Although a secondary benefit of time management training may manifest as improved efficiency during work hours, the principal aim is to equip employees with skills that extend far beyond the workplace.

We should communicate the intent of such training clearly: it is designed not for the company's gain in output but for the individual's mastery over their own schedule, thereby fostering a robust sense of well-being.

When employees understand that the training is invested in their personal empowerment—not just their professional productivity—they are likely to value and embrace it more fully.

We encourage employers not only to adopt these practices but also to evaluate their impact through systematic feedback and assessments.

About the Author
Thomas M. Anichini, CFA, joined GuidedChoice in 2011 and is currently the chief investment strategist. He is responsible for articulating our investment philosophy and methodology. Additionally, he serves on our Investment Committee and is involved in research, investment processes, and operational risk management. Prior to joining GuidedChoice, Tom held a variety of investment positions, including leading the U.S. manager research team at Mercer, managing portfolios at Westpeak Global Advisors, and as partner, director of portfolio management at Freeman Investment Management. In addition, from 2011 to 2014 he served on the Society of Actuaries Investment Section Council, including one year as chair.
Mr. Anichini holds an M.B.A. Finance from the University of Chicago and a B.S. Actuarial Science from the University of Illinois.

1 Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989)
2  David Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (New York: Viking, 2001)
3 Alexander Häfner and Armin Stock, "Time Management Training and Perceived Control of Time at Work," The Journal of Psychology 144, no. 5 (2010): 429- 447,
4 Peter Green and Denise Skinner, "Does time management training work? An evaluation," International Journal of Training and Development 9, no. 2 (2005): 124-139


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