Four frame model of successful time management

Published: 12-03-2024
Why you should switch to a four-frame time management model


It seems that many of us are capable of distributing our time and the time of our employees properly and in a rational way. If that’s the case, why are we so often confronted with the lack of this prominent, valuable and sadly finite resource? At first, it seems that we do everything right: write down plans in our notebooks, minimize distractions and stick to following our goals. Perhaps the root cause of our losses and time deficit lies in failing to follow effective time management rules?  Let’s try to find out what can cause this and learn how to properly manage our time in an effective and rational manner.

In order to do this, we have to talk about the four frame model of time management. If we want to understand its principles, we must first define what time management actually means. Effective time management is a science, a tool or teaching about properly managing, distributing, organizing, recording and using time.

Why we need the time management process?

Of course, you shouldn’t forget that effective time management is going to lead you to master new important skills and methods that are used in achieving specific goals and completing important projects. Time management process is a huge mechanism that contains a wide variety of actions, skills, and abilities as any other discipline. These include proper goal planning, delegating responsibility, making lists and plans, monitoring, analyzing time costs, evaluating the value of various actions, setting priorities, etc.

What is a four frame model exactly?

Classic time management emerged some time ago, back when there was a solitary approach towards management. The world is constantly developing and the same can be said about the study of effective time distribution. After the 2012 release of “Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership” book by Lee Bolman and Terry Deal, time management process became viewed as a complex, multi-layered apparatus. That’s when the “four-frame model” notion first appeared. It is a system of controlling your time as well as the system, process, yourself and other people.

The main difference between monostatic and four frame management is that traditional time management is more oriented towards controlling time was based on a single component - its priority. More specifically, it concerned doing your work tasks depending on the level of their importance. Four frame model is a more detailed, accurate and multi-faceted tool that uncovers patterns and different time management models.

In simpler terms, in order to make your and your employee’s work effective and successful, you have to forget about viewing time management process as a one-sided issue. When doing your job, you have to pay attention to all four factors mentioned below. Each of them will help you reach goals and keep up with the deadlines.

Of course, one shouldn’t forget about self-discipline as it is important for employees of any position: from highest to lowest levels. When both you and your employee are orderly and polite, planning effective time management will be a breeze. In case you don’t have a proper level of self-organization and aren’t that good at setting your priorities straight, you will find it hard to systematize and structure your own time.

By using this model out of all time management models, you will start controlling your own time, your employee’s time and the work process as a whole. It seems as if this tool was specially tailored for your own perception of time, your attitude towards life and work. It will take into account the peculiarities of your system, as well as your work process into consideration and will be oriented towards people who surround you.