Anyone who pauses for five minutes between deadlines cannot help but be struck by the enormous and now burgeoning literature on ‘time management’. A plethora of books from David Allen’s Getting Things Done (2001) through to Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying (2014) promise that with the adoption of a few routine behaviours individuals can increase their productivity, overcome stress and achieve mental and emotional health. Although these claims are commonplace they draw (in a surprisingly unsystematic fashion) upon a sophisticated set of psychiatric and neuropsychological theories. In particular, they establish a series of connections between time-perception, wellbeing and material culture. This project will seek out the deeper history and ideology of these publications, exploring the roles of material culture and domestic spaces in shaping our emotional lives and emotional health.
The Time Management strand is led by Rhodri Hayward, Co-Investigator on Living with Feeling and Reader in the History of Medicine