The Time Organisation and Management Inventory (ATOMS) was developed to assess time management behaviours and attitudes. It is based on work by experts in the field of time management (Adams & Jex, 1997; Britton & Tesser, 1991; Lakein, 1973; Maccan et al., 1990), as well as large-scale empirical studies devoted to psychometric analyses and construct validation (Roberts et al., 2002). The scale consists of six dimensions outlined below.
Sense of Purpose:
This sub-scale is composed of the following components: individual differences in a person's sense of purpose, their level of focus, the way in which they order priorities, and their goal-setting capacity.
This sub-scale is essentially the converse of procrastination. Items defining this construct measure the extent to which people perceive themselves to be in control of time and to use their time wisely and efficiently. It also reflects a person's ability to estimate accurately the time it takes to complete a task and be realistic about what goals may be achieved in a set period.
Mechanics of Time Management:
The items in this sub-scale assess actions, strategies, and preferred ways of behaving that are associated with successful time management practices.
Coping with Temporal Flow:
Scores on this sub-scale represent a person's ability to cope with (and adapt to) circumstances, particularly as these change with the passage of time. It has two major components. Firstly, it reflects a person's perception of and orientation to the past, present, and future. This factor also has some concordance to a construct known as '(future) time perspective'. Secondly, it reflects an individual's potential to cope with change and their ability to adapt when change occurs.
Propensity to Plan:
The items in this sub-scale essentially assess ways of behaving that stand in contradistinction to acting impulsively and spontaneously. Items reflect a person's preference for structure and routine over flexibility, unpredictability, and lack of constraint.
Effective Organisation Scale:
The final sub-scale indicates a person's preference for being organised and keeping their workspace neat and tidy. Several items pertain to the degree to which a person views messiness or disorganisation as counterproductive.