Sunday, 20 July 2014

3. Time management

I had attended two workshops; together with many other students; at which a tremendous amount of valuable information was shared. One was titled "Workplace Readiness Skills Program" and the other "Exam preparation". Both workshops shared useful information on time management which I intend to share on this blog-post.
Workplace Readiness Skills workshop
Mr Thando Melane, an HR consultant and trainer, based most of the information I am about to share regarding time management on Stephen and Sean Covey's books. They are:

  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers
  • First Things First 
We spend our time in four different quadrants represented by a type of person:
  1. Procrastinator- one who leaves the urgent and important things until last minute
  2. Prioritizer      - one who does the urgent and important things first
  3. Yes-man        - one who says "yes" to everything and leaves the important things last 
  4. Slacker          - one who spends too much time on things that are unimportant and not urgent
The best person to strive to be is a prioritizer. Mr Melane shared a weekly planner that we can use to see how to effectively use the time we have:  




Exam preparation workshop
Mr Graeme O'Reilly, a CA(SA), dug in deep as to how we as students can utilise our time. This mostly applies to full-time students but part-time students may use this too.  

He says that we should consider the following:
  1. How much time is realistically available during the week
    • This refers to time available after lecture and tutorial periods; and after other priorities/commitments
    • We must add up all the hours available during the day, in the evenings and on weekends.
    • Here's an example:
P.S: In establishing these hours, one can decide that their day starts at 8:00am or 8:30am (or earlier) and ends at 21:00pm or 22:00pm (or later) depending on the individual.

2. How much time is needed:
    • To cover theory
    • To do questions (this may entail doing some practise questions before attempting homework and/or homework)
    • To revise previous work (this may be done to refresh our knowledge of the previous week's chapters and see if we still remember them)
    • Here's an example:


 P.S: the compilation of how to cover theory (pre-reading, post-reading, mind-map) is just an example. You can cover the theory in whichever way that suits you. 

The amount of time one chooses to spend on each of those components (i.e theory, questions, revising) depends on the individual - how long it takes to comprehend. It depends on the length and difficulty of the chapter. That may be established from pre-reading and/ or how much was understood in the lectures. After trying out this strategy, I discovered that the amount of time I need to spend in post-reading, doing questions and revising depends on how much knowledge and understanding I obtained from pre-reading and lectures. Getting the suitable number of hours for one is thus a process.

Mr Graeme had advised further that if the hours required exceed the amount of hours available, one may need to increase the hours available by starting one hour earlier for example. Another option is to decrease the number of hours required by reducing the number of hours spent in revising for example. 

After all that is completed, we can then complete our weekly planner as follows:
  1. Fill in the time slots that cannot be avoided, e.g lectures, tutorials and other priorities
  2. Fill in the other slots in which we would like to spend on theory, questions and revising. 
  3. The other slots that are free can be used for leisure time. There may be times when something comes up which may force us to re-shuffle our schedule.
Of course this requires self-discipline to stick to it. Time-management is also something that is perfected over time. I myself have re-shuffled my weekly schedule after reflecting on my previous weekly schedules; and discovering whether they were effective. The more I complete weekly schedules and the more I reflect on them; the more I find more effective ways to utilise my time and the lesser the need to make a weekly planner - it's a process.

I certainly hope that this is as helpful as I find it to be. Please feel free to share what works for you or if this works for you once you implement it. Any more tips or suggestions would be much appreciated, too. You can share on the comments section below.

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Thanks so much for your time and consideration. Till next time :).


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