Life as a student is hectic, balancing university time, study time, work as well as fitting in social & recreational activities is a delicate operation. I have learned in order to be successful there has to be some degree of organisation. To outline the study skills techniques I used to produce my discussion article. For me the most important resource to organise is time. I have discovered if I can do this I give myself a much better chance of fulfilling my goals. For me Lakein sums it up best. “Time is life. It is irreversible and irreplaceable. To waste your time is to waste your life, but to master your time is to master your life and make the most of it.” (A. We Write Custom Research Papers on Study Skills topics! I have employed many techniques to aid me in my quest to ‘master’ time. Many of which have developed through trial and error. At the beginning of the year I purchased my first ever diary as I anticipation the need for organisation.
This would be my academic diary, (see appendix 1 for sample pages). This diary has proved invaluable. Throughout my whole school life I never used a diary, this meant I was constantly missing work, which in turn meant I was often behind my peers. It has been amazing the difference it has made, as I now know if I can complete all the tasks in my diary I can never fall behind. Keeping a diary of academic work was one thing, however as I have mentioned I had other commitments that were suffered due to improper scheduling. During week two I began reading the Business and Professional Development Study Skills book. An empty timetable was given as well as tips for organising time such as “study at the same time everyday” and “Make use of free hours during the day” (Wendy Triffitt, 2002). (see appendix 2 for full tips provided).
This prompted me to create my own time – table. First I gave time to essential activities such as eating and sleeping. Then I blocked in university, study and work time; finally I made time for recreational activities such as going to the gym. However I quickly realised that this was not an accomplishable schedule. It was far too packed and inflexible. A. Lakeins (1984) ideas on scheduling were very useful at this point, it is important that you organise time, not let time organise you. A schedule that is too rigid can end up dictating the whole day without allowing the most important activities to get completed. In addition Lakien believed that planning for a day in the evening and morning were the best ways to organise your time. This was a key piece of advice for me. From week three I began to make “To – Do Lists” every evening of everything that needed to be done the next day.
Then each morning I would take about five minuets to evaluate each item remaining on the list using the ‘ABC Priority System’ (see A. Lakein, 1984, p25). I tried making sure all (if there were any) of the ‘A’ items were complete by the end of the day. Obviously not everything on the list was able to get done. The items remaining on the list would then be put into the next days ‘to – do list’ and re evaluated the next morning. In addition I created a revised timetable (see fig 1.1) with many gaps to accommodate any ‘A’ items on my list and allow for flexibility. The methods that I have discussed have allowed me to make the most out of my time in university as well as sufficiently fulfil many of my personal goals. Completing my newspaper article in good time can serve as an example of how I have utilised my time management techniques to achieve a goal.
Firstly, when I received the assignment I wrote in my diary under the ‘Business and Professional Development section “Complete Article”. This was entered into all subsequent weeks up until November 30th. Obviously completing the article involved a lot of stages, there was planning, research etc. I broke these individual sections down into mini tasks using my list. Firstly I had to plan the article. Therefore in the every day in the first week I wrote on my list “Plan Article”. Using this method of time management allowed me to be aware of the imminent hand in date, however, it allowed me to complete other tasks that were perhaps more important first. My time management techniques helped me produce my presentation in the same way as they helped me produce my article. I was fully aware of the date I had to give my presentation as well as other activities I had to do. This enabled me to effectively allocate my time to producing and rehearsing the talk. Although I personally wouldn’t do too many things differently I can appreciate other ways of doing things.