I’ve been struggling to manage my time recently. There simply isn’t enough hours in the day. So I thought I better sort my chaotic life out, and practice what I preach.
Everyone likes a good list, especially if you can tick things off immediately. But once I’ve written my list of things to do I rate them. The official line to students is to rate them as per the following:
A = Very Urgent (deadline imminent)
B = Quite Urgent (deadline about a week away)
C = No so Urgent (deadline longer than a week)
Personally, I use colour and symbols. I won’t tell you what the symbols are, they’re rude! Moral of the lesson is that you can use whatever rating system that works for you.
A list is all very good and well but you can action any of the points unless you can plan or know what you are going to do.
This is where my five golden features come into play:
1. Description of the task
2. Allocation of priorities
3. Estimation of the time needed
4. Setting up a timetable (if necessary – this is good for revision)
5. Monitoring of progress (basically a big fat tick when that blasted task is done!)
This may seem very basic and common sense (it is) but I’m always surprised to find students who simply don’t know how to manage their time.
It’s easy to identify pupils (and adults for that matter) who haven’t got effective time management strategies. They are usually the ones drowning in work, buried under the pressure of unfinished assignments and missed deadlines. Then you have the opposite spectrum; those who are so overwhelmed by the tasks ahead they bury their heads in the sand and pretend its not happening.
With exams so close, it may be an idea to remind students of these simple strategies to keep them in track. Failing that encourage them to download an app on their phone. I’m lost without my ScatterBrain app.
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