Introduction to time management
Everyone has the same amount of time available to them. We cannot control time, but we can learn to use it more efficiently and effectively by planning carefully.
The credit value of the paper generally indicates the number of hours per week of study required per semester:
- A 15 credit single semester paper requires 12 hours per week
- A 15 credit double semester paper requires 6 hours per week
This is the average time requirement and will vary depending on previous study experience, whether English is your first language, individual study methods and the weekly demands of the course.
Decide what is important. Define your priorities by deciding what your goals are for that week or that day. more
Using this goal-oriented approach to your work also helps you plan your time. It helps you decide which of the goals are likely to take more time and therefore what day, when and where you will be able to fit them in.
For more information on allocation time see the sections on time management for internal students and time management for distance students.
Once you have established what your goals are create an action plan to achieve them, i.e. plan step by step what you will do to achieve each goal. Regularly make a To Do list which sets out your priorities.
- Use down time, e.g. waiting time, travelling time.
- Set your own deadlines - they provide motivation for completing tasks.
- Share your goals - this increases your motivation because you are making a public commitment and you do not want to let yourself down.
Set aside definite study times, with equal amounts of time are allocated for each paper per week, that you will keep to, e.g. Sunday 2-5 pm, Wednesday 8-11 pm. Create a pattern of expectation of study at those times. Study time should be planned in the same way as you plan leisure, meals, work, sport and exercise and sleep time.
The D.I.N. rule
One of the most difficult stages of academic tasks is getting started.
Some assignments look pretty scary, especially if they are different from previous activities. So to overcome this barrier Do It Now is a very good strategy. It gets you started and once a task is started you are likely to finish it. This also of avoids issues with procrastination and other time wasters.
This strategy allows you to find out if you have enough resources. It also helps you deal with those unexpected small assignments.
Because you are now in charge of your own learning, you also have to reward yourself when you have done a good day's or week's work. You can keep yourself working with the knowledge that when the reference list is finished you will
- check your emails
- text your friend
- go for a run
Arrange a bigger reward for yourself when a major assignment is completed.
If the time plan does not work straight away, do not give up; spend some time thinking about what has happened that interfered. It may be something unanticipated over which you have no control such as illness. However if this is not the case, it can be very educational to keep a time diary for two or three days and note down what you do are doing every 20 minutes throughout the day and how long you do the different activities. You often find out where and when you are losing or wasting time.
- Did you leave something out of the plan?
- Are you not allowing a realistic amount of time?
- Do you need an additional motivator?
Page authorised by Director, CTL
Last updated on 25 October, 2012
Time Management as a Key Point for Successful Essay Writing
May 26, 2017|Category: Freelance Writing, Writing Tips
Time is something one can lose and never get back. In spite of the fact that a daily cycle consists of a twenty-four hour period, there are so many people wishing to have much more time available during the day. No one can control the time; however, proper time management is in our power. The realization of this fact is an essential step towards successful essay writing, especially when the deadline of the academic assignment is too tight, or it simply has been postponed till the last minute.
Nevertheless, even being pressed for time, you still have some good chances to write an essay of the very best quality. Let me guide you how to use your time effectively.
1. Disconnect from technology. Ban yourself from all social networks and answer only important phone calls. Being distracted from the process of writing a paper is the last thing you need if your aim is to use your time effectively and produce a decent piece of work in a short period of time. Find a quiet place to get the right mindset and leave all sneaking or edgy feelings behind. It’s too early to feel defeated before the actual fight has started. Under such circumstances, it’s so important to stay positive and rest assured that you can do it. Keep the final aim in mind, you’re gonna do a good job and impress your professor.
2. Read the instructions thoughtfully. Following the initial instructions when you write an essay is of crucial importance and the easiest way to lose grades in case of failing to do so. Make sure that you understand the task, and after that pay close attention to the length of the paper and its word count. This will help you to understand how in depth your academic assignment should be. Also, note how many sources you need to use, and take your best efforts to always stick to the number of references requested. Citation style can be time-consuming, but you can focus on it after the paper itself has been written, and you will simply need to polish it to perfection.
3. Carry out basic research and write a brief outline. It may be so enticing to simply start writing a paper and do research or plan things to be included as you go; however, such actions can take you off the track. Having a good knowledge of the topic and relevant sources will help you to understand if your thesis statement can be properly defended. When conducting research, choose only credible sources, such as books and online journals; try not to over-quote as well. Remember that not all Internet sources can be cited, e.g. Wikipedia is a useful source of information, but is not a credible source. When you’re finally ready to get started, do not forget to refer to your outline to make sure that you’re on the right track. In addition, make sure that your arguments are strong enough to support your thesis statement.
4. Work on introduction and conclusion. Probably surprisingly, but these parts of an essay should be saved for last. No one will argue that these bits are the hardest to write. However, by the time the body of the paper has been written, the introduction and conclusion parts should be much easier since you’re already familiar with the argument.
5. Save some time for proofreading. Having a final check is a vital thing to do. Has the title page, in-text-citations, and references been formatted according to the style requested? Is the paper written in compliance with the accepted academic writing rules? What about the sentence and paragraph structure? Is the paper free of typos, spelling, grammatical and lexical mistakes? Has the initial paper instructions been followed to the full? The paper is worth a quick final read and critical look.
Congratulation! You’ve coped with one the toughest academic assignments and proved that due to proper time management you won’t simply give up at the first hurdle. Treat yourself to a bar of chocolate or go out for the evening, you’ve worked hard and deserve a reward!