It’s well known that “good time management” should be a staple of your CV. But what does this actually mean? Mike, a university student on the PGCEMP course, reflects on what it has meant to him throughout his studies.
“Time management consists of applying the principles of management to yourself: in other words, planning, organizing, directing and controlling the use of your time.”
(Management: A Skills Approach – Hunsaker)
I have learnt that I have to prioritise my studies if I want to succeed at University. I also think it is important to have time to relax and not get stressed. Things I want to be able to develop are my time management and motivation. I don’t want to waste time and I want to able to identify areas where I can improve this e.g. using time for study rather than watching TV shows.
But firstly, what is time management? Time management is a valuable skill and a very important part of the Practice of Management Skills module which I undertook as part of my studies at the University of Bradford. I have attempted to examine it here, and during the course.
Poor time management can lead to stress and anxiety; with backlogs of work, unmet deadlines, lower quality work, and panic. Improvements can be simple using methods such as defining the purpose, prioritising the agenda, setting a start and stop time, making a to-do list and recording any decisions made. This is similar to organisations skills, and being efficient and effective. Skills such as listing the activities (actions needed to achieve my goals), prioritising the activities (tasks can be prioritised into what can be done and what should be done) and scheduling the activities (using a planner).
I have decided to use a planner, calendar and diary as simple but effective ways of improving my time management skills. I also have a notice board which means I can tackle urgent and important tasks on a daily basis. This not only helps my study while at University, but also my everyday life. It is a skill that I want to use throughout my life as I believe that “time should be treated as one of the most important resources you will ever have to manage” (lecture notes). I also see it as an important factor in reducing and managing stress, which can be a major factor at University due to the work load and exams.
So what results has this had for me? Although I acknowledge that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, improving the use of my time can have a positive effect on my studies, my health and perhaps even my finances.
I have decided that things I don’t want to do too much of are drinking (alcohol) and staying out all night partying. I know that a lot of students do it and have a good time too, but I think it can have a damaging effect on health and affect the quality of my work and attendance.
I have also bought extra books and a laptop, to help push my marks up from just being happy with a pass towards the 70% pass mark. I also hope to develop my knowledge and skills at University to not just succeed on the Business and Management course but also succeed in business in the long term.
Through increasing my time management capacities this year, I have allowed myself to take extra optional modules in politics and languages. Having an extra language or two is highly recommended in the business environment. I achieved a 90% in the first semester which I am delighted with. I am sure than effectively managing my time will benefit me not just in my studies, but also in my career.