In order to organise your time, you must be able to manage your self.  This means that you must know your strengths and weaknesses (in relation to time management), develop a positive attitude, plan to achieve, develop persistence, set goals and manage stress.

Procrastination

What is it?

Students can often find a billion other things to do, rather than work on their assignments or study.  There are many forms of procrastination. Some could include:

  •   Frequently checking emails
  •   Surfing the net
  •   Cleaning obsessively
  •   Chatting on the phone

Is it a problem?

Depending on how serious is it and the reasons behind it, procrastination can be a problem for some students.

How do I stop?

  • Do unpleasant tasks first
  • Overcome temptations/distractions
  • Spend time planning - but limit it!
  • Know ‘why?'
  • Give yourself a reward when you finish a task
  • Have place, space and equipment
  • Build ‘timewasters' into your plan
  • Focus on goals
  • Set priorities
  • Use positive self talk

Goal setting

In order to stay focused and achieve what we want, it is important to set goals.  By setting goals we are able to put our vision or reasons for doing things into action and thereby motivate ourselves to achieve what we have set out to achieve.

VISION + ACTION = MOTIVATION

What are the different types of goals?

  • Very long term = career goal
  • Long term goal = degree goal/div>
  • Medium goal = this year/semester goal
  • Short term goal = goal for current project
  • Very short term goal = right now goals

How do I ensure that I achieve my goals?

You are more likely to achieve a goal if it is SMART.

Specific

Ensuring your goal is well defined helps you to focus your efforts and clearly define what you are going to do.

Example
Rather than saying ‘I'm going to study for my exam', a specific goal would be "I'm going to start studying for my exam by firstly reading through chapter one and answering the questions'.

Measurable

Ensure that the progress of attaining you goal is measurable.  If you can't measure it, how will you know if you have achieved it?

Example  
Rather than saying ‘I want to be a good reader', a more measurable goal would be ‘This semester I want to read 5 extra books that do not make up a part of my university reading lists.

Achievable

To ensure that you stick with a goal it must be attainable.   Although you may start with the best intentions, if goals are too far out of your reach, the knowledge that it's too much for you means you may lose motivation.

Example
Rather than saying ‘I am going to start and finish my assignment in the 2 hour break I have at uni today', a more achievable goal would be to say, ‘I am going to start my assignment today in my break, by finding 2 relevant articles.   

Realistic

Devise a plan or a way of attaining your goal realistically. 

Example:  Rather than saying I'm not going to see my friends at all this semester so I can concentrate on uni', a more realistic goal may be to say ‘I am going to limit the time I see my friends just to the weekends so that I am able to concentrate on study during the week'

Time framed

Set a timeframe for the goal. Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards.

Example
Rather than saying, ‘I have to find some more references for my assignment sometime this week', someone who had a time framed goal might say ‘Tomorrow after my 2 pm lecture, I'm going to go to the library to track down some more references for my assignment'