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Time Management / Planning

Time Management


One of the first considerations for a busy CIT student about to make a head start with their studies is how to manage and schedule their time.

What is time management?

Time management is the managing of your time so that time is used to your advantage and it gives you a chance to spend your most valuable resource in the way you choose. The transition from second level to third level is a huge change. At secondary school the day is generally set from 9am to 4pm, with set break times and lunch breaks. With the new freedom of third level college, students need to make their own decisions on how to effectively spend blocks of free time. There may be various subjects with assessments cropping up in the same week, or projects with approaching deadlines. Add to that part-time jobs, sports, clubs, societies, socializing, partying, sleeping, relaxation and whatever else college students try to fit into their busy days. With end of Semester exams approaching fast, students are regularly faced with important decisions, which may affect their own success. Study or socialize? It is up to you to make the right decisions at the right times.

Students often say…
•"I always end up cramming for exams."
•"I never have enough time to do study."
•"I only study when there's the pressure of an assessment."
•"When I'm doing work in one subject, I get distracted by thoughts of what I have to do for my other classes."
If these comments relate to you, then you should consider a few time management techniques. Whether you are a first year CIT students or the President of CIT, there are only 24 hours in a day. The good news is that there is enough time for the things you want to achieve, but only if time is used effectively and used to your advantage.

Planning and Scheduling - Use a Study Planner

Time management begins with the use of a calendar, diary or study planner. To begin, make a semester calendar. The CIT Academic Year Planner is a good wall planner to get you started. Write in major exams, deadlines, assessments dates; generally these do not change and therefore must be prioritized. Use the class timetable to help complete the planner. In addition, a weekly time planner schedule should be used. Blank spaces should be utilized for studying and the completion of projects. A weekly study planner is available here.

Top Tips for Effective Time Management :

1. Make class time your best study time: Remember that class attendance is paramount for success on any CIT course. Try to go to class prepared having reviewed notes from the previous class. Remember that the class lecture may contain information not available anywhere else. This could be your only chance to learn it. Who do you think writes the end of Semester exams? The lecturer!

2. Be aware of your best time of the day: When do you study best? Daylight? Nighttime? Schedule study time during your best study hours for the modules that are most difficult. Experiment. Get up early, stay up late to see what works best for you. Remember to use your daylight hours and minutes and consider staying on campus between classes and finding a quiet place to study. Take advantage of ALL time in the day, including little chunks of time such as time on the bus. Make a record of you reading your notes, which you could listen to on the bus, or while exercising.

3. Focus: Concentrate on one thing at a time. Study difficult subjects first while you are still fresh. Do not let questions about material accumulate. Be specific .Pick out the specific problems that are causing you some grief. Rather than writing "do Calculus problems," indicate which problems. Ask the lecturer and go to CIT Academic Learning Centre for clarification, where you will get free subject support.

4. Use a regular study area: such as the library or a study area, this has good lighting, low noise, and no distractions. Find a place where you can study every day that has tables and chairs, is quiet, and has low traffic. If you are studying at a computer table, it is a good idea to check out online supports which may be relevant to your course, such as Maths Online and English Academic and Report Writing. Avoid e-mail or Facebook while studying and if you must, switch off the mobile phone, or put it in silent mode. Active study is effective: Keep a note pad next to you while studying to write down your understanding of the information.

5. Set realistic goals and deadlines for yourself: Once you accomplish each deadline, remind yourself that you are getting through the academic year successfully. Reward yourself when you get important things done, with a well-deserved break.

6. Avoid Time Wasters: A time waster prevents you from accomplishing your goals. How much time do you spend watching television, on your mobile phone, socializing, etc.? Two main time wasters are the television and the mobile phone. Time wasters need to be recognized and avoided. Learn to say NO! People will understand that study is a priority at this point in your life. Discuss your study time with house mates (roommates, parents, siblings, spouses, or kids) in advance. Have set times or a signal to indicate that you are studying and need to be left alone. Avoid interruptions by hanging a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. Should the interference get too much, then move your place of study.