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3: Time Management

Introduction

Managing time can be a difficult process for many HE students. A survey at the University of Reading, for example, found that 32 per cent of the students consulting the Study Advisers at the University of Reading initially came asking for support with time management (LearnHigher 2009).

Students are expected to research and read a wide range of sources and to write a range of module assignments each semester. If they are in a hall of residence, they will need to look after themselves, and most need to find employment to supplement any loans or other financial assistance they receive.

Not surprising then, that procrastination is an issue for many of them. Procrastination has been the subject of considerable research in recent years and it appears to affect a significant number of students. Self-reporting by students suggest that 80-95 per cent engage in procrastination of some sort (Ellis & Knaus, 1977; O'Brien, 2002), and almost 50 per cent procrastinate consistently, which leads to problems with assignments or other set tasks (Day, Mensink, & O'Sullivan, 2000; Haycock, 1993; Onwuegbuzie, 2000). A common form of procrastination in education is for the student to delay starting an assignment beyond the envisaged start point and then have to work furiously to finish it on time.

However, other forms of time management concerns for students include perfectionism and poor planning.

This Section of Trans:it aims, therefore, to help students consider their own attitudes and approaches to time management.

There are four Units:

  • Unit 1: How well do you manage time?
  • Unit 2: Time traps
  • Unit 3: About time
  • Unit 4: Four case studies

Each unit offers enough material for a 50-60 minute taught session. These guidance notes include teaching tips from tutors who have successfully used the material featured in the Section.

Guidance Notes for Tutors