Time Management (Workbook pages 15-18)

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1 Time Management (Workbook pages 15-18) (PRIOR TO CONDUCTING THIS LESSON, STUDENTS SHOULD HAVE COMPLETED THE FOLLOWING ASSIGNMENT.) Directions: The time diary, PAGE 15, is a record of how you use your time. In a few weeks, you will learn time and task management strategies. You must have a record of 5 consecutive days of your time by then. How To: Keep track of everything you do, when you do it, and be as specific as you can. Don t just write studied, write read chapt. 1 in History instead. Your personal time is important too (give some examples of personal time such as watching TV, hanging out with friends etc.) Your time diaries will not be collected so be honest with yourself about what you did and when you did it. Start now. Fill in this hour with Master Student. What else did you do today? Can you fill it in? Don t fill in your schedule ahead of time. You never know when something unexpected might come up. Your time diary must accurately reflect your time spent over a period of 5 days. Again, this is NOT to hand in!! But I will be checking to make sure it is completed. Please make sure you do a thorough job of this. Once your five days is completed, complete the time diary calculation sheet on page 16. Outline (75 minutes) 1. Know Yourself Time Diary Activity 2. Rock Story 3. Semester at a Glance Activity 4. Make it do-able Activity 5. Weekly Study Plans 6. Monitoring Progress 7. Homework Review Materials: Workbook: Managing The Time of Your Life (p. 17) Time Diary (p. 15) Time Diary Calculation Sheet (p. 16) Weekly Study Plan Activity Sheet (p. 18) Additional: Semester-at-a-Glance handouts Weekly Study Plan handouts Examples of completed sample Weekly Study Plans Copies of their syllabi from their selected courses Assignments To Be Collected: Check completion of time diary Check completion of time diary calculation sheet

2 Homework: Begin setting up appointments with your professors for your Student Initiated Progress Report. It s due in three weeks! Complete the Semester at a Glance and Weekly Study Plan for all of your classes and use it! Complete the Brain Dominance quiz on p. 25 in your workbook. Goals/Outcomes: To evaluate how students currently spend their time To look ahead and break down tasks to make them manageable To be able to fill out the Semester at a Glance and the Weekly Study Plan. Activity 2: Know Yourself Time Diary Activity To help students interpret the data they have gathered about themselves and how they spend their time Directions: Refer to p. 17, Managing the Time of Your Life Today we re going to spend some time on time management. Time management can be broken down into four steps listed on p ) Know yourself. 2) Look ahead to the big picture. 3) Break the big picture down into manageable parts. 4) Monitor your progress. Let s start with the first step, know yourself. Why do you think it s important to know yourself when dealing with time management? Elicit responses from the students. They should center on getting to know and understand your personal priorities and how you spend your time. Take out the Time Diary and calculation sheet you completed for homework. You should have five days worth of data. You should have chosen five days that represent the most typical use of your time. Walk around and make sure students completed these assignments. If a number of students did not finish the calculation sheet, allow time for that now.

3 There are 120 hours in 5 days. What surprised you when you did your calculations? Was anyone surprised by the amount of hours they spent studying? Working? Relaxing? Sleeping? Everyone has to set their own priorities in life, but everyone here has academics in common. Academic time must be a priority. You are all making an investment in your education at this time in your lives, so it will be a big focus of this lesson. Meanwhile, everyone manages time differently, it is a very personal thing, and that is ok. There are some basic principles to time and task management that will help you. But you must come up with a system that works well for you. Please look at the total number of hours you spent studying. CCSU expects students to spend 2-3 hours preparing out of class for every 1 hour they are in class. Let s do the math: (write on board) 15 credits = 15 credit hours x 2 x 3 Hrs. spent in prep. per credit hr Now we have to add in the class time Class time That is 45 to 60 hours a week on your studies! For 15 credits, you should devote at least 30 hours (15 x 2) per week to studying. Therefore, if you decide to study 5 days per week, you should devote 6 hours per day (30/5) to studying. Is anyone surprised by this standard? (They don t think they have 30 hours worth of preparation to do). Class preparation involves more than reading. It also involves generating questions in your notes and quizzing yourself. When did you do most of your studying? Was it during a time when you were most alert? Were you able to concentrate? Where did you do your best studying? How long did you spend in each study session without a break? Research shows that minutes of total concentration is most typical for good learning. Breaks can be short, but they will help with concentration. Are there blocks of time you could have used in academic preparation? Generating questions and quizzing yourself is a 15-minute activity. Do you have 15-minute blocks of unused time? For example: between classes, on the bus, while dinner is in the oven, while waiting for a friend to join you, etc. Where in your time diary do you feel you wasted time? I would like to remind you that it is not a waste of time to do nothing, to socialize, or any activity that brings you pleasure. The important thing is to find the time to do the things that are important to you personally. There may be a need for making some adjustments.

4 We can t always do everything we want for as long as we want to, but we should not have to sacrifice everything that is important to us. Some optional activities might need to be modified if there isn t enough time in your life to prepare academically. One of the goals of this process is to avoid all-nighters! In order to accomplish this, the next step is to LOOK AHEAD. Activity 3: Rock Story To have a deeper understanding of prioritizing To understand that prioritizing allows students to accomplish more Storyline: I m going to tell you, instead of show you, a story that has a connection to managing time. You ll see why I m not showing you when you ve heard the story. A teacher walks into his class with a big jar and asks the class to pay attention. The first thing he does is place the jar on the desk. Then he says, Okay class, it is time for a quiz. Next, he places golf balls into the container one at a time until the container is full. He asks the class, Is this container full? Everyone in the group says yes, the teacher replies, are you sure? Next, he takes out a bag of small pebbles, and pours them into the jar so that they fill in the spaces between the golf balls. He asks the class, Is this container full? Everyone in the group says yes, the teacher replies, are you sure? Next, he takes a bag of sand and carefully dumps it into the container. The sand sifts down and fills in spaces between the rocks and golf balls. When he finishes this process, he asks the class again, now is the container full? Ask your class. Your group is probably catching on to this and will reply no or probably not. What else could fit? Water/Coffee* could! The teacher proceeded to fill the rest of the container with water/coffee. *There is always time for a cup of coffee with a friend! What is the point of this illustration? What do all the Allow the students to think of what it would be and give them a chance to answer. They will probably say something like, you can always do more than you think or there s always more time than you think. The answer is actually that if you don t put the big rocks in first, you ll never get them in at all. What are the big rocks in your life? (List them on the board as the students call them out.) A project that you want to accomplish? Time with your loved ones? Your faith? Education? Finances? It is very important that you put the BIG ROCKS in first or you ll never get them in at all. So, tonight or in the morning when and if you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the big rocks in my life? Then, make sure you put those in your jar first!

5 Activity 4: Semester at a Glance To use the Semester at a Glance to look ahead to due dates, upcoming events and other things students have scheduled in their lives To have students during this activity work on, but complete as homework, the Semester at a Glance handout Directions: Hand out the Semester at a Glance. In order to move any further in the process, it is important to see the big picture. The Semester at a Glance is a chance for you to organize an entire semester s worth of information onto one sheet of paper. Why would we recommend using the Semester at a Glance and not simply telling you to go buy a calendar? Now, take out the syllabus from your selected course and fill in all test dates and due dates for this class (if students forgot their syllabus, you have copies). All assignments should be included. Get as specific as you can. You will also need to include upcoming personal events. Do you have a big event coming up? A concert? Party? Family weekend? Etc? (Walk around and help students identify the important dates on each syllabus. Students will often neglect reading the outline. They should definitely include ANY date given by a professor.) (Allow 5 minutes for this activity) The syllabus is an important tool for understanding the goals and objectives of the course and the professor. The more details you can include on the Semester at a Glance, the easier it will be to break things down into manageable parts. As a homework assignment, you will fill in the semester at a glance with all of your courses important dates. I recommend that you use a pencil because dates can (and most likely, will) change. Activity 5: Make it do-able To learn how to break down large projects into do-able tasks To understand the importance of creating a weekly study plan to approach their assignments

6 Directions: The to do list is the next step in the process of managing your time and tasks. Simply writing, study Anthropology is not a very concrete item for a to do list. It is the same as have a party or make dinner. There s more to it than that. What will you have for dinner? Do you have the ingredients on hand? What time will dinner be served? Who s coming to dinner? And so on Before we look at breaking down an academic task, let s practice with something that we can all relate to having a party! Let s pretend we re going to have a dinner party. (Write, have a dinner party on the board). What goes on our to do list? (Have the class generate the details. Have some fun with this!) o Who will be invited? o When will the party be? o Where will it be? o Will we have music? o What about food/drink? (Keep it legal) o Will there be a theme? What about decorations? o Do we need paper goods? (If your class is rowdy, to illustrate breaking down a huge task into more manageable parts you could use the steps in writing a paper: brainstorm, research, write thesis, introduction, conclusion, revise, etc.) This list is now manageable and do-able. We will have a great party. We can put things in logical order. We have our deadline and can work from there! Activity 6: Weekly Study Plans To increase students understanding of how to break down their studying into manageable and concrete to do items Directions: Now, let s take an example from your academics. Let s assume that all of you are enrolled in a psychology class. Study Psychology breaks down into a whole series of activities. What is involved in studying Psychology? Reading the text. Taking notes. Maybe you have to write a paper. What else? Reserve readings? Projects? Observations? Studying for the exam. And so on

7 Let s start with Reading the text. Again, let s assume that you have an exam on your Semester at a Glance in 3 weeks. There will be 6 chapters on the test. You have not started your reading. You know from your time diary that you do not study on Fridays or Saturdays. Look at the number of days before the exam. You have 21 days before the exam. Six of those are Fridays and Saturdays. That leaves 15 study days. It is important to have the reading done with two days left before the exam. That leaves thirteen days of textbook reading. There are about 30 pages in each chapter, 180 pages total. With 13 days to read, you need to read 14 pages per day to be on track. SOOO, beginning today, read pages 1-14, tomorrow, read pages 15-29, and so on. These readings go on your Weekly Study Plan. Your class notes are another important study tool. The class meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Do you know what note taking strategies to include on each of these days on your Weekly Study Plan? What? Monday = generate questions in notes; quiz yourself (and the same on Wed. and Friday). You may put this on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, but it should GO ON YOUR PLAN. Now, let s look at some actual examples that I created using actual syllabi. (Pass out completed Weekly Study Plans as you discuss each one. Try to pass out at least 2 examples since this is a fairly difficult concept to grasp.) Pass out blank weekly study plans for students to take home and use. These are examples of how your reading and studying could be broken down into manageable tasks so you know exactly what you need to do every day to be prepared. The weekly plan becomes your to do list. As a homework assignment you will be completing a Weekly Study Plan. Come up with a plan for your chosen Master Student class. If you know you will use one of the memory principles to study in one of your courses, include it on your study plan. Your study plan becomes your todo list. Be sure to complete this assignment because I ll be asking you to put your weekly study plans on the board. Activity 7: Monitoring Progress To learn that having the list is useless if they don t USE it and monitor their progress To learn that monitoring can involve both rewards and modification What will you do when you have completed something on your weekly study plan? Does anyone check things off? What makes you feel better, checking something off or crossing it out? How will you let yourselves know that something is done? What should you do if you don t

8 follow the plan on any given day? What will you do,, if you don t read the 20 pages you scheduled for yourself on Thursday? What will be the pay off for following your own plans? (discuss personal reward systems. Provide examples from your own life.) What are some concrete rewards you can give yourself? (i.e. phone a friend, exercise, take a coffee break) Some people, and you know who you are, are motivated by a reward at the end of a task. If it helps you to stay on track, plan to reward yourself as you accomplish tasks on your list. Review and Steps to Implement to improve your Time Management. ( This can be handed out to the students to help them review main points of time management.) 1. Identify "Best Time" for Studying: Everyone has high and low periods of attention and concentration. Are you a "morning person" or a "night person". Use your power times to study; use the down times for routines such as laundry and errands. 2. Study Difficult Subjects First: When you are fresh, you can process information more quickly and save time as a result. 3. Use Distributed Learning and Practice: Study in shorter time blocks with short breaks between. This keeps you from getting fatigued and "wasting time." This type of studying is efficient because while you are taking a break, the brain is still processing the information. 4. Make Sure the Surroundings are Conducive to Studying: This will allow you to reduce distractions which can "waste time." If there are times in the residence halls or your apartment when you know there will be noise and commotion, use that time for mindless tasks. 5. Make Room for Entertainment and Relaxation: College is more than studying. You need to have a social life, yet, you need to have a balance in your life. 6. Make Sure you Have Time to Sleep and Eat Properly: Sleep is often an activity (or lack of activity) that students use as their time management "bank." When they need a few extra hours for studying or socializing, they withdraw a few hours of sleep. Doing this makes the time they spend studying less effective because they will need a couple hours of clock time to get an hour of productive time. This is not a good way to manage yourself in relation to time. 7. Try to Combine Activities: Use the "Twofer" concept. If you are spending time at the laundromat, bring your psychology notes to study. If you are waiting in line for tickets to the REM concert, bring your biology flashcards to memorize.

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