Study and Exam Skills

Study plan

Time Management

Time is most democratic in nature because it treats all persons absolutely impartially. For everyone a day is made up of twenty four hours, neither less nor more. Yet there are many people who complain they have no time. It has been truly said that if you want something to be done urgently, ask a busy man to do it. He will find the time to do something important without delay. Do you manage your time well or do you sometimes become frantic because too many things are pressing upon you at the same time?

Time is one resource which is fixed. . There are just twenty four hours in a day for everyone. Yet the number of hours of daylight and night are not equal everywhere. We near the tropics are lucky to have balanced days and nights. Those near the poles must endure  very long days or nights  or continuous day light for months and continuous night for months. Many countries must adjust their time in winter and summer, advancing or setting  the clock back on a particular day in the year. We in India are saved from such time adjustment botherations.


Haven’t you seen many struggling to catch the last bus or train to go to  work or  college ? There are others who will spend hours on end watching  TV serials or cricket matches  and then are unable to catch up with their work or studies. There are others who can never meet deadlines. They keep on procrastinating their work .Their blood pressure will shoot up as the deadline approaches and they will be exhausted. These are all people who have not learnt the art of managing their time well.

Proper time management demands planning and having priorities. It is important to decide  what things are of more importance to you, and what less important. What must be  accomplished first and what could be learnt later on.?

Time consumption pattern

It is good ,for a beginning , to make a study of your time consumption pattern in a typical day. For example how much time do you spend in sleeping, eating, recreation, TV, study, reading, chatting, dressing and make-up, phoning, talking on cell, browsing internet , or plain day dreaming? If you tabulate this for a number of days you can arrive at the average time per week you spend on various activities. You can now see what kind of activities consume most of your time.

                  ACTIVITY                                              HOURS SPENT IN A DAY

Toilet and dressing 
Text messaging 
Day dreaming. 

Often we are caught in the vice grip of crises and emergencies  because we neglect important things and are pressed to attend to demanding, persistent, urgent things. Look at the following time consumption model.

                                                 URGENT                                    NOT  URGENT




                                   Our activities on which we spend time can be divided into four categories  represented by four quadrants.

1.important and urgent e.g. studying for imminent exams, paying our phone bill, taking our     meals, arriving in time for examination, setting out to school in time, seeing the day’s news, seeing a doctor when sick

2..important not urgent e.g. studying regularly, eating regularly healthy food, attending classes,  keeping in touch with friends, replying important letters, doing revision tests

3. urgent not important eg. attending to some  phone calls, seeing a popular movie, attending parties, taking account of attractive discount sales

4. not important and not urgent e.g. seeing movies, chatting with friends, watching cricket matches, tours and sight-seeing., watching cartoons

Those who are poor time -managers spend a lot of time in quadrant four with activities which are neither important nor urgent. They also spend lot of time on quadrant three with urgent but not important things. As a result quadrant 1 which deals with important and urgent things goes on expanding and out of control. They are always struggling to meet dead lines and out of breath in the process. They pay very little attention to quadrant 2 which consists of important but not urgent things. This area is neglected and as a result soon these things pile up in  quadrant 1 which is made up of urgent and important things.

The secret  of successful time management is to give more weightage to quadrant 2 which deals with  important but  not  urgent things and pay maximum attention to this area.  When this area is well taken care of  quadrant  1 of urgent and important things will shrink in size. There will be less and less need for rushing to meet deadlines and more creativity can be unleashed with a mind free from stress.

Naturally least priority should be given to quadrant  4 which consists of things neither important nor urgent. Some examples are spending hours on the cell phone or internet chatting, TV watching, shopping sprees, fiction books etc.

Time is a great gift of God and we do not know how long or short life may be . That is in the hands of the maker. A visit to any grave yard will show you that people can die at any age—in infancy, or teenage or adulthood or ripe old age. Death does not count your birthdays to whisk you off from this earth.

For personal reflection

1. What should I do to shrink my Quadrant 1 area (important and urgent things)?

2. How can I increase the area in Quadrant 2( important, not urgent things)?

3. In my daily time consumption pattern how many things come under Quadrant 4 (not urgent, not important)? How could I possibly reduce this area?


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