There are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week, and like most students I want to do many things like enjoy my life whilst I learn and do well in my studies. If I do not manage time very well, I will not achieve both, and I put my long-term goals and objectives in danger.
The starting point of time management is having clear goals in life. I would like to begin my personal strategic analysis by defining my personal mission and vision statements and the core values that guide me in life.
I define my Mission as the basic purpose for why I think I exist. I define my Vision as my aspiration in life, what I want to achieve in the future. I define my Core Values as the standards of personal and professional behaviour that will guide me in realising my mission and attaining my vision (Cottrell 12).
I believe that without a clear direction of where I want to go, why I want to go there, and the basic rules that will guide me in this journey of my life, it will be difficult for me to reach my destination, much less know how I will get there (Maxwell 168). I always try to find a reason for everything I do, and in this story of my life, I feel that I have a specific mission that it is my purpose, my destiny that is mine alone to fulfil.
If this is my purpose, how and what do I see myself doing in the future What is my vision My vision is to be one of the best professionals in the world in whatever it is I decide to do. I have many interests, and I think it would be too early to be too specific. At this stage, I aim to be good in what I do, and for this I need to learn how to manage my time well.
The first step is to have a clear set of priorities so that when there is a conflict between two or more activities, I would do whichever is more important according to the priorities that I have. My list of priorities in descending order of importance is: Family, Studies, Friends, and Personal Interests.
My family is first because I owe them everything I have and that I want to be. It is good that my family is supporting me to be a good student and a good person, so there are not too many conflicts between my family and the others in the list.
My Studies are in second place, and although it is difficult, I am giving it more importance than my own interests or the requests that my friends make on me. I know that my studies would prepare me to face more challenges in the future and to succeed when I face problems and difficulties.
My friends are in third place. When their different demands conflict with each other, I know how I would decide.
A schedule or weekly log would help me. In Table 1, I show a sample weekly log of how I spend each day. The log contains an analysis of things that could be improved from one week to the next. I look at this log every weekend and analyse my activities for the week so that I would know how to improve myself in the way I manage my time.
I also need to improve the way I learn so that I can do my activities efficiently and avoid wasting my time by learning as much as I can from tutorials, seminars, lectures,