Organising yourself at postgraduate level, including time management

Report
GET AHEAD
POSTGRADUATE SUMMER PROGRAMME 2014
Organising yourself at
postgraduate level
Sara Steinke
[email protected]
Aims of the session
• To consider the importance of organising your
time and resources as part of postgraduate
study
- what is meant by time management, including
time management techniques
- the 3 Ps - procrastination, perfectionism,
prioritisation
• To identify ways that you can build upon your
organisational skills for postgraduate study
Importance of being organised
• Poor organisational skills prevent students from
achieving their best, rarely lack of ability
• Related to other academic skills
- dedicated study space/resources, essay writing
process, presentation skills, exam technique, revision
strategy, reading for academic purposes, effective note
making
• Helps you to achieve your goals - S.M.A.R.T.
(specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound)
• Link to employability
Importance of organising yourself at PG level
• Greater responsibility for organising your time
and resources as part of independent, selfdirected postgraduate study and learning
• Required for greater amounts of reading,
writing and note making at postgraduate level
• Expected of PG level students at university
Cottrell, S. The Study Skills Handbook
C - Creative
have the confidence to use your individual strategies and styles, apply
imagination to your learning
R - Reflective
sit with your experience, analyse and evaluate your own performance
and draw lessons from it
E - Effective
organise your space, time, priorities, state of mind and resources to
the maximum benefit
A - Active
be personally involved, do things, physically and mentally in order to
make sense of what you learn
M - Motivated
be aware of your desired outcomes using short and long-term 'goals'
• Understand the importance of time management
• Define what is meant by time management
• Identify where your time goes
• Consider how well you use your time
Importance of time management
‘Time management is the skill which
above all others can make the difference
between graduating and drop out.’
Ruth Pickford and Sally Brown, Assessing Skills
and Practice (London: Routledge, 2006), page 47
What is time management
• Time management is about organising your
competing priorities in the limited time
available
• Time management often has very little to do
with time
• It is about organising your life around what is
important to you, dealing with and confronting
more emotional issues like fear, inadequacy and
other people’s demands on you
What current pressures
are there on your time?
Studying
socialising
Have you thought
about how you
are going to fit
travel
studying into
your wider
schedule?
work
Can you foresee
any problems
which may arise?
lectures,
reading,
writing
sleeping/
eating
exercise/
relaxation
home/
personnel
• The 3 Ps
• Importance of
prioritisation
• What is prioritisation
• How to prioritise
• Goal setting
The 3 Ps
• Avoid PROCRASTINATION
• No such thing as PERFECTIONISM
• Learn how to PRIORITISE
Procrastination
• Avoid lots of displacement activities
• Check that your study goals are realistic are you trying to do too much? - S.M.A.R.T.
• Know yourself
• Reward yourself
• Just do it - something is better than nothing
• Talk to your family members/friends, ask them
to respect your study time
• Identify your time wasters
More time-saving suggestions
• Invest in your academic skills
• Beware of your time wasters
• Learn how to prioritise tasks
• Use a diary to create ‘to-do’ lists
• Establish a study timetable
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Procrastination
Perfectionism
Lack of self discipline
Worrying
Personal disorganisation
Lack of priorities
Inability to say ‘no’
Indecisiveness
Socialising (too much)
Intrusions (visitors, calls)
Not finding resources
Excessive family demands
Not able to contact people
Facebook/Twitter/internet
1. Which of these
time wasters apply
to you?
2. How are you going
to deal with these
time wasters?
• Use one diary, carry with you at all
times
• Enter deadlines, lectures,
appointments etc, including extra
time needed to complete these tasks
(eg travel)
• Check diary everyday
• Do not schedule 100% of your time,
allow for emergencies/the
unexpected
• Plan time for family, friends, eating,
shopping
• Create to-do list, using prioritisation
• Record follow up tasks
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
Sun
am
8-12
Gym/
Work
Work
Gym/
Work
Work
Work
HW and HW and
errands errands
pm
12-6
Work
Work
Work
Work
Work
Study
Eve
6-9
BBK
BBK
BBK
Gym
Family/ Study
Friends/
Fun
Night
9-12
TV
Library
Key
reading
Key
reading
Family/ Family/ TV
Friends/ Friends/
Fun
Fun
Family/
Friends/
Fun
TV
1. Have you created a dedicated study space?
2. Are you comfortable?
3. Have you enough space to work in?
4. Do you have all the equipment that you need?
5. How are you going to organise your notes/
books?
Importance of prioritisation
• Adult learners have many, often competing,
demands on their time; work, family, friends
and studying
• Helps you to achieve your short, medium and
long term goals
• Expected of postgraduate students at university
• Transferable skill to the workplace
What is prioritisation
• Quadrant A - Urgent and Important
The Quadrant of Necessities - reactive tasks
that need to be done, often at the last minute.
Crises, 'fire-fighting' and looming deadlines
are typical examples.
• Quadrant B - Important but not Urgent
The Quadrant of Quality - proactive tasks, often
habitual, that maintain or improve the quality of
your work and life. The more you expand this
quadrant, the more you reduce the other three,
particularly 'pseudo-emergencies' that should
never have been allowed to become so.
• Quadrant C - Urgent but not Important
The Quadrant of Deception - plenty of people
have gone home in the evening wondering where
all the time went. Well, it was here! It's so easy to
get sucked into doing things that are the wrong
side of the 80-20 rule.
• Quadrant D - Neither Urgent or Important
The Quadrant of Waste - you know what it is and
you know when you've been in it. The trick is to
know when you're in it. Often, it starts out as
restful time (which is Quadrant B).
List of things to
do
1. Print/submit
essay for today’s
deadline
2. Start to prepare
presentation for
next week’s
seminar
3. Sick child
requiring urgent
doctor’s appt.
4. Plan for work
meeting taking
place tomorrow
5. Book holiday
for next summer
A
Importance
Need to do
scale 6
(unimportant)
to
10 (essential)
B
Urgency
Do now
scale 1 (must be
done at once)
to
5 (it can wait)
C
Subtract the
score in column
B from column
A.
The higher
scores in column
C are priorities.
D
Order of
priority/
When to do
Number the
order of
priorities
List of things to
do
1. Print/submit
essay for today’s
deadline
2. Start to prepare
presentation for
next week’s
seminar
3. Sick child
requiring urgent
doctor’s appt.
4. Plan for work
meeting taking
place tomorrow
5. Book holiday
for next summer
A
Importance
Need to do
scale 6
(unimportant)
to
10 (essential)
B
Urgency
Do now
scale 1 (must be
done at once)
to
5 (it can wait)
C
Subtract the
score in column
B from column
A.
The higher
scores in column
C are priorities.
10
1
9
8
3
5
10
1
9
9
2
7
6
5
1
D
Order of
priority/
When to do
Number the
order of
priorities
New (academic) year resolutions
Psychologists (at the University of Hertfordshire)
have identified 5 success factors for individuals
who managed to achieve their New Years’
Resolutions.
1. Breaking down goals into small steps
2. Rewarding achievement
3. Telling other people what you’re trying to
achieve
4. Focussing on the benefits of success
5. Keeping a progress diary
Time management and organisation recap
Do you:
have strategies to help you plan and organise
your time?
know how much time you have available for
your studies?
know what makes studying more effective for
you (i.e. when and where you study best)?
keep a diary or calendar so you know when to
attend lectures and when assignments are due?
Useful resources for organisation skills
Cottrell, S. (2008) The Study Skills Handbook, 3rd
Edition (London, Palgrave) chapter 4 ‘The
C.R.E.A.M. Strategy for learning’ pp.70-79
http://www.palgrave.com/skills4study/studyskills/learning/time.asp
helpful information on organisational skills on
the Skills4Study website
http://www.bbk.ac.uk/mybirkbeck/studyskills/course timetable
academic skills workshops which deal with
organisational skills - and other study skills - in
greater detail
http://www.bbk.ac.uk/mybirkbeck/get-ahead-stay-ahead/academicsupport/organisational-skills
20 minute interactive tutorial supporting this
Student Orientation programme
Presentations can be found at
http://www.bbk.ac.uk/mybirkbeck/services/orientation
/getaheadpostgraduate

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