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My grand-daughter,” said Tom, “has just started her studies in her final year of secondary schooling. She tells me that the subject co-ordinator told all students at an assembly that they must ‘budget their time’. Isn’t that a funny way of saying something about time management.” “I would bet the co-ordinator has an accounting background,” said Dick. “Accountants are always talking about budgets and budgeting no matter what the situation. Here comes Harry, an accountant. Tell him your story.” And Tom did. “I see nothing strange about budgeting time,” said Harry. “How do you relate that statement to the definition I just took off the internet?” cried Dick. “Budgeting: an itemised forecast of an individual’s or business’s income and expenditure expected for some period in the future.” “I have no difficulty,” replied Harry. “Every student has an income of one hundred and sixty-eight hours (24 x 7) per week given to them by their god. How they expense this gift will be a determinant of their academic results. They can spend it on the three S’s.” “Not S’s, R’s,” yelled Dick excitedly. “No,” said Harry. “S’s. They are school, study and social activities. There are many suggestions available on how to study, and on time management. A not unrealistic suggestion is to draw up a time chart that is simply each day’s hours down the page and seven days across. There you have 168 ‘boxes’. Now fill them in with how you expect to use these hours. The first ones are easy. School will provide a formal timetable for classes and other school activities. “But students must now budget, plan what to do with the resources available to them and how to use the remaining hours between ‘study’ and ‘social activities’. This is not an easy thing to do. Like all budgeting, the attempt is to forecast what will happen in the future. One thing I can tell you, time budgeting is like no other. It is often said time is money, but there is a great difference between time and money. No one, but no one, can give you more time. A generous friend, parent or even a financial institution can provide you with extra money; no one can give you extra time. So budget it carefully. “Students need to understand how they, as individuals, function. Not all students are the same. Know yourself. Would you prefer to do your study early evening; late at night; or whatever? Fill in the spaces of your time sheet to show those times that will be study times. Consider the social activities and remember these include sleep, as well as parties, sport and for many these days, part- time work. Use some commonsense as you allocate your hours in the time budget. This is your plan to achieve in the immediate future what it is you want from the 168 hours per week available to you. “Now the bad news. No matter how
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