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
“Budgeting: an itemised forecast of
an individual’s or business’s income and
expenditure expected for some period in
“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;
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