There are times we lose out on some opportunities because we just did not plan for our time well. The same goes for students who score poor marks not because they are weak, but because they did not plan the right time to do their revision and other duties.
“Time management is the art of arranging, organising, scheduling and budgeting one’s time for the purpose of generating more effectiveness and productivity,” says Valens Safari, an educationist.
He further says it is a priority-based structuring of time allocation and distribution among competing demands since time cannot be stored, and its availability can neither be increased beyond nor decreased from the 24 hours in a day.
“Some students report to class late and hence find it a bit hard to follow the lesson’s proceedings; especially in the case of science subjects. When such content is set in exams they cannot do well, especially those that do not consult teachers,” says Theoneste Ngiruwonsanga, a language teacher at APPEC College Remera.
He adds that students not following the timetable to know which subject they should be learning at a particular time compromises their morale in class.
Safari says distractions are also a cause of poor time management where students lose precious time gossiping and engaging in fun activities.
Frank Rubaduka, a student of University of Kigali, says poor time management spoils the teacher-student relationship hence affecting the student’s concentration whenever that particular teacher is in charge.
“The whole day’s agenda is affected if one didn’t manage their time well starting in the morning. For example, if one comes to sit a test or exam late, they will panic and forget some of the answers which can even affect their enthusiasm to read for other tests or do other duties,” he says.
Rubaduka says some students do not have a purpose for studying, which results in not valuing their time since they just go to school for the sake because their parent paid fees.
“This breeds bad grades because a student cannot be on the same page with the teacher if they attend class late or irregularly,” he adds.
Rubaduka urges students to give studies their all, which he says can only happen with good time management.
He says the habit of not valuing time can even affect someone in future at their workplace.
Tips on how to manage time
Ngiruwonsanga says teachers and parents should advise students to always wake up early and attend classes. He, however, says this can only be possible if they go to bed early.
He says many children are carried away with watching television and social media platforms until late in the night, hence waking up late and sometimes dozing in class.
For Ngiruwonsanga, punishments should be given to those who report to class late whether in the morning, or after breaks as a way of training them to be punctual and take studies as a priority.
Rubaduka says students should arrive in class 20 minutes before the lesson starts in order to relax and prepare their minds to enable them grasp what is taught.
He adds that poor time management leads to stress since a student tries to play catch up with other schedules like class discussions hence ending up not perfecting whatever they have learnt due to pressure of the wasted time.
Rubaduka urges students to draft a programme for the next day before they sleep since it would guide them on what to do at a certain time without panicking.
According to Collins Odhiambo, a teacher and counsellor, whenever a student does not plan for their time, it affects their confidence.
“Poor time management leads to indecision between alternative programmes, for instance, failing to choose whether to revise for a test or going for sports, thus losing out in both,” he says.
When one fails to manage their time properly, they always miss out on deadlines, leading to late classwork submission, Odhiambo says.
He says to train students to respect time they should be given responsibilities like being school leaders and prefects since it would enable them serve as role models to their fellow students.
Safari says students should list their goals and set priorities. “If you don’t know what you want to achieve in life, you can’t manage time well. Eventually, this will breed disappointment as well as people losing trust in you,” he says.
Safari adds that students should do away with the spirit of procrastination as it just diverts their attention to non-useful issues.
Charles Mutazihana, the principal of Kigali Parents School, urges students to love what they do and to always be ahead of time because that way, they can produce good fruits.
He adds that teachers and parents have to encourage and follow up to know about their children’s plans, but not to abandon them to plan on their own.