Effects of poor time management

Students during a lesson. Experts say that poor time management leads to inefficient work flow. Net photo.

Anything not done in time affects other programmes. Time management is the ability to plan and control how someone spends the hours in a day to effectively accomplish their goals. In an era where students have mobile phones and can access social media, play games, have daily homework, and home chores, it could be tricky to split their time effectively. If school work is not given more time, or precedence, there are higher chances of scoring less in tests or exams.

Aggrey Buhungiro, a teacher at Kigali Parents School, says time management builds a positive conscience in students. When students enter an exam or any other lesson late, there will be a feeling that maybe they missed something very important, thereby making many errors in the given activity.


He notes that a student who manages time gains trust, praise and respect from teachers, parents and fellow students, and that strengthens optimism and positive attitude towards education.


Buhungiro also points out that punctual students develop a better personality, fresh thoughts, and a stable mind. And, besides better performance, leadership chances are high in such students.


He adds that time management isn’t only about reaching school early or entering a lesson in time, it is rather a wider package including; accomplishing the tasks given, and punctuality is the central element of success. Students who value time, win the race.

He explains that poor time management leads to inefficient work flow. If students don’t plan ahead and stick to daily goals, they end up being less efficient. For example, if you have several different types of tasks to perform, an efficient plan of attack is to complete similar tasks at the same time.

Barbra Kantengwa, a teacher at APAPEC-Irebero School, Gisozi, says procrastination is the most evident result of poor time management. Students who don’t have control over their time, end up allowing tasks sit until the last minute.

“When time is poorly managed, students are more likely to fail as they might not be able to divide their time effectively for different activities, for instance; conducting research, discussions, co-curricular activities, among other duties necessary,” she says.

Kantengwa further notes that if time is not calculated effectively, learners might experience prolonged lack of sleep. Students who stay up late to finish assignments that they should have done during day, might cut some of their sleeping time just to complete school tasks. Lack of enough sleep leads to lack of concentration the following day in class.

On the other hand, she says, if teachers also don’t manage their time well, there is a possibility of failing to finish teaching the entire syllabus, which might affect students, especially during the external exams. For instance, REB or even the district exams, because learners might not have a clue on certain topics.

Kantengwa identifies that failure to prioritise or distinguish what is important, could ruin a student’s time. Students who use most of their time dealing in activities that are not school-related, like engaging in alcohol or drug use, might give less value to studies.

“If you can’t manage your time, you’re probably always late for things, including your classes. Poor time management leads to lack of concentration in class. For instance, if a student is supposed to be in class by 8am but delays for about 30 minutes, he distracts fellow learners, himself and the teacher,” Gilbert Nuwagaba, an English and Literature teacher at Maranyundo Girls School, notes.

In case it is a math lesson, a teacher might end up covering five numbers instead of the planned six. If it happens with different students more often, the syllabus may not be covered as scheduled, hence leading to failure, he adds.

Nuwagaba explains that poor time management generates conflicts between the teacher and the learner, if a student does not do what is supposed to be done in the right time, the teacher will have no option but to reprimand him, which might create a negative attitude by a student towards the teacher.

He also indicates that poor time management kills morale. For example, some learners keep compiling notes just because they are not in the mood to read. Notes complied for so long are hard to read in the shortest period to exams, hence failing to score highly. Some students don’t fail because they didn’t understand when the teacher was teaching, but they do so due to laziness.

Kantengwa says, failure to manage time can result in missed deadlines. It so happens that students who never do their assignments in time, fail to submit in time.

She explains that laziness is also constructed as a learner fails to manage time.  Doing any assignment at the last minute doesn’t allow a student to focus to the best of their ability. They instead do it for the sake of finishing and handing in.

“If you find yourself rushing, panicking, impatient, having poorly defined goals, poor performance, indecisive, or lack energy to perform important goals, these are signs that time might not be managed properly,” Kantengwa says.


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