The following text provides you with some options and examples of how you may decide to use your log book/diary.
Reflective writing on the issue of time management – short examples
“Effective time management has always been difficult for me. I have always delivered coursework at the very last minute, (and on occasion, I have missed dates and suffered penalties for late submissions), I’m not sure I can do anything about it, I think it’s just how I work”
“Yes, I know I am not good at time management. I do get stressed at times as I work late through the night to reach deadlines. I have read some of the suggestions about what I could do to change things. I have tried making a revision plan, but they never work. It’s not really a problem, I usually muddle through”
“Hmm…yes time management is a problem for me. It’s my problem, something about me and how I approach tasks. I would like to be more organised, but something stops me, I am not sure what, maybe a fear of failure, or a fear of not getting it perfectly right every time? I am stressed at times anyway and can’t continue like this. Maybe I should seek help from someone, as I have read articles about time management but they don’t seem to work and another person’s perspective might make a difference?”
“I stepped back and looked at me and how I managed my time. I used the suggestions from my reading. I kept a diary for a week and also did an online quiz. I was shocked at myself! I have been wasting so much time doing very little, just watching daytime TV, playing music, talking with friends, sleeping when I could have been effectively working. I now have an action plan to change things. It might not be a perfect plan (few are!!), BUT I will review it, see what works and make changes if I need to. I also plan to reward myself when I stick to the schedule and it works. I have sorted my electronic files – I knew they were a mess, but couldn’t face what I thought would be a boring task. The good news is that I save huge amounts of time everyday because I can now find what I need when I need it. I know that I will need to periodically review how I am doing, because I do tend to “let things slip” – so I have a plan for that – have put notes into my e-diary to inspire myself and to remind myself to keep reviewing progress”
Levels of reflection
From the above comments you will probably have noted some differences in approaches to a specific time management problem. The first examples show a fairly shallow approach to learning and perhaps, some denial that this is a problem. The other examples illustrate the need to step back, gain viewpoints from other people, do some deeper reflection, test things out and remain positive and open to ideas. This type of written reflection may be useful where an internal dialogue is needed, that is, when you need to talk with yourself in an objective fashion about a particular challenge. The above aspect of time management and many more related issues will be further developed in the core theme, “Time Management”
Approaches to using your diary or log book
You could use your diary to:
• Just record some key thoughts for each week. This has the advantage of only focusing on key ideas and your diary will not get too cluttered
• Ask yourself some questions each day about the subjects your have studied. o What have you found easy?
o What have you found difficult?
o How can you resolve those difficulties?
o Who can help you? Peers? Tutor?
o What goals do you have for studying in the next 2 or 3 days?
• Reflect on your research skills progress. Identify any new resources you must use/would like to use, if you have time
• Set yourself new learning goals and review your progress towards your current learning goals
Reviewing your learning
|What significant learning issues did I |Why were they important?...