Goal setting is the key to successful time management skills. By setting yourself goals you enable yourself to focus on key learning tasks relevant to the area you are studying, as well as helping to clarify the way forward. Goal setting, when used in conjunction with a personal study timetable, will provide you with a structured pathway that can help guide you through your studies in a focused and calm way. Goals give direction to your personal learning and development and will enable you also to track your progress, boosting your confidence and morale.
All goals should follow the S.M.A.R.T. acronym - that is goals should be:
Specific - Make goals clear and precise, to the point. Exactly what do you want to accomplish-
Measurable - Think of ways to measure how you are progressing with your goal - how will you know when the goal is achieved-
Attainable - You need to make all your goals realistic and obtainable. If you set yourself unrealistic goals then your self-esteem will take a knock when you can't achieve them.
Relevant - Make sure your goals are actually relevant - do not spend time working on achieving something that you don't need to. Relevance also means thinking about the order in which you work on goals.
Time Scaled - Finally, you need to set timeframes, or deadlines for achieving goals. You should make allowances, however, for the fact that timescales may well change as you progress - some things, inevitably, take a lot longer to achieve than you originally thought. As you become more practised at setting personal goals so your timings will become more realistic.
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