Becoming an expert in Time Management through effective reading
| Dr. Chude Arinze Timothy - 02 Nov 2023

"How you utilize your time determines the success or failure you will experience in personal achievement."  Herold Kweon.

Every individual here on Earth has been given the same amount of time to actualize their desirable dreams and visions in life. It has been said that it was the Chinese who introduced the idea of minutes and seconds and had a water clock. It's crystal clear that this very knowledgeable idea made them use their time effectively in building the famous Great Wall of China I believe.

As we go down the pages of the history of the great we will get to see outstanding personalities like Toscanelli, Alexander the Great, Aristotle, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Dr. NnamdiAzikiwe (Zik of Africa), Mahatma Gandhi, Chinua Achebe, Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson and host of many other great individuals who managed their time effectively as experts and made their mark. This very time is yours as a student of excellence to shine and fly high to enviable heights as you become an expert in time management through effective reading.

To achieve academic success as a student, you must be a reader and a student of time management. Time is an irreversible unit of moment. It is a period in which events, activities, programs, and so on are always measured in seconds, minutes, and hours. Once time is lost it can never be retrieved. It has been said that each day we have 86,400 seconds and 1,440 minutes in a day and 168 hours in a week to be productive and useful.

“A man who dares to waste an hour has not discovered the value of life.“ –Charles Darwin (Father of Evolution). In today's life, many students with different intuitions of learning fail to plan and make effective use of their time. Time is an invaluable asset we must guide jealously and treat like gold. "Time and tides wait for no man." holds an adage. Time management is a skill all and sundry can learn without any difficulty. As Art Garner put it "Time management is a skill that can be learned just like learning to operate a computer, swim, ride a bicycle, or drive a car."

Procrastination is the fertilizer that causes difficulties and failures in a student's life. For you as a student to go to eccentric heights in your academic pursuit you must give heed to what Proverbs 6:6 is trying to communicate and plan for your great future by having and sticking to your timetable. This personal timetable will go a long way to help you become a good time manager and put to stop these time and destiny-eating factors such as worry, fear of failure, lack of vision, lack of focus, lack of planning, inattentiveness, bad companies or distracters (friends), lateness to school, irregular class attendance, non-readiness to learn, non-participation in all class activities, procrastination, laziness, idleness, loitering about and noisemaking coming from pointless discussions while the lesson is ongoing.

The Book of Ecclesiastes 3: 1 teaches us the importance of time and seasons. Bishop T.D. Jakes further tells us "Every day is a withdrawal from the bank of time." This is the more reason you should learn to value time wisely to swim in the ocean of academic success every academic session. Truly, reading makes a man. No doubt about it. Reading makes one appear larger. Reading opens the enchanted doors once you work with time and you do not kill it.

 A wise man once said, "Be careful about how you kill time because all your life lies on it." Even the Bible agrees to this truth as we were instructed to avoid bad companies for they corrupt good manners. As a student, you can misuse your precious time by associating with these time eating factors such as bad companies or distracters (friends), lateness to school, irregular class attendance, nonreadiness to learn, nonparticipation in all class activities, procrastination, laziness, idleness, loitering about and noise making coming from frivolous discussions while the lesson is ongoing. Therefore, I advise you to disassociate yourself from these time-eating factors and make a great student out of yourself by investing your time in productive things.

Part of the productive things you should always be found doing as one who truly wants to become an expert in time management through effective reading must include being time-conscious and dedicated as you build your winning team. Making sure that your daily 'To Do' list works perfectly with your set priorities. Never forget to review your notes every day, setting a time limit on how long you study each day. Keeping all notes on one subject together and always setting self-made questions from read topics.

As it has always been said, "No vision can be actualized without proper time management." As a student, you can also make your time effective, productive, and valuable by studying God's word (Psalm 199:105), being punctual to school, participating in all class activities, and more importantly creating a suitable personal timetable for effective study/reading habits. This personal timetable will help you to prioritize your weekly schedule by knowing when to review your notes and textbooks, do home assignments, answer self-made questions/past questions, form discussion groups, visit the library and information communication technology (ICT) website for more valid research and relevant information’s. With all these put in place, poor academic performances will completely be a thing of the past.

Always remember that readers are leaders and that's the more reason why you should read until you grow and become proud of yourself. Reading orientates one towards reality and proffers solutions to human problems. Through effective reading, you can discover and maximize your potential. Reading has what it takes to make you relevant, effective, useful, and productive. Reading has what it takes to develop and maximize your strengths. Reading will make you visionary and action-oriented.

By engaging more in reading and being time conscious, you will see yourself turning every negative around you into a positive and also living the best of your academic life. As  Aldous Huxley put it "Every man who knows how to read, has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply how he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting."

Develop the passion to improve in self-study. Make effective use of your study timetable, school library, and internet services. Challenge yourself to read more books that will launch you to the next level of success with your time because time wasted can never be regained.

Be committed to your studies. Commit yourself to constant and never-ending improvement for more opportunities and possibilities await you. Use your time wisely as you read inspiring books to develop a plan of action that completely serves as a platform for you to maximize your ability and increase your knowledge.

This is the best time to cultivate a competitive spirit and form discussion groups with optimistic and goal-oriented colleagues who are ready to challenge themselves each day to reach their academic goals.  This is truly the best time to acknowledge your efforts and continues to do more by sticking to your personal vision and mission statement which has what it takes to work to your strength.

Finally, as a student, you can't achieve excellence in your academic pursuit if you forsake God, the creator of time. God created you for a purpose in life. He knows what you can achieve as a student of excellence by having and sticking to your timetable. For this reason, In Ecclesiastes 12:1, God teaches us to be good time managers especially now we are young and vibrant to achieve more and contribute more to life. As Norman Vincent Peale put it "Do not say you do not have enough time. You have the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein."

Remember that you have 1440 seconds each day and 168 hours in a week to be the best you can be using your timetable. Therefore, use your time wisely and enrich your future starting from today as those we celebrate their outstanding contributions in life have already done. Stick to your timetable and increase your tempo of learning as you elevate your academic standards to excellence through effective reading.

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