Report on Time management, SWOT analysis, learning styles and essay and report writing. As requested by Graham Pogson on October 25h 2013. The report is being written for the Borders business program module, professional development planning, to discuss and evaluate the above topics.
3.1 Time Management.
Time management is working out how to use ones time, and how, at the same time, to use this time effectively. “Time management is about making the most of the time that is available, in order to achieve what we think and feel is important.” (Clarke, 1993) There are two different types of time management used within the workplace: rational managerial and too much time management. Rational managerial management of your time means that management of your time at work is completely within your control, whereas too much time management is when management of time becomes too overpowering, leading to a bureaucracy. Taking time management from a personal perspective, understand that we can become better at managing our own time when we take these four things into account: 1 Being aware of the choices we have available
2 Acknowledging the consequences of each choice
3 Taking responsibility and control of ourselves and our decisions 4 Learning from past experiences, and making changes when it comes to future decisions Being aware of the choices we have available means to know what options we have (for example: to study or to go to a bar) and between these choices, be able to choose which best would benefit you “Cut the crap and dedicate yourself to one thing and one thing only” (Templar, 2005) It is clear that in this situation one is expected to prioritize. “We wants it. We needs it. Must have the precious” (Jackson, 2002) “Gollum knew the value of prioritizing.
He knew what he wanted – to the exclusion of everything else.” (Templar, 2005) When you begin to acknowledge that you are required to prioritize between these choices, it will become evident that each choice will come with a consequence. Knowing and understanding the consequences, or benefits, of choices can help you make the most of the time you have available. When weighing up the choices, it is advisable that you refer to past experiences to help aid in the decision making processes. “A career setback can be like a romance gone bad. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you’re doomed to repeat them” (Richardson, 2009) It can be greatly beneficial to you to practise time management in your personal life using it to create a balance between work and life.
There are some tools widely used for doing this, such as planners, diaries and timetables. You can use a timetable to plan out your activities (see appendix 3.1.1.) As you can see the author has carefully planned their week to include everything they think is important to be done within that time frame. You may benefit from completing two tables: the first with what you think you do, the second with what you really do (see appendix 3.1.2.) You will notice here that the author has some changes, some quite significant. It should be noted that, even when planning your time carefully, there will be huge differences in what you actually do with the time you have. These tables however are simple in layout, and can be easily compared to one another for future reference. 3.2 SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is a form of situational analysis, which focuses on an organisations or persons: 1 Strengths
To begin a SWOT analysis it is typical that first of all the internal factors would be reviewed (strengths and weaknesses) and then focus would shift to the external factors (opportunities and threats.) See an example of SWOT analysis in figures 3.2.1 below; 3.2.1
It is clear that there are great advantages of doing a SWOT analysis on a situation, but there are also some very clear disadvantages. “Analysing the business environment is not a precise science and does not eliminate uncertainty for an organisation, caused, for instance, by unanticipated events which do not follow the normal pattern” (Britton & Worthington, 2003) It goes without saying that any good manager, or economist would not solely rely on the information in a SWOT analysis, and that he/she would be expected to rely upon their intuition. It goes without saying that there are alternatives to using a SWOT analysis, such as the PESTEL analysis, but any good manager would use these in conjunction with each other, rather than have a preference for one over the other.
3.3 Learning Styles
The way in which someone prefers to learn or actually picks up information differs from person to person; the different ways in which this is done is termed a learning style. There are, according to advantology.com, seven learning styles; Visual (spatial):You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding. Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music. Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing. Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch. Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems. Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people. Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study. (Advantlogy.com, 2013)
Taking time to understand your style of learning can help you to implement these into your everyday life. “A variety of teaching and learning approaches has the potential to enhance the learning and performance for a wider range of adult students” (Hawk & Shah, 2007) The way in which to determine your learning style is to take one (or more) of the readily available learning styles tests. “The VAK learning styles model suggests that most people can be divided into one of three preferred styles of learning” (Chapman & Chislett, 2005) See an example of the VAK questionnaire (Chapman & Chislett, 2005) in appendix 3.3.1. As you can see, the author has circled the answer which best suits them, they have then worked out which type of learner they are by adding up the number of a, b and c’s they have – the user is an Auditory learner. There are, of course, more than just the VAK questionnaire; there is the newer up to date VARK questionnaire.
For an example of the VARK questionnaire (Fleming, 2001-2011)see appendix 3.3.3. As you can see, the author is now classed as being a multi-modal learner. There is also the Honey and Mumford learning styles questionnaire (Honey & Mumford, Honey and Mumford learning styles questionnaire, 2000). See an example of the Honey and Mumford test in appendix 3.3.2. As you can see, this questionnaire is much more detailed and therefore more time consuming! It consists of 80 questions, and as a result of matching the questions and ticks/crosses you can determine whether you are one of the following types of learner: 1 Activist