How To Become A Good Student/Chapter 4 - Management

It is better to first get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats, and then figure out where to drive.
—Jim Collins

Management Is The Key To Success edit

If you give yourself a goal or objective and you want to seriously contribute towards it, then the first thing you'll want to do is manage what to do first. Management is the key to success, no matter what you are trying to achieve. Management in simple terms is a noun that is related to the word "manage" which means:

1. To direct or be in charge of.

2. To handle or control, to force.

3. To succeed at an attempt.

In a computer, you sometimes defragment your hard drive in order to arrange the data so it can be accessed easily. This is similar to management. Project management is another type of management and so on. Management is not always on the same scale, sometimes at a bigger level there will be times when certain tasks become increasingly difficult, especially in such demanding environments such as the workplace. You may find that you will spend a large amount of your life worrying about these issues. Effective management can greatly reduce this stress.

Management for students is different from management for working adults. Students manage not only their routine but their behavior and many other responsibilities. Fortunately, these things are not as demanding as they are for adults, and a student has ample time to sort out a plan.

Types and Methods of Management edit

There are various kinds of management:

1.) Crisis Management

Management done at a critical moment with quickness and accuracy. e.g. If somebody attacks you, your body will need to quickly react by taking in the surroundings and deciding on a course of action. This type of life-threatening problem will probably not occur too often, but there are other types of crises which may provoke similar reactions out of your body, even if they are not needed. Do you ever feel that sinking feeling in your heart when you have a lot of assignments due at once? That is a type of problem which your body will react to in a similar way to a life-threatening danger. Your body's reaction is rarely needed when this happens, so it is best to avoid it altogether. Stress management and also long-term management will help to prevent this.

2.) Life Management

A form of long-term management which occurs on a daily, weekly, or even yearly basis. Some people refer to this as a 'routine', and that's the general idea behind life management. Organizing events into a predictable schedule may not sound very exciting, but it makes it easier to tackle one problem at a time. For this kind of management you may want a calendar which you can write on so that you can mark all of the important obstacles in your life, and work around them.

3.) Project/Task Management

Management done to complete a certain task. In your school you may be required to write an assignment on a certain topic, which may be due by the end of the week. When you are working on it, you will need to figure out what to do, what order to do it in, and the amount of time you should allocate to each smaller task.

Management becomes much easier when you are relaxed and able to sit back and outline what should be done. If you are tired you may find this difficult, so remember to get lots of rest at night, and also practice those relaxation techniques we showed you earlier. Your mind works much like a computer. It prefers information to be in an orderly fashion, this is why your brain rearranges itself while you sleep. You can make things a lot easier for your mind if you order things before you put them in. This is why planning is so useful for getting work done.

1. Project/Task Management edit

In order to produce an exceptional Project, it's helpful to ask these six questions. If you want, you can put them on a piece of paper to use as your plan.

1. "What is the task I need to complete?"

If you don't know where you're going, you won't arrive where you need to be. For example: I need to write a 5-page paper on Environmental Pollution. Write this at the top of your paper.

2. "What information do I need?"

If your paper is on Environmental Pollution, you need to find out what types of pollution there are and collect details about the subject. Now would be a good time to plan subheadings for your plan so that you know exactly what areas of the topic you are going to cover. For example:

What is pollution?

This will introduce your topic in general. Normally you would want something more catchy than this.

What kinds of pollution are there?

This will make your topic more specific, and zoom in on what you want to cover. This is where you will introduce 'Environmental Pollution'.

Dealing with environmental pollution.'

One of your focus questions. There may be thousands of possible focus questions for each topic. Choose the ones that interest you most. Here are some other focus questions:

The future impacts of environmental pollution.

The impact of environmental pollution on animals.

The impact of environmental pollution on global warming.

If you are lucky, a teacher will let you choose these focus questions yourself, but sometimes you will be given a list that you must choose from. In this case it is not a good idea to go for the most interesting one, as everyone else will go for that. Instead, go for the most difficult one. I assure you, the teacher will appreciate reading something different after reading twenty essays on the same topic, and will award you with good grades, even if your essay wasn't as good as the others.

3. "What are the resources I have at my disposal to complete my task?"

You might use the Internet, library, magazines, or go to a book store. Maybe one of your friends works at a water treatment Plant. You could interview this friend. Many other sources of help are usually available: teachers or supervisors may be able to direct you to helpful sources. Remember, teachers will reward creativity, and an essay with quotes from your friend who works at a water treatment plant will most definitely get very good marks, as it will be something different from all of the other essays that teachers are forced to sit through.

4. "What is the end product going to look like?"

Is it a presentation, a written paper, a website, a physical construction like a model? What were the teacher's / supervisor's guidelines on this assignment? If the directions were not clear, this is the time to go back and ask questions.

5. "Now that I have the information, what do I do with it?"

Take notes, make a chart, highlight, collect citation information. In essence, you have everything you need. Anything from now on will just build on from what you have collected.

6. Evaluate the product before turning it in / presenting it.

"Does it meet the requirements that were given to me?" If something was left out, fix it before submitting it. Remember to proof-read your work. I assure you that you will have made at least a couple a spelling errors somewhere in your work. Reading over your work, even just skim-reading, will help you to find and remove those small errors.

For more information and tips on studying, have a look at the Study_Skills Wikibook.
That's enough management for now as a student. Now let's learn to help others and advise them next.