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This is not a book about time management, but it may be helpful to spend a few minutes thinking about how you can make sure you use your time in the way you want. Books and courses about time management rightly stress the need to focus on the things that are important to you, not the ones that happen to come up as opportunities.

To work this out with regard to your own learning, there are two stages. The first involves analyzing the activities of your current life and those you are planning or considering, and the second requires you to set goals and break them down into achievable elements. Once you have done this, you can begin to plan.

What does a typical week in your life look like? How much of it is spent trying to learn things? Obviously, you learn without being conscious of it, so it may be difficult to be sure. Use the week at a view chart below to work out how much time you spend doing things. The kinds of things you might want to include on your weekly chart are work, domestic chores, sports, gardening, DIY, playing with family, time with your partner, eating, television, courses you take, traveling to and from work, etc.

Once you have got a clear idea of how you spend your week, group the activities under five or six headings, one of which is learning, and make a personal pie chart to show how much time you spend on each of them.









8 hours


1 hour


1 hour


2 hours


1 hour


1 hour etc.

% of time spent learning in a typical

% of time spent learning in a typical

In time management courses, a typical activity at this stage would be to classify these activities into those that are urgent and those that are important. Most of us spend far too much time doing things that seem urgent but are not in fact very important.

I don't think that this is a rigorous enough way of dealing with your learning. There are other factors that need to be taken into account.

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