Case study on Time Management

J. is an 18 year old student at Post Primary.


J. is an 18 year old student. He is in the top stream of his class in high school and is within the top band in all his A-level subjects. He is very conscientious and is mindful of the assignments he has to complete. Recently the class teachers have said he is missing class work deadlines and that he is starting to fall behind in all of his subjects. One of his favourite subjects is Business Studies and Marketing.


On consultation with J and the class teacher the following are reasons why school work is proving difficult to complete.

  • Feeling of not being able to “catch up” and aware that behind in all subjects
  • Too many deadlines at once
  • Don’t know where to start as so much needs done
  • Don’t have a way of recording all work on the same device
  • Current system used for recording homeworks and assignments is not working


  • J. is motivated to use his IPad so modelling the self-management strategies on the device appeared to engage his attention
  • Short video clips were shown of a conveyor belt system (part of a Business studies project) to illustrate that the tasks were like books which required attention as they made their way around the belt to the finish tray. A visual diagram was used to illustrate this on the draw programme on his IPad.
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  • It was then agreed with J. and his subject teachers which assignments were a priority within 1 week, (highlighted in red), which were due with 1-2weeks (highlighted in yellow) and which were due in 3-4 weeks, (highlighted in green). Once established, assignments were colour coded into three time bands and dates recorded. Once an assignment was completed it was removed into the deleted box where J. could view the assignments completed. Emphasis was placed on the red box as the priority area.


Due by 19th February

Maths assignment on Statistics

Due by 26th February

Business Studies assignment on Marketing measures in Business

Due by 5th March

Geography assignment on Rock formation

  • A credit/debit system was also established to show J. the new assignments coming in and a list of the ones he had completed, this was set up by his form tutor on her IPad and then transferred unto J.’s to show his progress


 Staff commented that at the beginning J. required some prompting to check his IPad priority list. They found that at the beginning of each lesson and study period placing a post note on his desk saying “check IPad” helped him to stay focused. Once this became consistent he was able to use his IPad to check his work progress independently and teachers commented that more of his assignments were being completed on time. Some monitoring was required to help J. to know which priority area to place some of the assignments but teachers noticed that if they gave J. a definite written deadline date then he could work out which area it needed to fit into.