As an accounting student in Grade 11, I’ve always been frustrated at how the 300 marks exam paper is allocated only 3 hours when there’s so much calculations and balancing to be performed.

After the paper I’d always whine about how unfair the education system is because I couldn’t finish my paper. I would be dissatisfied with my marks because the majority of the questions containing huge marks were left unanswered. I tried all techniques, which I presumed would help me, but they all were in vain. I began to lose hope as my career rested on me passing accounting.

I then met this accounting teacher who became more than a teacher. She motivated me when I was despairing in the accounting field because it seemed like an endless errand. She politely told me not to blame the education system because other people have managed to complete their exam on time. At that moment I became dumbfounded; I failed to understand why I shouldn’t blame the system. After some time she saw I was struggling to make sense of what she said, then came to my rescue.

She took off a pink watch she had on and gave it to me.

The watch was beautiful, but I failed to understand why she would give me her watch.

When she noticed I was astounded, she said, “The problem you have is time management. You do practice and you understand the content but you don’t have time to guide and push you.” She proceeded, “Take this watch, use it to count how many minutes you should allocate each question and try to stick to it and you’ll see so much improvement.”

I took the watch and the advice and applied it when I was practicing and during my year-end Grade11 exam. I passed with flying colours and did well on my matric year where I obtained three distinctions, accounting being one of the subjects.

In my varsity days, I still continued to use the same method because it works wonders. Not only did I apply the importance of time to my studies, but to my life in general. I learned to allocate the least time on activities that are not crucial and the most time on activities that will develop, equip and educate me.

I knew allocating two hours reading FunDza stories is much more educational than allocating two hours of my time playing cards.

Not only did the watch give me access to pursue a career as an auditor, but it improved my time management skills. It made me more punctual because I know the importance of time and how mismanaging it can ruin things. As they say, time lost is time never recovered.