Third Edition | April 09

Why time management is essential to students?

Managing life | Exclusive Interviews | Highlights| Student Articles | Introspective

Editor’s Note E
Assalamualaikum wbt and Good Day!

veryone in this world has their responsibilities. It is a fact that older we grew, the more responsibilities are put onto our shoulders. As university students in the campus life, we are engaged in many curriculum activities such as classes, tests and assignments. Some of us who are more active also got themselves involved into extra-curricular activities by joining clubs and organizing many student related events. Thus it is critical for all of us to have effective self-management skills in order to accomplish these tasks organized and produce great results.

ADVISOR Tn. Haji Abdul Jalil Abdullah EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ahmad Bakri Zubir EDITORS Siti Sara Lyana Badly Sham Nawal Shamsuddin Mohd Ashraf bin Nor Azrol Muhammad Abdul Hadi TECHNICAL Muhammad Sufiyan Abd Rani ARTICLE CONTRIBUTORS Ahmad Firdaus M. Fariddudin

In this edition, The Inspirer brings you gripping views and opinions about how to manage your life by AP Dr Hilmi Mukhtar. Next, we bring to you the remarkable story of Dr. A Vasu - of how he triumphed his life from a failure beginning to success. Besides that, this edition also include how-to's and interesting articles from students which we can use and apply together to enrich our lifestyle.

sometimes it goes up; and sometimes it goes down. Self-management is very much important so that you can keep balance of the part to always make it up. Just in case you fall down good management can Wassalam, quickly rotate your life back up. Ultimately, effective management cannot be in just theories. You have to start doing it to get a good feeling of the outcome.


Ahmad Bakri Zubir Editor-in-chief


Why time management is essential for students? Page 2-3

From Failure to Success Page 4-5

Put First Things First Page 6-7

Get High Grades by Just Attending Lectures Page 8-9

My little Story - Page 10

Managing Your life the Simplest Way Page 11

1 TheInspirer | April 09

Exclusive Interview

Interview by Muhammad Sufiyan Abd Rani ME - 2nd year 1st semester


he university life is very different from the life we have had during our previous school years. As university students, we are free to do whatever we want to do at anytime we want. There a very few restrictions which are imposed onto our lives now. Freedom is a right for everyone. But too much unmanaged freedom can lead to wastage of time and personal resource. Thus, effective time management is crucial to manage our life according to bring out the most of our university life towards gaining success. The Inspirer (TI) has consulted the Director of Undergraduate Studies, to obtain further information and expert views from this prominent figure of UTP. Holding the Doctors of Philosophy from the University of Wales with specialization in various fields in Chemical Engineering, lets hear it from AP Dr Hilmi Mukhtar.

TI: As most of us agreed, a good and well managed lifestyle is always regarded close to the issues of effective time management. Can you share with us your view upon this matter? DHM: Effective time management means that you should be able to spend your time in the meaningful activities. It is how you arrange your time for your academics, co-curriculums and to build your well rounded characteristic. It is also how you allocate your wise. Not should be forgotten is the religious aspect of life as you should also build your sahsiah and akhlaq. TI: How highly do you rate effective time management in terms of such as parental/peer support and revising?

DHM: Time management is very important. As a student you should know, your prime job as a student is to study. Same goes to me as a lecturer, my prime job is to give lecture Effective time to student. I also need to prepare for my lecture. I do management means some reading and research that you should be before go to class. So for me, students should able to spend your dedicate their time to study time in the and rest. I f you fail to plan your time, many implication will happen such as when you sleep late at night, when you come to class you will feel sleepy meaningful activities. and does not understand the lecture.

2 TheInspirer | April 09

Exclusive Interview
TI: Taking on an average basis of most students, what do you think is the best division of time to be applied in their daily routine to become successful physically and mentally? For instance, is it 60% studies-40% activities or 50%-50%, or is etc? DHM: For me there is no specific time division of time. As you can see, in a day we already spend at least six to eight hours just for sleep. Besides the student does not have the same responsibility as some student have their other commitments such as clubs and society. Student also should know environment of study. Some people cannot study when there were too many people around. This is a process of learning. Student should know academic is the top priority. TI: In your opinion, considering its overwhelming significance, why is it that students continue to overlook this aspect and perpetually commit procrastination, the thief of time? each and every day. In other word, have daily planner, weekly planner monthly planner. You should plan ahead what you are going to do. TI: There is a saying that goes: old habits die hard. Surely one cannot just transform into an efficient person in just the blink of an eye. So what do you suggest students can do to gradually incorporate this attitude in them? DHM: Have a mind set and always be positive. Do some reflection of the day. What you have done for the day? Is it good? Or is it bad? If it is good, keep it up and if it is not good, try not to repeat it again. In whatever you do you should try to strive for the best. As a companion of our prophet determination in your heart and you should be successful. There are many tools out there that supposedly help in managing time: Gant chart, schedules, timeline. Do you think any one of these is practical for the current crop of university students? Yes, the method is practical for the student. Like I said before, student should have their own schedule and there should be no problem for them to apply it in their daily life. The question is here whether they want it or not?

DHM: Student continues to overlook this aspect because they have forgot what they have been train at home and school on how to manage time. At home or at school the student have to follow the time which had been set by the school, which time to eat, which time to study and to sleep. Besides, most students are also highly influenced by their comrade. The environmental factor also contribute to this phenomenon. Some student does not know their priority and distracted by the environment. TI: As we all know, UTP students always strive to be well-rounded. However, sometimes in the quest for this goal, we end up being sidetracked by obstacles and glitches. From your point of view, what should a student do if his/her involvement in activities and events is limiting his/her study time? DHM: Student must put their priority for the tasks that have been given to them. As the more senior you get it require more demand on time. So, know your job priority which is academic and prioritize it well. Could you suggest to our readers methods on how UTP students should go about in their search for what stage will they realize when they have obtained it? It should start from the beginning. Student should know to manage time properly and it should start and tend to finish it when it was too late. You also must know what you have to do. Make a do list for

something you should do the best. Know their priority when to do something. Know which things you have to settle first and which can do

TI: Adding to that, would you mind sharing some of your personal methods or habits which have helped you in managing your time so efficiently? DHM: When you do something you should do the best. Know their priority when to do something. Know which things you have to settle first and which can do the last. Student also should put some key performance indicator (KPI) for themselves. As for me as a lecturer, I should obtain my KPI by the end of the date line. TI: As a final word on the topic, could you give some words of advice for current and future well-rounded students? DHM: Take this opportunity to strive for excellent to the fullest in term of academics, characters and spiritual. Make use all the facilities well for the good activities and not for the bad.TI
Everyone needs counseling and advices: Hotline Counseling Service Face to face counseling Mrs Maznah Ramli Hj. Abdul Jalil Abdullah 05-3688430 05-3688438 UTP Counselor UTP Counselor

3 TheInspirer | April 09

Exclusive Interview
Interview by Nawal Shamsudin ME - 2nd year 1st semester


he first impression upon entering the office of Dr. A Vasu was one of awe and a bit overwhelming. The furni-

Superintendent of Police. Currently, he is a Senior Prosecuting Officer, attached to the Ampang Jaya Sessions Court, Selangor. To have reached this position in life he

regardless of the boundaries of different race, religion and language. He shared, that during the Ramadhan month he would also join the other villagers for beside his house. Dr. A Vasu came from a very modest family, his father worked as a laborer while he had many siblings and was the oldest son in his family. After passing the Lower Certificate Examination (LCE) at Sek. Men. Kebangsaan Tanjung Bungah, Pulau Pinang he then sat for his SPM. He was forthright in sharing with us that he failed his SPM and he was not even eligible to receive a certificate. This was the defining moment of his life. He said to himself that he wanted to

tion were warm and inviting enough certificates and pictures hanging on the wall of his office, a range of degrees and awards testifying his life achievements. While the average person in his life time might have three or at most four degrees, for Dr. A. Vasu the MASTERS degree that he is taking now in Universiti Malaya will be his second MASTERS degree and in total his sixth degree so far. The INSPIRER was fortunate enough to have an interview session with this inspirational figure. Dr. A Vasu is a member of the Royal Malaysian Police Force with the rank of Assistant

The MASTERS degree that he is taking now in Universiti Malaya will be his second MASTERS degree and in total his sixth degree so far.
started from very humble beginnings. He was born in Georgetown, Pulau Pinang into a family of eleven and he is the second child. He grew up in a Malay village in which he described the community as if it was a close knit family

4 TheInspirer | April 09

Exclusive Interview
change his life around and made the decision to leave Pulau Pinang and joined the police force. During his training in Ulu Kinta, he chose to retake the SPM examination at the age of 18 years old. At night operation exercises where trainees have to carry bags that weight up to 50 pounds, his bag would be slightly heavier from his other members as it would be filled with books for his revision. Dr. A Vasu would also study into the wee hours of the morning while his peers would sleep after a long day of training. His relentless effort bore its fruit when he received his SPM certificate, not stopping there he then sat for the STPM examination. After passing the STPM examinations he was promoted to the rank of Inspector police at the tender age of twenty two. He managed both these feats on his own and at the same time underwent his training as a police officer. He has served in the police force all over Malaysia, to name some are Perak, Pahang, Selangor and even Sabah. Explaining about himself, Dr. A Vasu revealed that he practiced a 5 year life planning. His plan included greater heights and further miles to reach. For each state he was posted he would save his travel expenses that he received, until at one point he managed to save up to RM9600. The money was used to further his studies overseas, his first degree was from the University of London and the rest of his degrees followed suit. Not only did he manage to recover from his past failure but he also managed to further his studies overseas using his own money earned with his bare two hands. His true life story of failures and successes enraptured and inspired us. Throughout the interview it was obvious that Dr. A Vasu is a very busy man. People kept popping up into his office from lawyers to police officers; he treated all of them courteously and with ease. When asked about what his daily or weekly activities consisted of. His position as a Senior Prosecuting Officer already has command most of his time yet he still has the time to be an adjunct lecturer for Akamai University, carry out his research for his MASTERS degree and attend classes in UM. More important so, once every fortnight he would visit the Kajang Prison to give motivational talks to juveniles. Life he is a saying that he has practiced in life. We also asked how he avoids falling to the pressure of his commitments and experience stress. His response was short and our question. He explained that although he has achieved many things in life he realizes life is temporary and our actions in this world will be accounted for in the hereafter. Therefore he stressed that in anything that you do you must have sincerity and take things easy. Be content with what you have and not be greedy. Besides from spiritual strength to avoid stress, Dr. A Vasu also leads a healthy life style. His exercise regime includes a 10km run every week. He is a veteran athlete for the country, representing Malaysia in various sport competitions all around the world. He neither smokes, drinks nor consume caffeine. He will obediwater prepared by his wife everyday and practices eating healthy and nutritious food. Coming to the end of the interview it was clear that Dr. A Vasu is an exemplary figure in terms of time and finance management and an individual that leads a full life. At the age of forty nine he has no plans for man? He has set his eyes on completing his second PhD and representing Malaysia in the Olympics. The question left is, what about our plans? TI

The money was used to further his studies overseas, his first degree was from the University of London and the rest of his degrees followed suit.
says is not all about academic achievement but you have to give back to the community. He manages all of these activities while still spending time with his lovely wife and daughter which he describes as his joy and happiness. The amount of commitments that he has prompted us to ask how does he manage it all? His reply was, all that is needed is Anything in life that you want to achieve or manage, discipline must entail us. He also stressed on the point of appreciating time and utilizing time to its capacity.

He is a veteran athlete for the country, representing Malaysia in various sport competitions all around the world.

5 TheInspirer | April 09

Book Review

By Siti Sara Lyana Badly Sham CV - 2nd year 1st semester

We spend our time in one of four ways which is illustrated by the time management matrix. Activities were divided into four

Research had shown that most people spend too much time to the urgent matters of Quadrant I and III. However, IV left behind Covey listed Put First Things First as the QuadrantOn was other hand, as it represents the unimportant matters. the Quadrant II activities are vitally third habit that is shared by all successful important as it is very essential for characteristic building and people. This is very much related to how they actually plan relationship nurturing. Yet it is always being put aside as it is and go trough their days. not urgent.

he Seven Habits of Highly Effec-

The Time Management Matrix

glory of living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall -Nelson

6 TheInspirer | April 09

Book Review

does each quadrant means?

Quadrant III
This includes things that are important." This is the quadrant of deception. The urge of urgency creates the illusion of importance. This is the reason it is called the phantom of Quadrant I. But the actual activities, if they're important at all, are only important to someone else. We spend a lot of time in Quadrant III meeting other people's priorities and expectations, cramping it all in Quadrant I.

Quadrant I
Both "urgent" and "important" things fall under this quadrant. Here is where there is a need to handle things which are under time constrain or emergency. For example, meeting deadline, repair a broken-down machine or undergo heart surgery. Like it or not, we have to spend time on Quadrant I. If we ignore it, we might be buried alive. Red alert! Procrastination and poor planning caused many important activities become urgent.

Quadrant IV
"Not urgent and not important" activities are reserved in Quadrant IV. This is the quadrant of waste. Of course, we really shouldn't be here at all. But we often escape to Quadrant IV for survival when we are already tired with activities from Quadrant I and III. Activities such as reading addictive light novels, habitually watching "mindless" television shows, or gossiping, qualify as Quadrant IV time wasters. Quadrant IV is deterioration. It might makes us happy but it actually makes us forget of the more important matters. TI

Quadrant II
It includes things that important." This is the quadrant of deception. The urge of urgency creates the illusion of importance. This is the reason it is called the phantom of Quadrant I. But the actual activities, if they're important at all, are only important to someone else. We spend a lot of time in Quadrant III meeting other people's priorities and expectations, cramping it all in Quadrant I.

Want to stay organized? Try your own time management Matrix

7 TheInspirer | April 09

By Mohd Ashraf Nor Azrol PE -- 1st year 1st semester


scapism during lectures is either inevitable or intentional. This article is not meant for

lectures) but rather for those who wanted to but had specific exclusions. They might have had several events to participate in, pending tasks to be completed or a few meetings to attend. In fact, most UTP students are in this category of people. The key to maintaining successful academic performance despite relentless social life activities is actually simple: Do not to escape your lectures! Why is this so? One problem is that students keep saying that they will revise back the topic they skipped during lectures but ironically, the majority of them will not do the exact thing they just said. Secondly, if you do not even have time to go to lectures, will you have time to study? Most probably not. Even if you did study, you would In the end, whatever you do outside a lecture is not equal to that in a lecture unless you are a super hardworking person.

maximise your knowledge and comprehension in the subject. By doing so, even if you do not have the time to study, you still can face quizzes and tests with confidence. The following are several steps to help you empower your lecture sessions and gain as much as possible.

Read More

8 TheInspirer | April 09


ture Optimisation Skills The 5 P’s of Lec Preparation

syndrome during the lecture.

lecture to Take 5-10 minutes before each tes, textbooks browse through your lecture no l picture of or past notes to create a menta ing to learn the topic and things you are go morize the for the day. This will help you me

ing to lectures and Have enough sleep before go the lectures are make sure all the materials for , calculator, stationready; notebooks, assignments ep and forgetting eries, textbooks, etc. Lack of sle will give you stress to bring any study material ly deter you from during a lecture. Stress will on m down and refresh concentrating in a lecture. Cal lecture. Try having your mind before attending a spaper. light refreshments or read a new


of information. Blur and confused? Raise your hand and ask. You can ask your lecturer or your friends to clarify on parts that you did not get. Many refuse to ask question, but just think of this. Out of the lecture, you might not find another time really understand it now than later. The busier you are, the more question you should ask in the lecture. By asking questions, you develop comprehension which reduces your memorisation load. Generally, you do not have to memorise things that you understand. It comes naturally.


notes. Writing notes keeps you active in engaging with the lecture. Sleepiness simple notes. Jot down the critical points and the topic as well as the subtopic of the chapter. Very few know that this will reinforce their memory. Also, personalise your notes (e.g. signing your notes after each lecture, colour code, etc.) to make it easier for you to recall them in the future.

Take 5 minutes to read back what you have jotted down to recap and store the memory deep inside your sub-conscious mind. Highlight any section that you think you still need further reading or explanation on. Depending on the issue, consider meeting the lecturer right after the class, discussing it with friends, or plan to meet the lecturer in his/her office.

-in-one lecture; study, learning and note taking, which enable you to understand better on your course of study. It helps you to empower your memory and accelerate understandings during lecture sessions. If you are able to master your lecture session, you could save up to 40% of your study time. This is not to say that you do not have to study, but that that 40% could be used for question-solving practices (which are much needed for a busy person) instead of trying to grasp back the contextual basics of the chapter. By then, high grades are not very far from you! TI

9 TheInspirer | April 09



I was a promising kid with full of potentials. I can still remember my very first day at school; I was punished to stand in front of the class for being too

have come to a decision to turn my whole life around. It was during this

my new friends. Destined, at the front I stayed, both academically and in co-curricular. I was always in the top 3 in my class

both school and state level. Naturally, I was offered a place in a respected boarding school. The future looked wonderful. Later, 2000 to 2005 The teenage-bug got me. Everything and everyone was not right. The studies seriously and hangout with the wrong people. My attitude changed. Gone was the lively, bright boy to be replaced by a sluggish, undisciplined, good-for-nothing punk. I flunked my SPM (5 managed to do just enough to secure a place in UTP, sponsored by PETRONAS. I was offered the ICT interest at all (I was doing technical science back in high school). I started off with the wrong mindset. I kept telling myself that I can never understand the subjects, that I was in the wrong place. I paid no

millions of times before that, but somehow it started to make sense. I was in my ninth semester of studies with three more of extensions. My CGPA was very low, if I was to just score average GPAs I will not be able to graduate at all!

make sense. I was in my ninth semester of studies with three more of extensions. My CGPA was very low, if I was to just score average GPAs I will not be able to graduate at all! And that decision has made all the difference. I started to go to class (I learnt that this is the most important part), do my homework, and engaged the lecturers for guidance. To my surprise, everything else has become easy for me. Once I made that decision more than willing to help and guide me. I participated actively in class and started to enjoy the subjects (even the dry ones). From that point until my final semester in UTP, I scored The first time I did it,

class, but I know should I have started sooner; it either; I take it as the most precious lesson in my life.

only to stay awake during night times hanging out with my friends. My results were terrible. I was put under academic probation and warning on numerous occasions. I was only lucky not to be bootedout from UTP (I came close to academic dismissal a couple of times). It was by far, the lowest time in my life. Not so long ago, 2006 to 2008 People say you get wiser by the time

Now, 2009 I am living the life in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, attached to PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad (PDB). It was not an easy entry, nor an easy job. PETRONAS expects so much from its scholars and I am determined to show gratitude for all that trust and support the for this. The most important lesson for me is; learn to love what you do and always live your life to the fullest! TI

cal development or life experience itself but somehow I seemed to

10 TheInspirer | April 09

By Muhammad bin Hasan Azahari

Foundation 1st Semester

Everybody wants to live happily and get the most out of life in spite of the overwhelming demands of work and tasks. To accomplish that effectively, it is very essential to take care of The Six Main Elements of Life and nurture them.


We have to provide some time to feed our mind in order to widen our perspectives and sharpen our thinking. Things that we can do to improve our life in this aspect are:  Read newspapers, magazines, selfimprovement books or anything that may concern.  Play mind-challenging games such as Sudoku, chess and many more.  Attend conferences, talks, or forums.


It is very important to spend some time to ensure our health and strengthen our body. It is a good idea to:  Practice your favourite sport.  -kwon


This aspect focuses on your religious routines. In every religion, there are things compulsory to be done and also those encouraged to be done. As Muslims, we should:  Pray 5 times a day.  Recite the al-Quran.  Fast a day or two in a week.  Attend religious activities (talks, forums, smart group meetings).  Wake up at two thirds of the night (qiyamullail). The world is full of relationships. We live in a society that consists of multiple ages and races. Maintaining a harmonious environment is very important. The point here is to flourish the relationships that we have. FRIENSHIP CONSISTS OF A WILLING EAR, AN UNDERSTANDING HEART AND A HELPING HAND:  Spend some time together with friends to  Contact long lost friends through e-mails, message.  Do something together such as playing football, swimming, having a picnic etc.

a good idea to set apart some time to do financial planning and saving in order to achieve financial stability. The following might work: SAVE FIRST Set a time each week to deposit some money into the cashbox. For example, deposit RM 10 every Friday. Save a certain amount each month. Open an account and deposit an amount of per month. Shopping? Plan your expenses:  List all the things to buy.   Go and buy those relevant things on the list. These steps will not only prevent unnecessary purchases but also help to save your money from leaking out of your wallet. Try it for a month and taken just 5 minutes before you enter the shopping mall.


It is


-NOURISHMENT Everybody loves to be pampered and nourished. The person that holds the responsibility for doing that is ultimately ourselves. Appreciate yourself as a person in this world. Take some time to do what you love to do and eventually it will lift yourself upwards. CHOOSE YOURSELF: Listen to music, watch movies, read novels etc. Hobbies such as collecting stamps, enjoying video games etc. TI

11 TheInspirer | April 09

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