Planning Your Time

Fitting the Award in Your Schedule

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One of the most fun parts of doing the Duke of Ed is choosing all of the great activities you'll do to fulfil your Award requirements. However, one of the main challenges is managing your time and making a space for your Award activities in your week, especially if you are taking on many new activities you've never tried before. You might also be wondering whether you should do all Award components simultaneously, or just one at a time. Many things might influence how you manage your time, such as:

  • Commitments to classes, school work, or a job
  • How much free time you have on evenings, weekends, or first thing in the morning
  • If you want to complete the Award at the same pace as your peers
  • If you are working on the Award independently
  • Personal commitments to friends and family
  • Personal "down time" that you might want to keep un-scheduled for relaxation 

Consider which of these are most likely to influence your schedule. If you have a lot of freedom you might be able to do several Award components all at once. If you have a lot of commitments to balance, you could complete one Award component at a time. Remember, everyone has 24 hours in a day! It is possible to find a balance that works for you and keep enjoying what you are doing. 

The Summary of Conditions will tell you about the minimum amount of time you can anticipate spending on each Award level, meaning that you cannot complete the level in less time than that. However, you can decide what the 'maximum' amount of time is. For example, the Bronze level requires a minimum of 26 weeks, but you may choose to complete it over 9 months or a full year if you wish. Read more below for some guidelines on managing your time. 

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If you start your Award at the Bronze level, you will choose one section to devote more time to than the other sections. The Service, Skill and Physical Recreation sections all need to be practiced over a minimum of 13 weeks and one of these for an additional 13 weeks, for a minimum total of 26 weeks spent at Bronze. You do not need to decide right away which section to do for longer. This number of weeks is a minimum rather than a maximum, meaning that you can take more time to complete each section, but you cannot complete it in less time. Below are a few examples of what a Bronze level might look like.
/_uploads/on/images/Screen-Shot-2018-06-28-at-114022-AM.pngIn the Example #1 above, you would be spending a minimum of 1 hour per week on Service, Skill, and Physical Recreation for the first 13 consecutive weeks. This would make sense if you know right away what activities you want to do for all 3 of these sections, and have the time to start on all 3 right away. For the following 13 weeks you would only be working on your Skill, and any planning and preparation necessary for your Adventurous Journey later on. Your Adventurous Journey can take place at any time after you have registered for the level.  (You may choose any section as your Major activity.)
/_uploads/on/images/Screen-Shot-2018-06-28-at-114030-AM.pngIn Example #2 above, you would be starting your Service Major right away for 26 consecutive weeks, and also planning your Journey for the first month of your Bronze Award activity. This might be the case if you start your Award in the summer when you have vacation time to plan a long trip, and also if you already know what your Service activity will be and are able to get started on it right away. In this example, you would start your Skills section in the second month of activity and the Physical Recreation in the fourth month. This might happen if you haven't decided at first what to choose for these activities, or if you want to make sure you leave some flexibility in your schedule so that they don't all overlap at once. (You may choose any section as your Major activity.)
/_uploads/on/images/Screen-Shot-2018-06-28-at-114036-AM.pngIn this third example, you would be completing your Award over twelve months instead of the minimum of six months, to allow for a more relaxed schedule. The 3 components of Service, Skill, and Physical Recreation are all completed one at a time, with only the Adventurous Journey overlapping with another section. (You may choose any section as your Major activity.)

Decide what works best for you! Remember that ultimately, you are only in competition with yourself.  The Silver and Gold levels can work in a very similar way, with additional weeks logged, as required.


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The Award is more like a marathon than a sprint. You should spend an average of 1 hour per week on your activities. However, we understand that you may be busy some weeks. If you miss an activity one week, then you can do two hours the next week to make up for it. That way you still have an average of one hour per week overall. You can make up a maximum of 3 consecutive missed weeks at one time. To make up 3 missed weeks, 4 hours would need to be recorded in the subsequent week (3 hours for the missed weeks, and 1 hour for the current week). 

However, if you miss 4 weeks or more in a row, these weeks cannot be made up with extra hours. Instead, all these weeks are simply crossed out.  Once you start your activities again, you can pick up where you left off. That means if you did 4 weeks of activities, then took a 6 week break, you would still have 9 more weeks to do once you start again. 
  
The Online Record Book will calculate the number of qualifying hours that you have done and add it to your total.  For an example of how hours are calculated in the Online Record Book, please click here.

If you have any questions about the program, you are always welcome to contact your Award Leader or someone at your Division office for more help! Have a great time with your activities. 

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