Time management is important for students of all ages and is a skill that can be learned if not part of ones general make up already. I won’t tell you that it is necessarily easy as it isn’t. It requires learning new behaviours and strategies whilst having patience too.
What is important is that children learn this skill early as it is not only something that will assist them to succeed with their education, and at home but also throughout their lives.
Here are 3 time management tips for students of all ages to assist:
Tip 1 – have a concept of time
Often I see and work with students who actually have no concept of time. What I mean by that is yes they can tell you the time but they don’t really understand time sense. What they do know is that they can see one aspect of time being the present. They have often been bought up surrounded by digital clocks and don’t quite get that time has a beginning, middle and an end. The best way to teach this is to ensure you have annolgue clocks in your home. From this they can see the present time, the elapsed time, and the future time. All of these are important to understanding and learning time management.
Tip 2 – let children take responsibility
Another aspect to teaching children time management and organisation skills is to let them learn for themselves and not do everything for them or tell them what to do all the time. Recently a client of mine was talking to me about her child in primary school who had issues with time management and was always slow and the last to do anything. We discussed the importance of teaching her to do tasks by herself by firstly showing her how then allowing her to do them by herself. Please do not assume your child knows what it is they need to do as this is often the one fundamental that parents miss in this process. Let children take responsibility for themselves where possible – you will be really helping to set them up for life by doing so!
Tip 3 – understand priorities
It is important to help teach children the distinction between priorities and knowing the differences from when something might need immediate attention and when something can wait a bit longer. This will then assist them with prioritising their homework and other activities at home or in life. By understanding priorities then it makes it easier for your child to make decisions on how to utilise and make the most of their time. Once again don’t assume they can work all this out for themselves it will usually require assistance in going through tasks including homework, breaking down tasks, allocating priorities and then likely time required. Over time having learned these skills they will then be able to undertake this themselves
One final point to make is that all of these skills will need to not only be learned but adjusted and practiced – it won’t happen over night but as I said earlier be patient, put in the effort and you will see the rewards.
It’s important for parents, or others like myself who as a professional organiser works with students, to help children master time management skills to enable future success. By becoming aware of time, being responsible and understanding priorities it will assist your child become a better manager of time and ultimately benefit the whole family. I know that not all parents have these skills but remember they too can be learned even for you or you can seek help with this for yourself, your children and your family.