Time management will always be a necessary life skill no matter how old you are. Scheduling, planning, and keeping appointments are just a few of the elements that go in to managing your time. Teaching children at an early age the importance of this attribute will only help them to be more prepared for the world that awaits them. Here are a few ways to help your children stay on top of the clock.
- The power of words is immeasurable – use a notebook to create a to-do list for your child.
- In the notebook have your child write down all their designated dates for assignments, projects, practices, games, etc.
- Go over the list with your child and show them helpful ways to segregate different events with color codes. Have them highlight test days or projects’ due dates in red while using blue for game days and yellow for practices.
- Use this planner to help your child prepare for long term projects in smaller increments by spreading the studying out over the course of several weeks, not allowing your child to cram a month of studying into three nights. Help this process by using calendars.
- Have your child write specific items from their to-do list on a Post-it note or index card.
- Have your child separate the index cards into three categories: “To-Do Today”, “To-Do Soon”, “To-Do Anytime”. This teaches the importance of knowing what event trumps another.
- You might disagree with your child regarding what is more important, but this is where you need to be open and discuss what is most important to your child. This will lead you to work together and find a resolution.
- Now, take these index cards and post them on a bulletin board or frame and arrange them as needed. Discard events that are over and done with.
- Allow your children to create their own time clock. Estimate the time it would take to finish a specific activity, time the activity, and make adjustments accordingly to both your work and your time delegated.
- Now that you have all the elements, you want to transfer the to-do list onto a daily planner or calendar. Taking this step will allow additions or changes to be made more efficiently. Get your child in the habit of checking this planner daily.
- Fix a time for homework that is non-negotiable.
- Constantly seeing a calendar or planner will give your child a very much needed sense of time and help them visualize the overall concept of time.
Following the Plan
- Post the to-do list somewhere visible.
- Coach your child and monitor them consistently until this process becomes second nature.
Finally, always remember these skills do not happen overnight for anyone and it will take patience on both ends to see this all the way through. Time management strategies are in line with goal-setting strategies and these are important attributes for any young adult to acquire.