Time Management Tips
Parents can cultivate in their School Age Children
1. Set up a colour coded weekly schedule. Children can be taught how to manage time wisely. Ensure that the schedule includes class periods, meals, sports or physical activity (ies), social activities, personal hygiene, travel time, study time, student organizations, telephone and TV time, and most importantly spiritual time and their leisure time. Parents who assist their children in setting up weekly schedules and encourage them to be deliberate and consistent in keeping track of how they use their waking hours will reap amazing results. Remember the time to sleep is very important. Students need sleep for learning.
2. Eradicate procrastination, which is often described as “the thief of time.” Teach your children to be disciplined. It will matter if you are just a few minutes late and if you fail to use the present or today, which is certain, rather than putting things off for tomorrow. The best way to teach them this tip to model it.
3. Just say NO. Encourage them to say no and detach. Saying no to things that interrupt those that are priority is always necessary. Remind your children that true friends are persons who understand and respect their principles. But beware; friends are not the only avenues that rob children of precious time. Telephone, TV, Texting, Surfing the Internet, emailing, chat rooms and social websites (e.g. Facebook), quickly consumes time. Parents work with your children through your example in controlling and limiting time spent on these distractions.
4. Plan for success. “If you fail to plan, you by default plan to fail.” Planning for success is easy when the bigger picture– school term or semester is considered. Plan and prepare for exams way ahead of time to avoid cramming at the last minute. Ensure that assignments are carefully understood so that they can be completed in advance of the due dates. Planning for success could also include reviewing immediately after class, timely completion of homework to reinforce concepts, learning proper study skills and also asking the right individuals for help or seeking clarification when needed.
5. Learn time management gems. The Bible offers a lot of these. For example, Proverbs 6:9-11 (NIV) says: "9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest- 11 and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man."
6. Reward! Reward! Reward! When children are able to maintain their schedules and be disciplined with their time, encourage them with affirmations, small tokens or with “time,” which could include engaging in an appropriate activity that they enjoy.
Counseling & Psychological Services Center
Northern Caribbean University