Developing Time Management
There are so many things that influence one’s success professionally and in life, but few have as much bearing as time management.
In the corporate world, even barely seasoned professionals are quick to spot out the people with poor time management skills – and for one reason; it’s annoying to work with those people! Teachers can do the same, as can parents. The funny thing is that, while so often it’s someone’s natural, inherent qualities that stand out, good time management is rarely a natural quality: it’s something we work at throughout life. So how do we help our children to develop that skill early on? Here are a few tips:
A big part of time management is learning project management. Teach your kids to make lists of everything they need to do. Use their phone, a post-it note – whatever works. By writing everything down and crossing off items as they’re completed, they can ensure nothing is forgotten.
The Art of Prioritization
One of the most common reasons something is done sloppily – if it’s done at all – is because it was simply forgotten about until the last minute. Help your kids to develop a system for organizing that to-do list. Maybe it’s highlighting in fun colors, drawing stars next to the most important items or even numbering them. Beyond assigning priorities, teach them to follow them. Yes, it’s tempting to do the “fun” stuff first – but putting off the bigger or more intimidating project until later is only going to make it worse.
Give Them More to Do.
It may seem counterintuitive to give kids more to do as they’re struggling with time management, but it works! Think about it, when there’s more free time, it’s easier to push things off – because there’s always a “later.” But when there are lots of activities and responsibilities to juggle, every moment becomes more valuable. Yes, it gives you – and them – more to organize and watch for, but by teaching them to stay diligent, they’ll become more accountable and aware.
Make it Applicable
Homework is a “to-do.” Tumbling practice is not. It’s something to be done, yes, but it’s a calendar item. That means that it is already dedicated time; so teach them to plan their to-do’s around it. Simply loading your kid with a list of to-do’s is going to seem intimidating, but helping them to see how that list fits into their life as a whole makes homework, practice and social commitments applicable to them.
It’s never going to go perfectly from day one – like we said, good time management is a skill learned and perfected through life. But if you can teach your kids the foundation and equip them with the tools to make it manageable, they’ll be off to a great start.