One of the most challenging aspects of our life is how we manage our time. Our time is precious to us, yet at the same time it is fleeting. It is the one commodity in our lives that cannot be lent to, or borrowed from, others.
As the psalm (later a song) says – “A time for everything”. Or, to paraphrase my dad – “A time for everything, and everything in it’s time”. (He used to say “place”, but it works for time as well :)) Students must make time for: Philosophy. Algebra. Reading. Science. School projects. Sport’s practice. Final examinations. For a youth it can be pretty tough.
To put it another way – time controls their daily school activities. Correct time management can help any student make use of their allotted time for different activities efficiently. It also helps them make good decisions as to how to make the best of their time in other activities outside of school.
These are the basic steps to help them manage their time efficiently. First, they need to develop a clear statement of their long-term objectives. They likely have two semesters every year. What goals do they want to fulfill in a given semester?
If they want to be at the top the class, then set it as the major, long-term goal. So, how do we reach that goal? It means they need to develop effective studying habits. If they have a fixed schedule with vacant periods, they should make use of those periods. To adults, it may be obvious, but to kids it often is not.
What if they say something like I can’t solve my algebra homework? Tell them to go on with the next task, and return to this one with a fresh viewpoint. Again, obvious to (most) adults, not so with kids.
After the top priorities have been established, it will now be easy for them to set up short-term goals and priorities. This is the essence of time management, especially for students. Here’s what you need to tell them to do:
1. Schedule your time. At the start of the semester, you get your class schedule. From that, you can create your own calendar for your activities.
How much time will you schedule for studying? How much time will you allot for choir practice? How much time will you will you give yourself to finish a project? All of these should be added to the calendar.
2. Next, start using a daily to-do list. Place scheduled events into their appropriate time slots and prioritize everything that needs to be prioritized.
3. Follow the schedule religiously. Avoid interruptions. If there are instances in which it is avoidable, make sure that you can make it up on your next schedule. If possible, write a note for yourself to remind you where you were.
4. Maximize your time by doing the tough stuff first. However, if it keeps you from getting started, skip to it and accomplish something easier. It helps develop the confidence to finish tougher duties later on.
5. Schedule rest time. Include holidays. If possible, free yourself of any school activities on Sunday.
There you go – five simple steps. Follow up. That is all.
- The Value of Self-Paced Learning(bigthink.com)
- How to Manage Your Time(oneprojectsmart.wordpress.com)
- Why “To-Do” Lists Don’t Work, and How to Change That(lifehack.org)