Ryan had to submit a project report this morning, but he couldn’t complete it because he had to attend his best friend’s birthday party yesterday. However, he couldn’t reach the party on time because he had to run extra laps for reaching the football practice late. Ryan simply could not get it right even though he tried really hard. Ryan’s parents were also stressed trying to manage his schedules along with his little sister’s and their own commitments at home and work.
Does this scenario sound familiar? We all get the same 24 hours in a day, and yet why does it seem that some people achieve more with their time than others? The answer is simple: time management. A survey shows that 26% of work ends up being done outside of office hours because employees do not know how to manage their time effectively. Since time management is such an important life skill, why wait till adulthood to practice it? Why not start early with children?
Time management is the technique of organizing and planning how to divide your time between different activities. Time management is a skill, that teaches discipline and responsibility. Children who practice time management understand how to divide time as per the tasks. This enables them to complete activities in a short period of time resulting in lower stress overall.
Time management also encourages kids to be creative. When children are tasked with completing assignments within a set timeframe, it encourages them to think innovatively and devise creative solutions. This ability not only aids them in navigating tasks but also contributes to more adept problem-solving in various aspects of life, including work and relationships.
Managing time can be tricky not just for kids but for parents as well. Between school, homework, projects and extracurricular activities, there never seems to be enough time in the day.
Here are some fun ways you can help your child manage their time effectively.
Set a daily schedule
One of the best ways to teach children time management is using a set daily schedule. You can involve your child and get her inputs to create a daily plan. It is important that children have a consistent mealtime and bedtime. Following the same bedtime each day teaches children to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Also, make sure there is a plan for weekends and holidays as well.
Aim for speed and accuracy
Oftentimes, children forget about the time when engrossed with a task. Other times, while rushing to complete tasks one after the other, children and parents overlook the quality of work. Accuracy is as important as speed if tasks need to be completed successfully. Encourage children to attempt new tasks and challenges, puzzles and overall problem solving so that they learn to tackle a range of new situations without losing their footing. Further, you can set timers for a certain amount of time while solving puzzles or math problems. Parents can check for the quality of work once the time is up. It adds awareness and helps inculcate a sense of time-based closure in children.
Don’t Overschedule Your Kids
We all need free time! Often, we as parents schedule a lot of activities for children. Your schedule should also have blocks of free time. You can let them play, watch cartoons, or do anything they like during this free time. This helps children understand that time management isn’t all about finishing a structured activity on time. Great time management also means they have moments to relax and play.
Let them know the consequences
Time management does not mean moving from one task to the next. Taking responsibility for an action is an important part of time management. You can ask kids to be responsible by handing over a job, and then explain what the consequences would be if they fail. Do not rush to finish off the task for them. Instead, help them understand what can be done to improve the skills.
Consider rewarding your kids for good time management. These perks can be great motivators. By appreciating and acknowledging their time management skill, children are encouraged to do well during the next cycle. Rewards can be daily or weekly and you can be creative with your rewards. Rewards can include their favorite activity, a few extra minutes of screen time or even a star on successful completion.
Time management is a life skill that helps us work effectively, stay calm and have maximum results. The earlier we start to manage our time, the more effective and efficient we will be in managing our lives!!
“Until we manage time, we can manage nothing else.”
– Peter Drucker