Time management is a life skill that can be learnt. This aim of this post is to offer simple steps that you can coach your kids to form good habits in managing their time.

Children linger during meal times, dawdle when it comes to working on their school work, drag their feet to the showers, lose track of time when they play their digital games or reading their favourite books and are basically sluggish and unhurried when it comes to time to do the things that they must do as students.

As a mom, I lost track of the number of times that I have to tell the kids in a day to “hurry up” or “it’s time to…” or “we are going to be late…”

I hate being a nagger. But let’s face it, the kids have no concept of time. My son would rather throw a tantrum for TWO hours in protest of his need to do a piece of homework that is easily completed in 30 minutes if he will just buckle down than actually doing it. Oh, and do not get me started on our struggles with digital games!

The earlier your kids know how to manage time, the easier it is for everyone involved. Unfortunately, kids are not built to understand time. It has to be taught to them.

The GOOD NEWS is: time management is a skill that can be learnt. Even kids.

My experience with my own kids tell me that time management works better when they are above a certain age (10 years old and above). Parents will still need to manage time for kids younger than that.

Once your kids enter secondary school (13 years old and beyond), knowing how to manage their time can make the difference between success and failure in coping with the studies of 8 to 12 subjects, managing their CCA schedule that takes up two-thirds of their time and accomplishing everything else that is on their plate.

Time management is not just about allocating time. You kids have to understand the ecosystem of listing down the tasks, giving them priorities according to importance and taking the appropriate action. Many students will plan and schedule but fail to take action. Hence, the final point (taking action) – which is the opposite of procrastination, is the just as essential if not more important than the other two points.

If you look at successful individuals and high achievers in school (like Joseph Schooling), their abilities to apply the above-mentioned ecosystem move them along the success track. Here are some quick guidelines on time management your kids can learn.

  1. Draw up a weekly schedule to include school, homework/revision time, CCA, exercise, mealtimes, bedtime and playtime (relax).
  2. Practice making a list of the tasks they have to fulfil for the day or the weekend.
  3. Rank each task according to the level of urgency such as important, urgent, or normal
  4. Allocate WHEN the task needs to be done (estimate how much time the task needs and/or give yourself a deadline to complete the task)
  5. Evaluate if the timeline you have given yourself to finish the task is achievable. Avoid setting unrealistic deadlines as this can cause stress. This is a good practise for students to gauge the time they need to finish an assignment or revision.
  6. Include buffer time or breaks. If there are any delays in time, you have this buffer time to catch up.
  7. Avoid Procrastination―Coach your child to take action whenever he/she is tempted to procrastinate. Read more on Procrastination and how to sidestep it.

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Till our next post, love yourself, love one another.

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