Top 10 Tips for Time Management: 10 Tricks to Teach Children How to Manage Time Effectively

Increasingly, individuals in our society are pressed for time. Routine becomes sacred for some, while others prefer not to plan their days at all. For young people, time is often very abstract, while you are racing against the clock. Whether it’s for playtime at home, structuring homework time, or any other time constraint that life imposes on you, these few tips could facilitate your children’s learning of time management. By teaching them to manage their time properly, many tensions and moments of stress will disappear from their routine… and yours too!

1. Raising Awareness from a Young Age

First, a certain level of awareness is necessary to understand what time represents. When you say you have to leave in 5 minutes, does your child understand what 5 minutes really mean? Don’t hesitate to let your little ones play with a stopwatch or a timer. Gradually, time will become concrete for them and it will have value as they time themselves completing different tasks. Discuss with them the time it takes to get to school or the time of their favorite TV show. Understanding that you can’t do everything at once is an important step. Explain to them, for example, that it’s not possible to go to two birthday parties at the same time and that they must make a choice: choose one of the two, leave one earlier to arrive at the other later, etc. In the longer term, creating a family timeline can be very interesting to note significant events like the year of their birth, moving, starting school, losing their first tooth, etc. A roll of paper and a few photos are all you’ll need. This exercise will provide your children with accessible time markers.

2. Teaching Time Management

Not everyone is born with the same relationship to time. Time management can be more difficult for some, but fortunately, it can be taught and learned like any other school subject. It’s something that requires work and is acquired through exercises. Through these exercises, as in any challenge, it’s important to emphasize the effort the child puts in, as well as their successes, by giving them tips to improve the still problematic aspects (for example, setting an alarm to start preparing in advance). The exercises can become fun and light-hearted.

3. Different Learning Styles

Get to know your children’s learning style to adapt their environment to their needs. The time allocated to a certain task will then be much more effective. For studying, for example, some prefer to study in groups, while others prefer to study alone. Contrary to traditional belief, music and noise are not necessarily negative for concentration. Some people prefer to study in the kitchen for the comings and goings and the noise, while others prefer quiet libraries. Music also does not hinder learning; on the contrary, some auditory studies have found that when a person listens to music they enjoy, they are more inclined to learn. No musical genre would promote concentration more than others, it all depends on the student’s style. Also, some need reminders to stay on track to work better. So, by learning about themselves, it becomes easier to create a conducive work environment.

4. Choosing the Right Organizational Tool

According to each person’s characteristics, you need to choose the tool that will be most useful for the child. An agenda, a calendar? On the wall, on the smartphone, on the computer? It depends on their way of working. If a lot of information needs to be noted every day, an agenda would probably be preferable to visualize the week. If the goal is to see the important points of each day, such as appointments, a calendar would be more appropriate to help with time management.

5. Using Symbols and Pictograms to Establish Routines

Pictograms are very easy to use and generally have a very positive impact on children. They allow them to remember everything while promoting their autonomy. Use them in the bathroom, for example, for them to brush their teeth, take a shower, brush their hair, etc. without you having to repeat it. Pictograms can also be used on clocks. You can make them yourself or with them!

6. Organizing Thoughts

When you have a ton of things to do, it often happens that you don’t know where to start. To remedy this problem, noting the tasks that concern us the most helps organize our thoughts. To determine the order of things to do, classify them according to the date by which you must have completed them, or according to your priorities. Setting aside a time in your week or day to complete tasks then becomes simpler. These can be noted on small post-it notes to be manipulated and moved in the agenda more easily. For the more visual, divide a cardboard space into 2 sections: “what needs to be done” and “what is done.” You will be able to move your post-it notes with pride when a task is completed and see what you still need to do. This exercise is very motivating when it comes to small responsibilities.

7. Self-Discipline through Mistakes

It’s not very pleasant to be told what to do, and sometimes, responsibilities are difficult to assume. Since they must be intrinsic (coming from ourselves), it is sometimes necessary to experience the consequences of our actions to learn from our mistakes. It’s not always possible, but when it is, let young people experiment for themselves, it’s much more interesting for them. This is how they will learn to take responsibility. When it comes to responsibility, parents are very important role models. Children learn much more by imitation, hence the expression “The apple never falls far from the tree.”

8. Physical Activities, Not to be Overlooked

If you find your schedule too busy, you may be thinking of reducing your sports activities. Be careful, these are a key element for concentration. If you think you’re wasting your time by exercising, you’re wrong. Physical activities allow your brain to concentrate better. If you haven’t already noticed, you are more inclined to learn and concentrate after expending energy. All your tasks will be more enjoyable after a good dose of endorphins.

9. Eliminate Potential Distractions

Nowadays, many justify having their phone on the desk by saying they work with their peers and have questions. For group work, promote calls rather than text messages to be more efficient and know that it’s possible to stop receiving notifications from unnecessary conversations that disrupt concentration through your phone’s settings. Anything that is likely to distract you should not have a place on your workspace.

10. Summarize Learnings

Concluding a long study period with a review of the main points is an excellent method to consolidate new knowledge. It is possible to highlight important elements in various ways according to the student’s learning style. The more visual can create a diagram to make connections between different concepts, the kinesthetic can explain to another person what they have learned, and the more auditory can create acronyms, songs, or listen to a recording of themselves explaining the material for review, for example, on the bus.

By Carine Cobti,

Bachelor’s degree student in special education teaching

IN SHORT! These 10 tips for time management are good ways to teach your little ones as well as your older ones to stay efficient in their use of time. Whether it’s making the younger ones aware of the concept of time or helping the older ones use it effectively without procrastinating, these techniques are good for everyone, and time management becomes even more valuable over the years. However, don’t forget to spend quality time