Successful people are great time managers. Remember, everyone has the same 24 hours to work with each day. Great scientists like Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton, leaders and innovators like Benjamin Franklin, all of them had the same two dozen hours everyday. Just like us. They simply got more things done!
It’s important to start young to prioritize time and tasks. Children as young as three can learn to follow a loosely based schedule. The process need not be overly disciplinarian or imposing to start with. Setting an example as a parent will set the ball rolling more often than not!
Here are my list of 7 points that would help a child manage time better:
1. Estimation: Get children to know roughly how much time a few common tasks take. For instance, a walk from home to the grocery store takes about 5 minutes, or 30 minutes to bake their favorite cake etc. This helps them to plan out homework, study, hobby or play schedules better.
2. Only one task initially: Let the child start with planning only one daily task, say, homework and studies between 7 and 8 PM everyday for about two weeks. Once this done successfully, more tasks can be added one by one. Taking on too much too soon might not work and the child could be disheartened by the whole exercise. It’s also advisable to let the child pick their own task from a choice of 5-6 tasks and times. That way, they will take ownership and be self motivated.
3. Communicate: Share your experiences about the tasks that you completed successfully and the challenges you faced and the sacrifices you made. Like, “Despite the fact that there was a game on TV, I chose to complete my report instead.” Children will associate with this a lot better. When they hear from you, they will most likely emulate you. They are more likely to ‘do what you do’, rather than ‘do what you say’.
4. Plan and review: Talk about everyone’s schedule before the day starts and review it before bedtime. If a child was unable to study a particular lesson as planned, talk to the child and reschedule the same. Ask if any assistance is needed. Provide it if you deem it necessary.
5. Encourage time saving tasks: Pick an online tutor instead of travelling to a tutor’s house. Companies like eTutorWorld provide great one on one online tutors. Plan out your routes beforehand if you have to go to two or more places.
6. Visually appealing calendar: A fun exercise is to make a colorful or visually appealing calendar schedule. The put it in a place where you can see it often. It’ll catch the child’s attention often.
7. Long and short term: Teach your children the idea of long and short term goals. Stuff that needs to be done ‘now’, or ‘in an hour’ or ‘within a week’ and so on. This helps them to prioritize and get things done.
Once the concept of time management is practiced, it’s surprising how much time you’ll end up saving while getting everything done. The moment a young child realizes this, he or she will start practicing these time management tips and tricks by themselves. Time is a precious resource that cannot be recovered or borrowed. Its wise usage is imperative to leading a fulfilling and successful life!