How to Teach Time Management

Time management is crucial, especially for students juggling academic responsibilities alongside extracurricular activities. Effectively managing their time becomes crucial as school becomes more challenging and your student engages in more extracurricular activities. 

Why are time management skills so necessary?

The research is clear: students who manage their time well typically perform better in school and extracurricular activities and usually have more free time. Time management can not only help with planning activities but also help students focus and organize their thoughts. However, this must be learned and practiced, which can be challenging for students with executive function challenges like ADHD. 

Time management is crucial for several reasons, including:

  • Efficiently managing coursework across multiple classes
  • Balancing academic and non-academic commitments 
  • Preparing students for higher education and the professional world
  • Reducing stress and anxiety associated with disorganization and chaos
  • Developing self-discipline and self-regulation 

Despite its importance, many students need help with time management. While it may not be obvious, there are many signs to look out for to identify if your child is struggling. Frequently late or incomplete assignments, consistently being late to school or extracurriculars, and spending substantially more or less time on a project than others can all be signs of poor time management skills. Even behaviors like forgetting tasks and commitments and “time blindness,” or the inability to correctly estimate how long a project will take, can be signs they may need extra help.

How can you, as a parent, help your child improve their time management skills? 

Children often learn by observing others. As their parent, you are perfectly positioned to model time management skills. Demonstrating good time management habits in your own life can positively influence your student’s behavior. In addition, we have compiled some proven techniques that you can incorporate into your student’s life to improve their time management skills.

1. Gradually introduce commitments. Overloading your student’s schedule can lead to stress and time management challenges. Start with a manageable number of activities, allowing them to adjust and balance academics and other interests.

2. Establish regular routines. Consistency is key. Create predictable routines for homework, activities, and other commitments. A structured schedule helps your student know what to expect, reducing procrastination.

3. Encourage daily planning. Teach your student the importance of planning their day. Help them set goals, prioritize tasks, and allocate time for each activity.

4. Set priorities. Ensure that essential tasks, such as homework and studying, are completed before leisure activities. This practice teaches them how to manage their time effectively and balance responsibilities. 

5. Create personal deadlines. Introduce the concept of “false” deadlines or a personal deadline that falls before the actual deadline. This technique provides a buffer for unexpected delays, reducing last-minute stress. Emphasize the benefits of finishing tasks early, including decreased anxiety and extra time to improve the quality of the work. 

6. Advocate for your child with their teachers. If you know that your student is struggling with their time management skills, let their educators know. Improving a student’s ability to manage their time is best accomplished with participation (and collaboration) from both the student’s educator and parents!

By implementing these strategies, you equip your child with the foundation to build this important skill so they can confidently navigate their academic and personal growth. 

Every child’s journey is unique. It’s essential to remember that with patience, persistence, and a plan, you can help your child overcome executive function challenges and succeed in all aspects of life. It’s all about taking one step at a time and remembering that progress is just that. Progress.

Parenting a child who struggles with executive function can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to navigate this journey alone. Let Untapped help!

For More:

10 Reasons why time management is important | Brainbridge

Time Management for Students: a Psychological Explanation of Why We Struggle 

The Age-by-Age Guide to Teaching Kids Time Management

6 Essential Time Management Practices for Kids & Teens with ADHD

How to Promote Productive Time Management with IEP Goals: Expert Tips

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