How to Teach Time Management

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

In this lesson, we cover how to teach time management skills. We show how to teach the skill to children. We also explain methodologies for planning the day, working smarter, and not wasting hours in the day. We also explore social media and time management.

Time Is So Fleeting

Time. We all only have so much of it. Who hasn't ever lamented, 'There aren't enough hours in the day' as Friday afternoon arrived, and they were caught sitting in line at the credit union, when they would rather have been heading out to dinner?

However, the good news is that while we all only have 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week, there are skills and tricks and tips to be employed for each of us to better utilize our time. The other good news is the fact that time management can be learned. After all, 'time is money' as they like to say.

Teach Time Management to Children

Teach Kids to Use a Calendar

Planning ahead is near the top of the list when it comes to teaching time management, and by using a calendar, kids can learn to properly budget their time wisely.

color coded calendar

Teach Kids to Use a Color-Coding System

This idea has become a big hit in the schools, and parents are utilizing it at home. All sports clothes could be green, and all math books and folders could be orange. Then it just takes a glance to match things up. This doesn't seem like much, but over an extended period, the little bits of time saved from not having to sort through books, folders, and sports equipment begins to add up.

Teach Kids to Organize

There is an old saying that an organized mediocre person can outperform a disorganized genius. Clutter leads to wasted time and arriving late at school or missing the bus.

Planning the Day


There is an old sales rule that states that 'Twenty percent of the salesmen make eighty percent of the sales.' Don't spend eighty percent of your time on only twenty percent of what matters. Spend at least half of your day on what produces most of your results.

Twenty percent of your activities, conversations, and thoughts produce about eighty percent of your results.

Plan The Day Ahead of Time

Spend 30 minutes in the morning planning the day, perhaps while relaxing and enjoying that first cup of coffee. This may seem like a lot, but otherwise it will be easy to waste an hour or even two by being unproductive and unfocused.

Do Things More Efficiently

Repetitive tasks are a time waster. Always strive to find a way to do something better and quicker.

Once and Only Once

It is such a time waster shuffling piles from one pile to a new pile. Make a decision and do it the first time. This applies to emails as well.

Work Smarter

Use Available Resources

In today's world, there are time management apps, blogs, and websites to go along with calendars and planners. Spend some time each month looking for new ways to improve on time management skills. One of these apps is Tsheets, which allows employees to clock in from their own computers or handheld devices. Another is an accounting program titled FreshBooks. A third is MavenLink, which tracks hours and expenses but also file shares as well.

Learn to Focus

Let's face it, we all live in a Twitter world these days, and we all multitask and flit from one task to the next. In the good ol' days, people would actually read a book for an hour or even two hours straight without a single interruption. Really! Most people today have to retrain their brain to NOT multitask, but the results will be worth it.

Avoid Procrastination

Stay Ahead of the Curve

Who hasn't put off writing a dreary English essay or working on a presentation for work until the last minute, only to spend all night awake and flustered? The best remedy for this is to not get in that situation in the first place. Do the important things first and stay ahead of the game. This will also lead to a lot less stress and maybe fewer ulcers. The Pomodoro technique was developed in the 1980's and involves working twenty-five minutes at a time, with five minute rests in between. After the fourth twenty-five minute work period, rest for thirty minutes.

Shed Personal Commitments

This can especially apply to college students, but just about everyone falls into the trap of trying to please everyone, especially in today's world of divorce and blended families. When work piles up or big exams are around the corner, try to put your foot down and tell everybody that there are to be no interruptions for a week or two. However, life's not always that simple. Perhaps a compromise can be reached here. Suggest that if you are given privacy for the time needed to finish your obligations, then in return all the relatives will meet for a fun weekend at the beach. Try to negotiate until a fair situation can be reached for as many people as is realistic.

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