By Christopher Hanvey
In today’s highly competitive world where academic excellence has become paramount, time management and self-management skills are considered to be the key to success. So, what is time management? It is the process of organising, planning and figuring out how to divide your time between specific activities. An efficient time management facilitates you to work smarter, and not harder. This enables you to get more work done in less time, even when you have tight schedules and high pressure. It is important for you to shift focus from activities to results when you are aiming at good time management; being busy isn’t the same as being effective.
As parents, it is imperative for us to inculcate effective time management skills in our children right from a young age, through ‘gamification’. The whole process would become easier when the daily tasks around the house can be turned into fun games such as dressing up, stacking up toys, brushing, and bathing. Teaching young children how to balance study time and leisure time can go a big way in defining how he/she will be able to manage the pressure of high school in later part of their life.
There are a number of ways in which time management can be inculcated in children across age groups:
Goal setting: For a child to inculcate the habit of time management, it is very important to plan his daily activities with the end goals in mind.
Prioritising: An effective time management strategy is to prioritise daily tasks. Urgent tasks (school work) must be prioritised over not so urgent tasks (leisure).
Eliminating distractions: It is important for a child to identify key distractions and strategise so as to minimise them altogether. It has been proven time and again that keeping a downtime for electronic devices such as mobile phones and laptops each day aids a child in improving productivity to an all-time high.
Scheduled outdoor time: Getting an hour’s outdoor play time is really important for a child to keep the mind, body and soul healthy.
Create a homework system: A good way to manage homework is to create a system to keep a track of it and not forget about assignments. Using coloured post-it notes helps in keeping track of completed and pending assignments. Alternatively, there are numerous apps available online for the same purpose.
Create blocks of study: Research suggests that short blocks of 50-60 minutes are more effective than sitting for hours at a stretch. Taking short breaks in between long study hours can help to focus better.
Reward system: Rewarding a child for completing tasks on time can be a great motivator provided you are creative in your rewards. Giving additional video game playing time, family night at movies or a family dinner can boost a child’s morale for effective time management.
Review of goals: Lastly, it is pertinent that as a parent you keep a check on your child’s progress and regularly help him review his goals for effective time management.
The world is changing at a fast pace. For the future leaders to succeed in a globally interconnected world, multitasking is essential on a daily basis. It is our duty as parents to ensure that our children are equipped with life skills to be able to achieve their aspirations.
(The writer is Director-Operations, Genesis Global School.)