Is Time Management an important skill?

In our daily routine, there are lots of tasks that are generally mismanaged, and usually end up in incompletion and chaos. Have we ever wondered what is the cause of this mismanagement? Could this be a mismanagement of time? Is Time Management an important skill? If yes how do we learn this? And most importantly how do we teach our kids the value of time?

The problem is, that we are generally unaware of how much time each task takes. This leads to missed priorities, inconsistent schedule, and often end up incompletion of most tasks, and finally end up ‘late’.

In an era, where multitasking is an expected trait, having Time Management skills has become more than necessary. So, today we have compiled a few tips and tricks to make sure that our kids are better equipped to take on the world with Time Management skills.

Segment 1:

4 – 7 year olds:

You might wonder, what time management can these kids have? It is not about managing time for these kids, it is about introducing the concept of Time, and understanding its value.

Step 1: Small consistent steps.

Start small, but be regular is the motto. Introducing time means, having a schedule for their daily tasks. Like what time should they take bath, what time they should watch TV, and importantly how much screen time. You need to be specific. And you need to follow it regularly for 1 week. Just 1 week.

We should tell you, that no change in the world is easy. Resistance will be there from your kids also… but it is very very easy to mold them at this young age… try to implement this for just a week and you will see the change.

Step 2: The power of 5 mins.

When we have to introduce a new activity for our kids, we try to go overboard and do it all at once. Our aim will be to finish the given task. The process takes about an hour. Our kids don’t want to do it and we want them to finish it. But when a task is about 1 hour, it stresses everyone out in the process.

Start small. Say you need to introduce a reading habit for your child. Set a schedule for that. Every day, before bed, I will make my child read for 5 mins. 5 mins are the key here. No more, no less. Just 5 mins. After 5 mins, we need to stop.

The important thing is to do this regularly every day of the week. 5 mins don’t sound like a big task for anyone. Be it you or your child. This will be a welcome change for both.

You might wonder what will happen in 5 mins. It is not about 5 mins, it is about consistency, it is about the calm feeling over the overwhelming feeling that takes over you. Remember, 5 mins every day is more effective than 1 hour in a month.

Segment 2:

8 to 12 year olds:

This is the age, where they already have a routine. School, extracurricular activities, and homework. Have you noticed the scheduled tasks being completed on time and without any hue & cry? If yes, give a pat on their back and if that is not the case, try to inculcate a short and simple time plan which is a mix of studying and having fun.

Step 1: Have a full-day schedule.

Since they are busy throughout the day, it is important to teach them to manage their time. Else, we have seen many times kids miss their breakfast, or in a hurry, they might miss carrying some of the important books. All these can change by simple Time Management.

Sit with your child and plan the day. Wake up time, bathroom routine, breakfast, school and homework, dinner, and prep for the next day. To help you with this, we have given a sample schedule sheet. You can use this to schedule the day.

Enjoy the calm and relaxed feeling at the end of the day, knowing very well that you are all prepared for the next day.

Step 2: New habit

In the well-known self-help book Atomic Habits by James Clear, it is mentioned “We don’t need to do anything for a long time. We just need to do each of the tasks, however small, consistently to get good results”.

At the age of 8 to 12, is there something new that you want to introduce to your kids? Say exercise or mediation? Introducing mediation at a young age has innumerable benefits. We will learn more about this in our next podcast. How do we inculcate this habit or any other habit that you want to introduce to your kid?

The rule of 5. Just 5 mins a day. Squeeze in 5 mins of a task in their daily schedule, meditation or reading the newspaper, or certain household chores. This will also help them to be independent. And because it is just 5 mins, they won’t feel like it is a burden.

Another important point is, do not push them beyond 5 mins, till the time it becomes a part of their routine.

Segment 3:

13 to 17 year olds.

The inscrutable teens! This is the time when they are transitioning into adolescence. They are not kids anymore, so, you really can’t tell them what to do. But this is also the time when they need time management the most. A lot is going on for these kids at this age. Studies are one of the big aspects of their life, along with friends, and entertainment.

Step 1: Microproductivity

At this age, kids are old enough to come up with their schedules. But, they need your guidance and support. They also need to be monitored for time management. Check-in regularly, if they are sticking to schedule. I know how important it is for them to study, but do not nag them to add more study hours. But, make sure that whatever time they have set is followed regularly.

Microproductivity matters. According to psychology, when you break down any task into a smaller task and do it regularly, all of a sudden it looks simple and easy. The same studies, your kids were detesting before, now becomes easy. The key factor is sticking to the schedule, however small. Do not push for more. Push for small but regular.

Step 2: Discussion time.

The world is moving at a very fast pace. A lot of new technology, new innovations are being introduced to the world every day. How do we make sure our kids are up to date in this ever-changing world? Simple, add 5 mins to their schedule for new topics.

Every day, after dinner, the family meets up in the living area and discusses what new thing your child has learned today. This is also such a beautiful bonding time. Isn’t it?

In the end, what we would like to share with you is that kids are talented in their way. It is our responsibility as parents to guide them in the right direction and help them unfold their talents. Time management is still something as adults, we are struggling and we have realized how life-changing this skill is. It is time for us to take this to our kids in small steps.


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