Holly Bell with Jordan School District shares seven tips for time management. She focuses on students, but all of the tips can be modeled by parents.
7 Habits of Highly-Effective Students
1. Study at the same time.
It's important to create a consistent, daily study routine. Students should establish a specific time of the day dedicated to studying. The earlier the better. Although, the brain needs a rest after taxing it for 8 hours. Allow 30 minutes to eat a snack and decompress. Successful students DO NOT procrastinate studying. Procrastination leads to rushing, and rushing is the number one cause of errors. Time management is a life skill.
2. Establish an effective study area.
Location, location, location!! Students need to find a place where they won't be disturbed or distracted. Not in front of the television, not in a bed, not in a part of the house where is a lot of activity, and preferably a well-lit location and sitting at a table or desk. It is helpful to have the area you study in be organized. Clutter can also be a distraction. When students are distracted while studying they lose their train of thought and are unable to focus -- both of which will lead to very ineffective studying. Most importantly, put your phone away!!!
3. Learn to prioritize and break things up into smaller bites.
Make goals and create a plan and break up bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable portions. Make a priority list and timeline of what needs to be done. Successful students DO NOT procrastinate studying. Procrastination leads to rushing, and rushing is the number one cause of errors. When it comes to executing the study session, students should have a healthy schedule of rests and breaks. Taxing the brain for too long can decrease performance. Having regular breaks can boost productivity. The 'Pomodoro Technique' suggests a 25/5 ratio (twenty five minutes on, 5 minutes off). Setting a timer helps them stay on task. Doesn`t have to be 25/5, but find a time interval that works for your student. It helps give the student focus and something to look forward to.
4. Start with the most difficult subject first.
The most difficult assignments or subject require the most effort and mental energy. Have them eat their broccoli first!! They should tackle the most difficult and pressing assignments first and then they can look forward to dessert (easier assignments).
5. Schedule everything!
Students should keep track of tests, assignments, work shifts, extracurricular activities, everything!! Using a planner, calendar, phone app, or whatever will help students keep track of everything. Making a daily schedule can prepare students for the day and help them look ahead. Younger students can draw pictures of their daily schedule.
6. Maintain healthy habits.
Having a healthy mind and body cannot be underestimated when it comes to school performance and overall life satisfaction. Eating healthy food and having good sleeping habits are essential. Students need optimal mental and physical functioning to manage their busy lives. Teenagers need between 9-9.5 hours of sleep and are getting 7 on average. Food needs to be nutritious. When parents are running students from one activity to another, they can keep a supply of healthy snacks and water in the car.
7. Tools of the trade. The right supplies can make all the difference.
•Create a folder system that works for your student. Preferably a one inch 3-ring binder (2 folders for high school students on a block schedule), a pocket folder for each subject and paper. Plastic folders are more durable and each subject should have a different color. On the inside of each folder write "to do" on one side, and "to turn in" on the other. They should keep the assignments and accompanying notes that they need on the "to do" side, and the assignments ready to turn in on the 'to turn in' side.
•Have a planner, calendar or phone app.
•Keep all completed assignments for each grading period in an accordion or hanging file, or whatever works for each student. Teachers aren't perfect with organization either. They lose things too and the student will have proof that they completed the assignment on time.
•Using a multi-pocket backpack can help with keeping things accessible. Scheduling a weekly backpack/locker clean-up is highly advisable.