As you or a loved one moves to a new grade, high school or college, the amount of work you or your child needs to do every year increases exponentially. If you find yourself constantly scrambling about at the last-minute to study, complete homework assignments or slap together an overdue project, you’re not managing your time well.
Good time management impacts your grades and performance as well as your anxiety and stress levels. Learning good time management skills will mean that you have more than enough time to do every assignment and study for tests and exams. This will really give you a chance to apply yourself and you will see your grades soar while your stress level drops.
Work Avoidance Behavior
We all have them; things we do to distract ourselves and put off doing tasks we don’t want to do. If you are finding it hard to motivate yourself to start your homework, you may choose to speak to a friend, surf the net, get lost on social networking sites, make elaborate sandwiches, play games or tidy your desk. Time spent doing these activities is wasted; you can’t enjoy them because you know you should be doing your homework and you are just delaying the inevitable.
Start monitoring the time you spend doing stuff and you will see where all your spare time went. Instead, locate dedicated blocks of time to checking your email and social networking and stick to your schedule. You don’t need to check your phone/tablet/email every five minutes. Reduce your work avoidance behavior and, when you catch yourself doing something else to delay homework, try to refocus and get back to work.
As a parent you can do many things to reduce your child’s avoidance behavior. Provide rewards, set goals, set times, make it fun and show you are interested in what they are working on and yet give them freedom to complete it in their style. There will probably be times when you will need to be stern but always try to avoid yelling and idle threats. Help your child understand the consequences of not completing tasks and clearly communicate what the punishments will be at home.
Work In Bite-Sized Chunks
When faced with tasks you really dislike, break them up into manageable sections. Do ten minutes of reading, read five pages, do half an hour of working on an assignment or 20 minutes of math homework. Work intensely for a short period of time and then go do something fun. When you break it up into these short, intense work periods, they are more manageable and you get everything done no time at all. When managing your child’s homework make sure you help them take breaks and then getting back to the books, study, homework or report. Helping your child do this early in their academic career will pay large benefits later.
Set out a study schedule that is realistic. Don’t think you can cram a whole year’s worth of work into a day’s learning. Time how long it takes to read each page of the work you have to learn for exams so that you can leave yourself enough time to study properly. Start early and do a little each day rather than cramming it all in at the last-minute. As a parent you need to be aware of what your child is suppose to be working on and assist your child in creating realistic expectations. As they advance in school grades your involvement in scheduling and monitoring should decrease as your child matures and learns from your lead how to get their school work done and still do all the other things they have to or desire to do.
Time management is an essential life skill for successful students, and successful businessmen and women. Learning to manage time effectively will make your life easier, less stressful and more fun. You will be amazed at how much your grades improve too! Ask your parents, tutors and teachers for help with your time management strategy.