Tips for Parents
Helping Students Take a Look at Their Time Management Approach
Time marches on — sometimes much too quickly. College students understand this as well as anybody. Unfortunately, what they don't always understand quite so well is how to manage the hours in their day. Thankfully, this month is Time Management Month, a great time for your student to look at bad habits and to figure how he can be much smarter about maximizing his time.
You can help by asking a few questions...
- How much time do you spend sorting through "stuff"?
There's a saying: "Stuff steals time." Your student may find this to be true every time she's shifting through the pile atop her desk or searching for something in her overloaded backpack. Encourage her to spend 20 minutes each week filing papers away and sorting through stuff so she knows where everything is. Getting in this practice can help stop the stuff shuffle for good!
- How much time do you spend online?
Ah, yes, it's so easy to do. Ask your student if he's every popped online to look up one thing, only to bounce to another and another... until he's spent an hour online in what started as a "five minute check." To save time, encourage your student to get in the groove of only checking his email or Facebook page a few times each day, instead of responding to every ding. Suggest that he turn off the sound on his computer if that'll help. And encourage him to play "beat the clock" when he gets online to do research — only giving himself 30 minutes to get in and get out. That kind of incentive can make him much more aware of how quickly the clock is ticking.
- How much time does other technology gobble up?
Ask your student how much texting and chatting on the phone she is doing. Is the TV on for several hours a day? Does she find that video games suck her in? These techy pursuits are fine, in moderation. Just encourage your student to be smart about how she consumes them. Maybe she doesn't need to call her best friend from home every single day. Maybe she can watch some TV shows online for free, thus cutting back on time wasted by commercials. There are options!
Time is our most precious resource. As your student thinks about what he wants this term to be all about, it's important for him to look at how he's spending his time. Sometimes old habits need to be bumped to make room for new experiences.
Advantages of Time Management
- you gain time
- you get more sleep
- you feel more motivated
- you don't get lost in "stuff"
- you reduce avoidance
- you don't cram as much
- you feel less anxious
- you are more productive
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