Time management for teenagers matters. They have more demands
on their time and attention now than ever before. Phones, friends,
websites and worries… they all need to be managed.
Better time management has a number of benefits for them and you...
Life changing habits and skills for life are learned at an early age.
They study, work, rest and play more effectively.
Everyone in the house feels less stress, calmer and a better sense of balance.
There is more time for relationships to develop and deepen.
They are more independent… giving you more time.
12 tips to achieve better time management for teens:
Place value on time. The best way to value time is to become more aware of its finite nature. The best way to make your teens feel valued is to love them. And, as they say, love is spelt T-I-M-E. 'Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.’ - M. Scott Peck.
Deal with distractions.
Tip#1 is more of way of life than a specific action, but it’s true --
the more teenagers value their time, the easier they’ll find it to deal
with distractions, many of which are teen focused. Having said that, developing good study habits helps.
Many teens put things off. One solution is timeboxing. The idea is
to work for a ‘box’ of time. A self imposed limit on the minutes worked
reduces the resistance to starting. Even if they timebox 5 or 10
minutes, it starts the ball rolling -- usually the hardest part. Try
it, adapt it and keep at it -- timeboxing works.
Have a BHAG.
Does your teenager have a BHAG? Do you? A ‘BHAG’, or ‘Big, Hairy,
Audacious Goal’ excites, challenges and inspires. Chosen well, it will
transform a so called ‘lazy’ person into a motivated achiever. The
better they get at setting goals, the more effectively they will enjoy and use their time.
Use a system. Teach your teen to manage what comes in and what to do with it using simple time management systems. Deciding what to do and when to do it becomes so much easier when things are written down.
Many people, teens or not, can reasonably judge what’s urgent, but
not so many are aware of what’s really important. One useful way to
focus on what matters is to use the time management matrix. This is one of the most effective ways to improve time management for teens.
Sell the benefits. A friend of mine is fond of saying that ‘All communication is simply marketing’. If he’s right, share the advantages of good time management with the teenagers in your life. For example, how much more time could they spend doing what they want to do if they know how to get organized at home or school?
Learn how to say ‘No’.
Help your teenager to stand their ground and say ‘No’ to things they
can’t, won’t or don’t want to commit to. In the context of better time
management, saying ‘No’ is a skill for now, and a gift for life.
Learn to delay gratification.
Forget the teenagers; many of us adults need to learn this one! The
ability to delay gratification is the hallmark of maturity (which
doesn’t make it any easier to do). Developing this ability is just the
same as going to the gym -- start small and do it regularly.
Friends become more and more important as children turn into teens,
and who they spend time with will increasingly affect their attitudes
and actions. Whilst it is not always possible (or healthy) to engineer
friendships, increasing awareness of their influence is a significant
step towards better teen time management.
Mistakes are good -- they mean action has been taken which means
experience is gained. As your teens develop their time management
skills, encourage them to work through the inevitable slip ups. Nobody
manages their time perfectly. All we can ever do? Keep working at
Sleep well. All of the
above are that much easier to implement after a good nights sleep. What
are the sleep patterns in your house? How much technology is in
bedrooms? What impact does it have on sleep? Some teens stay up and
get up late, so discuss how things are working, what could be improved
and how to do it.
You may read these tips, but your teenager may not seem to want to know because, well… it’s you, isn’t it?
familiar? If so, communicate indirectly. Show, don’t tell. Modelling
good time management yourself and making time is a winning combination
to achieve better time management for teens.