Updated: Feb 4, 2022
Time is one of our greatest resources and effective time management is key to success. Adolescence is a period when it feels like time will go on forever, yet as adults, we know that time expires every day. No one gets back those expired days. Scripture warns us to make the best use of time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16 ESV).
Young people must develop effective time management skills if they hope to reach their goals and achieve their dreams. How can you help? Encourage them to follow these three action steps.
I. Self-awareness (This is the first step to change!)
Help students identify their current use of time.
Keep a log of ALL activities for at least two 24-hour periods. Use our time-log.
Choose a weekend day and a weekday.
Record each activity, hour by hour.
Help students evaluate the time-log.
Help students determine where they spend the majority of their time, then discuss the significance of those choices. Identifying "lost time", time that is unaccounted for can be particularly eye opening.
Identify and discuss “sabotaging” behaviors, such as distractions, disorganization, procrastination, misplaced priorities, or over commitment.
Allow students to discuss their logs and discuss strategies they want to implement.
II. Intention (Make a plan!)
Help students evaluate their priorities and set worthy goals.
Ask students to describe their “dream future” and listen as they share what matters most to them.
Ask them to identify short-term goals that could lead to their desired outcomes (for example, getting good grades for the current semester).
Help students develop new routines and strategies to achieve goals by listing doable, daily action items.
Encourage them to be realistic and seek a balance between productivity and relaxation that fosters joy.
Encourage students to seek God’s guidance. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (ESV).
Remind students to WRITE everything down! They should list big goals and daily actions steps. Tell students to place this information where they can see it easily.
III. Accountability (Persevere!)
Discipline alone is not enough to break bad habits and accomplish real change. Old patterns were not created overnight, and new ones aren’t either.
Help students create a game plan so they feel confident about stepping away from their familiar comfort zone, rather than feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
As students make these new commitments, where might they feel personal resistance? Help them strategize ways to be victorious in those moments.
Set a realistic time frame to reach each goal.
At the end of each day, discuss progress. Try to talk face to face when possible.
Celebrate progress along the way and determine relevant rewards.
Help students determine what they need from you, then follow through. Teamwork makes the dream work. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 ESV).
Help students with a “mindset makeover.” Focus on progress and personal best.
Progress is rarely made in a straight line. Help students focus on what they can learn from missteps.
Encourage students to go back to the beginning. Ask them why they chose their goals and why those goals were important.
Remind students of past victories.
Help students avoid the comparison trap. Focus instead on pleasing the Lord, rather than striving to please people (Colossians 3:23 ESV).
Effective time management and goal setting go hand in hand.
YOU can help students gain an understanding of time’s fleeting nature. YOU can help them learn how to take charge of time and reach their desired outcomes. YOU can empower students on their journey toward autonomy and success.
Let us help you! Prep4Success has developed proven tools to streamline students’ experience as they learn to manage time and set goals. Our new 6-lesson bundle, Time Management/Goal Setting, describes common obstacles to effective time management, then details solid strategies for sustained growth. Our tools and techniques are particularly helpful for students who may struggle with ADHD and executive dysfunction by providing specific success strategies to help them manage their time, their goals and their life!
Inspire your students to flourish! With the right tools and support, they can!
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Author: Kathy Pierce Howard, creator of Prep4Success Academy curriculum for educators and parents to enhance student motivation and success. For more TOOLS and to sign up to receive this blog go to www.prep4successacademy.com