Most parents would be able to relate with our children, having lazed around the house all weekend, suddenly taking out their books and doing their homework at the eleventh hour. And this would be usually just before their bedtime. We just sigh and say…”kids!!!!”
Procrastination and / or a lack of time management is now almost deemed an integral part of children’s lives. And many children carry this trait on to their adult lives, with very negative consequences.
Does this have to be?
Children are exposed to some sort of time management in schools. They have school timetables. They have specific times for specific subjects. In addition, they have extra curricular activities on specific days of the week.
The most elementary level of time management would be the preparing of lists of things that have to be done. And ticking them off as they get done.
Why can’t this exercise be taught to children in schools? Until this practice becomes ingrained in them, much like reading and writing.This habit of preparing lists can slowly be brought to a higher level such as prioritizing, planning for longer periods etc.
My wife and I have started on showing our children the usefulness of checklists in general. With the younger children, we do not prepare task lists, but for example, lists of things to take along when we travel. The children seem to find this fun, and of use to them. Even my youngest girl, Ain, (8 years), digs into this exercise with gusto.
The two elder children and I use an Excel worksheet of a template for the year, divided into weeks and days. (Copied and adapted from Steven Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People).
Here, we update important dates and events. The week can be planned in advance and appointments etc., plugged in. We have found this to be very useful.
Please email me for a copy of this template.