Teaching time management to teenagers

Teaching Time Mangement to teenagers

It is of paramount importance for everyone to be good at time management. It becomes even better when you learn at a very early age, to be the master of your time. As a young person you will find that good time management will help you with your studies and with all the other

For you to better appreciate the concept of time keeping, you may need to know why it is so important. The reason is very simple, you get to make the most out of your day, out of the week, out the month and out of your life. It may not sound important to you right now, but in a few years, it will be very crucial.  

As a young person, you probably feel like there is never enough time to do anything. You probably have so much on your plate already, its school, family, friends, and your extra-curricular stuff. As if that is not enough, there are so many distractions in our smart devices, and you find yourself on a perpetual scroll. It’s possible that your grades are even suffering because you have not mastered the art of time management. You may be feeling overwhelmed and very stressed about how you never get to do anything, and that anxiety may be paralyzing you such that you do not even do things you could have done.

The sooner you immerse yourself in the journey of good time management the better your experience of life will be and the simpler these techniques are. It is simpler because you have fewer things you must take care of.  As a beautiful addition, you will be able to transition better into adulthood, you will be able to make better decisions. You will handle the transition into adulthood better than most of your peers

Understanding Time Management

 Just a bit of clarity, what is time management and what would it do for you? I like to define time management as the process of setting your life in order. It involves you putting your responsibilities and interests into perspective, it’s the process of trying to fit everything into 24 hours and becoming productive over time.

On any given day, it’s very hard to be productive if you don’t have a vision or goals for that day. You will find that the days waste away when you do not have a sure aim of what you want to achieve in them. So then time management is an essential tool of redeeming time and making the most of it, not in an aimless, busy, frantic but in a productive and progressive manner.

As you practice the principles of time management you will find that you will get to fully enjoy your extracurricular activities, you will

well at school and you will even get time to hang out with your friends.

The Impact of Effective Time Management on Academic Performance, Extracurricular Activities, and Personal Life:

My assumption is that your academics are the highest priority for you as a young person right now and it is very important that you do well in your school work. Once you learn how to manage your time well, you will be able to set your priorities straight and get enough time to study, complete your assignments and revise your schoolwork.

You will suffer from less anxiety and stress, because the more organized you are the more unlikely that things catch you unaware. You will probably always have enough time to study, you will have enough time to do a thorough research for your assignments. You see the anxiety that you get when you do not feel prepared, that feeling becomes a thing of the past.

In this article you will also learn that time management involves learning efficiency and how to avoid distractions. You will also learn how to balance your professional life (in your case its academic life) and your social existence and any of your other interests.

What are Essential Time Management Strategies for a Student

Here are the most important factors you need to know about time management, we will start by discussing the Eisenhower Matrix. The Eisenhower matrix is also known as an ‘urgent-important Matrix’. It is generally a prioritization system; it involves you writing down all your tasks and then rearranging them into quadrants. 

eisenhower matrix

The urgent and important quadrant should have the most important tasks in that timeline. You need to fill In the most time sensitive tasks, upcoming tests and assignments that are due soon.

The second quadrant of important but not urgent should consist of the things that are very important, like your end of year exams. At the beginning of the year, they remain just as important but they are not as urgent as your first class test. It is important however to invest time into the things in this quadrant so that you may avoid ushering them into the important and urgent quarter.

The third quadrant is the urgent but not important, I find that this is a very important quadrant as it helps you identify what is pressing but can be avoided. We often spend time and energy on things that we could do without, this will be your clear ‘do without quarter’, which you can always take time from to complete the important and urgent quarter.

Last Quadrant is ‘’the not important and not urgent’, these are things that you just do to flush time away. They are not important, and they are not urgent, you just do them. The whole idea of this grading system is to create self-awareness and to also help have little to no activities in the last quadrant.

How you Develop Time Management Skills?

Time management is a multilayered development and involves many facets of your life, now we will discuss the concept of time management and goal setting. In this segment we will discuss at length the things you could do to manage your time better.

  •  Setting Goals – setting goals is essential to good time management because it helps you allocate tasks to the hours in your day. For example, you set time for your morning routine, say 07:00 am and then you bathe and work out in the next two hours, such that by 09:00 am you are in class and settled. It’s a short term goal that enables you to have a cut off to your morning routine. Goal setting keeps us from wasting tons and tons of time and great opportunities.

o   Just a few pointers on how you could set your goals:

§  Use the mnemonic SMART. Which stands for Specific Achievable Relevant and Time bound.

·         Specific –Work towards a clear goal, breakdown each goal, to more specific points of action. Whatever the goal may be, break it so much you can fit each step towards it in your day.

·         Achievable – ensure that you do not set the goals so high that it takes so much to pull it off. Do not overload your day and do not overwork yourself. Please note that achievable does not apply to long term goals Achievable is only for the short term goals in relation to time. 

·         Relevant goals -try to set goals that are relevant to you, at the point that you are in your life right now. You are a student set academic goals; you are an athlete set diet goals. Be relevant to your main goal, identify the main goal and then set smaller goals that move toward the main goal.

·         Time bound goals – have a timeline for your goals, do not allow things to drag longer than they should. Make sure your goals also are small enough to fit into that frame.

  •  Do some time tracking – time tracking involves journaling or recording what you did during the day at the end of each day for plus or minus 7 days. Doing this will help you reflect on your days and try to eliminate all time-wasting activities.
  •  Prioritization – there is no method of learning how to prioritize except the good old-fashioned way. That way includes, writing out your dreams and goals down and then rewriting them in the order of most important. Doesn’t just end there, for each goal, you break it down to smaller action points and arrange that into the order of most important. So that you may know what you want to focus on each passing day.
  • Time blocking – try to do some time blocking, this involves allocating specific times for specific tasks and specific amounts of time per task. Then practicing the diligence of focusing on one task at a time.
  •  Overcoming Procrastination – I think we can all agree that we suffer from a great deal of procrastination. Therefore, I choose to deal with it in bits, break your tasks into very small portions and then have fewer goals to achieve in a day. That way you can be consistent with moving forward without beating yourself down and procrastinate because you procrastinated.
Why Students Struggle with Time Management?

As young people we don’t take enough time to study our lives and the environment we are in. You will get better at that as you grow, but before you are, here is what I have observed on your behalf. As young people we struggle with time management because of the following factors:

  •   We lack prioritization – sometimes we focus on what is urgent at the price of the important. Sometimes we just have it all wrong, what we perceive as important is a thing of instant gratification without real long-term benefits.
  •   Digital distractions – our smart devices have no doubt made our lives so much better, they have created new opportunities and interactions, but also on the same token it has taken away so much of our focus, it has so many ways of distracting us. It’s social media, it’s media entertainment, it’s the little logistics we feel we are handling when we are texting important people. If you are looking to be productive, if you are looking to be focused on the things you need to do, learn to seek silence. No TV, no phone, no Music, you will be amazed how much fewer your tasks are and just how quiet the world is.
  •   Overcommitment – sometimes we simply cannot say no, in fact we probably don’t know when we have too much on our plate. So we find ourselves agreeing to do more than we can handle. We wind up slicing ourselves way too thin, so thin we can’t show up for ourselves and our most important tasks.
  •  Procrastination – we are the generation that pretty much postpones everything. We do everything later than it was supposed to. Procrastination is a major reason some of us are struggling with good time management.
  • We lack Planning – we are struggling to plan our things effectively. We may be too spontaneous, maybe too easy going, maybe are waiting for instructions from a high authority figure. Whichever one is yours, I am here to say, plan your life. How each day is going to look, what you need to pursue, what your morning routine should look alike, plan it yourself. For the things you cannot, like school, don’t attempt to change it, just plan around it.
  • Poor time awareness – how often do you marvel at the time when you check your phone, on some “how is it 15:00 hrs already, I thought it was still 13:00 hrs”, sometimes we are simply not aware of how many hours have passed while we were not being productive. The other part of this we never really see, is underestimating just how much time a task may need, before you know it, you are behind schedule.
  • Schoolwork – you probably did not expect this to make part of this list. School is the biggest factor of your life right now; your whole day is populated with scheduled classes and assignments. This does not Waste your time so to speak, but it poses a challenge to the planning of your day, because already ¾ of the day is gone to an organized system.
  • Extracurricular activities – also a very good thing, however the challenge here comes because it becomes another thing to schedule into your already busy day.   
What if I never manage my time right? What are the Consequences?

 This is the part of the article where we will talk about the negative consequences of poor time management for teenagers. When you do not manage your time rightly, here is what will most likely happen to you :

  •    Increased stress and anxiety – if you do not manage your time well you most likely suffer from anxiety about any task you must take on. Whether it’s an appointment or an assignment, you will constantly feel like you are being rushed into things and the circumstances in your life seem to always have the upper hand. Being in control of some aspects of your life will give you ease, you just need to manage your time better to reclaim some of that control.
  •   Lower academic performance – performing poorly in your academics may come as a result of never having enough time to focus on your school work. Not being able to manage your time well, may mean you never get time to study or do your assignments which will always have a direct impact on your results.
  •   Hindered Personal Growth Opportunities – getting into the journey of learning good time management, you will realize that there is so much about yourself that you uncover. You learn about your interests, you acknowledge your dreams, you learn discipline. In this Journey you grow a lot as a person and each day you are a step closer to being the person of your dreams. Moreover, you also get to explore new areas of life, places you have never been. Once you manage your time well, you may discover that you have space to fit in another engagement that tickles your fancy. However, if you never embark you may never grow in the areas of your greatest potential.
The Importance of Self-Discipline in Managing Time Effectively:

No matter who you are and where you are, it is important that you master self-discipline. If you are going to be successful with learning and implementing good time management skills, then discipline is very pivotal for you.

Self-discipline is the act of restraining yourself from acting on impulse and doing things that are not scheduled for that time. It involves being able to fully focus on the task at hand and being able to follow your plans or schedule.

Mastering self-discipline is very empowering for young people as it will assist you to beat procrastination, have consistency and resist distractions. Let’s talk about how you could master self-discipline

  •  Set clear goals – this is appearing again in our talk. I cannot over emphasise just how important it is to set clear goals. It gives the dreamer a clear pathway to follow and when practicing self-discipline, it makes it easier for you to commit to a clear plan.
  • Create a daily routine – a daily routine should state your wake up time and the first duties of life every day. I believe that the waking up time and probably the activities of the first hour of life everyday are the same. After you have created your wake-up routine, write a schedule for the day and remember to fit in your studying and the breaks you  need for each session. Include in that schedule all the things you can complete in one day. Once you have that template, you can create a routine for your summer holiday or school term, whichever phase you are in, in your life.
  •  Use positive Reinforcements – instead of beating yourself down whenever you have failed to follow the schedule, try to focus only on the positives you have accomplished. Celebrate being able to complete tasks on time, thank yourself for consistently waking up on time. Note your efforts and reward them, that way you will keep your-self in a healthy loop of a sense of achievement.
  •   Develop a will power –  in trying to develop a will power you must start with living in the moment and being mindful about the moment, whatever you do make sure you are fully aware of what you are doing. Practicing meditation, upon reading the monk that sold his Ferrari, I learnt that meditation can be looking at an object and only the object for the spurn of time you want. Learning that much focus will help you focus on the tasks that you take up each day. When you can control your mind from wandering, you will be able to stay in control of your impulses and develop a strong will power.
  •  Practice delayed gratification – while we are on the note of rewarding ourselves, it is important that you learn which achievements deserve a mere smile in victory and the ones that deserve a practical appreciation. Teach yourself to reward yourself for bigger victories, long term goals and thank yourself for the little positive steps you take each day.
 Open Communication and Seeking Support:

We are not islands and even islands are found in the middle of a water body. We are more than welcome; in fact, we are advised to involve the people around us to help us become people who know how to manage their time well. How can we get them involved:

  • Set Clear Expectations – speak to your parents, teachers, siblings, and friends letting them know your schedule and what support you expect from them. not be shy, say what you need and expect them to it.
  •  Ask for resources – if you cannot afford to get your own things, ask your guardians to provide the things you will need for this journey. Things like planners, journals, digital calendars, and the list never ends.
  •  Monitoring progress – you can pick a mentor, or you can ask a parent to help by keeping you accountable. They can also in that role monitor whether you are making progress in your pursuit. Keep an open mind as they will also correct what you are doing wrong.
 Balancing Academic, Extracurricular, and Personal Life:

We can all agree that education is a lot of things, but it is not everything, get something else to do that is not academic. Do a sport, join a club, do community work, involve yourself in other things (legal and ethical). Once you manage time well, you will have time to spare, and you will get to add extra curricular stuff.

Also remember to take a break, it is important to rest and let your body and mind replenish. Allocate yourself time to rest, it is equally important as the time of studying, respect it. Rest is important as it reduces your stress levels, increases your focus and memory retention. Get a good night rest, sleep early even, get all the hormones you need for your brain to work at optimum levels.

Here is the most important Nugget


Life changes every time, our schedules change during the holidays from what they looked like during school terms. Well, I’m here to tell you that it is a constant in life, your schedule will keep evolving and you my darling need to keep up. So I hope you always keep an open mind.

  •  Acknowledge change – always have an eye that picks up an approaching change and a heart that is willing to adapt to change quickly.
  •  Embrace Flexibility – be flexible, some days things do not happen as you had scheduled them to go. Do not beat yourself for it, do not dwell on trying to make the day back to what it should have been. Learn to work around things and accept what you cannot change.
  •  Reflect on your schedule – learn to reflect and think on your current schedule. That way you will be able to notice when it needs to be adjusted so that it continues to serve you.
  • Mistakes – I can almost guarantee you now, you will make mistakes, you will waste time from time to time. You under schedule or over schedule, you will wrongly estimate the times needed per task. Take those mistakes and learn from and improve through them, do not give up.

Learning how to manage your time well is a form of self love and respect, you can be in charge of your life (as expressed by time). You will do better academically, and you will also get the time to do the things you love.