Friday, April 13, 2012

Teaching Time Management

When I was in Army ROTC in college I specifically remember the classes on time management.

This year I've been working on teaching the basics of time management and planning school work to one of my older children.  

Here are two important aspects of getting things done and in a timely manner:

Making a weekly schedule.  Here's the short version.
  • Before your week begins, make or obtain a calendar with each day of the week and include time slots in half hour or one hour increments beginning from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed.
  • Make a list of everything you need to do that week.  Include meals, exercise, grocery shopping, etc. 
  • Plug those into your calendar beginning with most important items first.
  • Voila.  It's like a puzzle.  Put things in realistic places.  Breakfast at 0800, lunch at noon, dinner at 6:00pm.  Exercise 0600-0700 (am or pm).  Medical appointments for the week...include travel time.  You get the idea.
Backwards planning.  This means when you know you have somewhere to be or something to do, figure out what time you need to be there and then work backwards to figure out what and when you need to do everything else to get you to your activity/appointment on time.  

For example, you want to see a  movie at 7:00 pm.  It's 3:00 pm.  You should be at the theater at 6:45 (not 7:00!).  You need to leave your house at 6:15 to park and get in the door at 6:45.  So, you'll need to eat at 5:00pm so you can eat and clean up by 6:00pm.  That allows 15 minutes to "get ready" to go- shoes and makeup on.  You need to cook dinner at 4:00.  You can play outside with the kids from 3:00-4:00, then follow your plan. 

 If you didn't plan like that you might just start thinking about getting dinner ready at 5:00 to get the movie by 6:45 and it just won't work- well, at least not without alot of stress.  

Start planning from the time you have to be there, and go backwards to see what you need to do, and  when you need to do it, to get where you want to be, and to be there on time.

If I would have followed this advice I would have planned to be in bed now, and started blogging earlier! 

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