Parents know all too well the importance of time management. While saving money is often a top of mind topic, saving time is equally important and a life skill worth developing.. What are some ways parents can help their kids improve their time management as they transition through college? Let’s consider how they can take control over their time and accomplish goals effectively.
Students should be able to balance their studies, social life, and job without being stressed. The most important thing to realize is that they have the power to decide what they want to accomplish with their time every day. School work should be their main focus in college, but it should’t be their only focus. Time management will give them the opportunity to have free time and do what they want when they want throughout college.
School work management:
When parents think about a college schedule, the first priority is school work. Balancing the class schedule can be tricky. Students who don’t properly time manage will find that due dates and tests will pop up unexpectedly, leaving them unprepared. To help manage this, early in the semester use the class syllabus to map out due dates on a smart phone calendar so reminders automatically pop up at the right time. Creating a digital “daily planner” can make it easy to break down projects and allocate time to completion.
Parents should encourage completion of work ahead of time when possible. Just because something is due Tuesday doesn’t mean it should be done Tuesday morning. Cramming and procrastination lead to poor and sloppy work. When students learn to stay organized and don’t wait until the last minute, more time is available to complete their work to the best of their ability.
Parents can help their students identify realistic goals they want to achieve. Goals can be big or small, but instead of setting impossibly high ones, students should figure a way to organize several tasks that help accomplish a greater goal over time. Parents can provide some perspective by helping to analyze and break down big goals into smaller more achievable steps. When getting started, students need to think clearly about the actions required to reach the goal. For example, reaching a high GPA needs consideration for the amount of study time required for each class and may even need extra help for very challenging courses. This may mean setting aside extra time to study or meeting with their professors a couple times a week. Goal setting teaches students to be proactive, which will be a big help after college.
Although school work is important, so is making time for other things they may want to do. Studying and homework should not take up all of a student’s time. If your child uses a digital planner to decide when they will complete each of their assignments, they will give themselves plenty of free time to do what they want. Social events can become tempting during college, especially if their friends are nagging them.
Parents are wise to encourage social aspects of time management to create a truly balanced schedule. Students can use their social skills to their advantage by organizing study groups with new friends they have made in class. This is a great way to learn valuable information about a class that may not have been possible alone.
Parents know that a healthy lifestyle is achievable with the right time management and this knowledge can really help students. Proper sleep, a healthy diet, and exercise all contribute to giving students the energy needed for their day. Sleep is critical to college students. Making sure they get a good amount of sleep every night will get them through the day without taking naps in class. Having a healthy and balanced diet is also important to keep students alert and energized throughout the day. Exercising a few times a week is a also good way to take a break from work while bringing energy levels up.
Time management is easier said than done, but if your child practices, it will soon become habit. After college, they will have to learn to balance just as much, if not more, so it is important for them to learn how to manage their time while in school. Once students identify which methods work best for them, they can begin implementing a successful time management plan that can be applied now and in the future.