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Teaching Kids Time Management – Part 3

Time Managment - A Guide for High Schoolers (9th - 12th grade):

Table of Contents

Audio Article

A Guide for High Schoolers (9th – 12th grade):

If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up ofBruce Lee.

TIME is a valuable yet perishable resource. Everything and anything that happens in our lives is controlled by time. Time is the essence of our living. It is precious, irreversible, and invincible! Unfortunately, time may seem to slip away so fast in today’s world since we have so much to do, especially when we cannot balance our chores and work.

Time waits for no man; manage it well!


A high schooler’s day is filled with numerous activities. They are expected to keep up with classwork, revise for exams, fill in the scholarship form, apply for college, participate in extracurricular activities and complete their home chores, to mention a few. With so much going on in their lives, mastering time management becomes a valuable skill.

1. Create a Planner:

A planner helps students have a high-level look at their activities and commitments and provides them an opportunity to understand actions that need prioritization and ones that can wait. Ensure that your child includes upcoming exams, practices, projects, work shifts, rehearsals, hobbies, sleep time, and extracurricular activities in their planners.

You can share the planner with other family members to know where the student should be at a particular moment. It becomes more effective when it is comprehensive and realistic. Students benefit more by checking the planner daily and marking every completed item.

2. Set Priorities Right:

The best way your child can put their planner into use is by correctly prioritizing their tasks. Every morning they should look at the planner before creating the day’s to-do list. The most urgent and essential tasks should top the day’s list, while extracurricular and enjoyable activities should finalize the day. Besides creating a to-do list, help your child to pull together everything they intend to use during the following day, such as school supplies, clothes, and books, before going to bed. By so doing, they will save a lot of time in the morning, which will translate to a better transition throughout the day.

3. Break Goals into Small Achievable Goals:

“The reason why most of your goals are probably not achieved is that you do not break down your goals into smaller units of work .”

Sunday Adelaja

The above quote shows how important it is to work on smaller goals to achieve bigger ones. Many tasks on your child’s list can be overwhelming when viewed as a whole. However, they can be manageable if they break them down into smaller pieces. Breaking down tasks makes it easy to complete large projects and eliminates vices such as procrastination that hinder productivity.

4. Identify Wasted Time:

It will shock you to know how much time your teenager wastes on unimportant things. But we are not here to judge since every average person spends considerable time every single day on not-so-important things such as scrolling through social media, sitting in from of the television, and surfing the internet.

You can assist your child in identifying the time that they waste daily and use it effectively. For instance, they can read an assignment on the bus or revise for an upcoming test instead of scrolling through social media. Saving a few minutes here and there throughout the day can help a high schooler to have more productive days and perform better in school.

5. Help them to Set Realistic Goals:

 “It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.”

Chinese Proverb

One of the surest ways to manage time effectively is to set a goal and work towards achieving it. Goal-setting gives students a way forward to carrying on their day. However, the goal is only beneficial if it is attainable and realistic. A too big or too small goal is not feasible and only sets a student for failure. Unrealistic goals can also result in discouragement and negative performance and cause students to lose confidence in their future tasks.

6. Don’t Easily Commit:

It is easy for high schoolers to overextend themselves with numerous commitments that compete with and demand their time. Let your child know that they don’t have to say “yes” to every request that comes their way. Instead, high schoolers should set clear boundaries limiting them from committing to activities that interfere with their goals.

It's okay to say "NO."
It’s okay to say “NO.”

7. Set Aside Time to Relax:

 “All work no play makes Jack a dull boy!”

Old English Proverb

It cannot be all work every day for your child; therefore, ensure that their schedules include relaxation time. For example, they can schedule a movie with the family once a week. You can also incorporate relaxation in their plan in the form of a reward. For instance, you can allow them to use social media for every task they check off on their to-do list.

8. Encourage them to get Enough Night’s Sleep:

 “Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Every morning, after getting a good night’s sleep, we wake up refreshed and with a new energy: We feel reborn. Similarly, a student’s brain requires time to shut down and recharge. This is achievable through getting enough sleep every night. Getting about 8 hours’ sleep causes students to feel reenergized and more productive the following morning. 

Ensure that your child has a well-cut-off time for assignments to avoid working late into the night. Include a constant bedtime and waking time on the calendar. Proper night sleep helps students be better time managers while making them sharper, more productive, and more focused than their counterparts.

9. Know When to Get Help!

If you detect that your child is drowning or overwhelmed by activities, encourage them to talk to you, a friend, a teacher, or a counselor. Feeling overwhelmed can hinder them from achieving their goals and lead to mental challenges such as depression and anxiety. It can also make it impossible for them to manage their time effectively.

Ensure that they get the right help by advocating for their needs to different experts. Also, help them balance their daily activities and live healthier lives by providing sufficient support and encouraging communication about their mental health and commitments.

Kids on the yard can help your child manage time successfully and overcome other life challenges.
Kids on the yard can help your child manage time successfully and overcome other life challenges.

10. Get in the Habit of Using Reminders:

While we discourage the overuse of technology, we cannot ignore its many benefits. One of them is reminders that help us to manage our time effectively. While they may have a to-do list, a reminder on your child’s phone can remind them of the time to begin and complete assignments. A reminder on the phone can remind your child to do their homework or to study for an upcoming test, even when they don’t have their planner with them. Reminders act as backup planners for assignments that students can easily forget.

11. Avoid Distractions:

Avoiding distractions is not easy, especially among high school students. Teenagers get easily distracted and love the distractions! They also love to procrastinate, especially when they are not ready to face a challenging task.

Your high school student can avoid distractions by turning off their phones when studying or doing their homework assignments. Likewise, they should avoid logging into social media platforms on their computers when studying. Ensure that the TV is turned off during study, and if they must listen to music, it must be without lyrics. Importantly,  let them eat healthy meals before they begin to study,  take breaks amid their studies, and have a water bottle on their study table.

12. Stay ahead of Schedule:

Please encourage your child to begin their assignment early so that they can work with precision and effectiveness. When they work early on tasks and refrain from procrastinating, they get enough time to research and tackle difficult questions without pressure. Starting nearly also allow them to divide work into smaller manageable chunks, which prevents them from experiencing burnout. Working ahead of schedule also gives students time to seek support from their parents and teachers whenever they encounter a challenge.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Why is it so difficult for my child to manage time?

1. It Could be they don’t know what they want! It is not apparent what is essential for them and what to prioritize.
2. They probably have too much going on around them or have too many things to consider.
3. They probably re-adjust their schedules now and then due to distractions
4. There could be some people interfering with their plans.
5. They probably procrastinate or do not know how to prioritize their tasks.
6. They are likely to spend too much time on social media pleasure or chatting with friends.

Why is time management a vital skill among high school students?

As your child moves from middle school to high school, their commitments and responsibilities increase, calling for better time management. Learning time management helps high schoolers meet all their timelines, which improves their performance. Proper time management can also cause high schoolers to increase their confidence and motivation to learn.

What are the benefits of high schoolers learning time management?

·         Time management improves responsibility. Proper use of time allows students to take care of their assignments and performance and always keep deadlines.
·         It prepares them for the career and business world, where time management determines one’s success.
·         Good time management leaves students with some free time to pursue their hobbies or things they enjoy doing.
·         Good time managers have more opportunities in life, such as jobs or college, since people love working with responsible people.

What signs show that a high schooler is a lousy time manager?

·         If they keep complaining of lack of time and seem out of control of their responsibilities.
·          If they keep on missing deadlines of school assignments and barely see through a task at home.
·         If their work keeps decreasing in quality.
·         Inability to create goals or achieve them.
·          Rushing at the last minute or trying to cram material at the last minute.
·         If they are always late for school or other meetings.
·         If they get easily distracted.
·         If they keep on procrastinating or multitasking.

Mastering time management is a valuable skill in high school.
Mastering time management is a valuable skill in high school.

Our Final Thought:

Clearly, students learn better and are more productive when they manage their time well. We also learned that good time management comes through prioritizing and breaking big goals into smaller, achievable plans. Proper time management allows students to accomplish more in less time, among other benefits mentioned earlier in this article.

Did you find this helpful? We would love to get your feedback.

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