We all know how hard it is to manage our time wisely, let alone our children who find it even more challenging to plan their workload for the day. They have homework every day, and with their long list of distractions, it gets challenging to complete school work within 24 hours. Here are a few ways to help your child manage their time wisely for maximum output.
Create a To-do List
Creating a to-do list every day reduces stress and increases productivity. Encourage your child to take a few minutes each morning or in the evenings to plan for the next day. Break large tasks into sub-parts that are less intimidating. Avoid multitasking as this distracts from the task at hand. It is best to complete one task at a time and cross them off the list as the day progresses. Seeing the finished list can be very encouraging.
Set Precise Goals
Your child should understand the difference between long-term and short-term goals. An example of long-term goals is to do well in the final Mathematics examinations. A short-term goal would be to master the topic of fractions. Setting goals allows your child to plan the steps needed to reach them.
The most urgent and important tasks should be higher on your child’s to-do list. Attempt these tasks first as it is sometimes difficult to complete everything on the to-do list within the day. For students, it is good to prioritise weak topics, especially at the foundation level. Our online platform, Geniebook, allows your child to focus specifically on these weaker areas.
Find a place where your child can entirely focus on work. Put away all electronic devices that are unrelated to studying like mobile phones and laptops so that they can concentrate better. Put on some background music if your child works better with it playing.
Group Related Topics
Different subjects require different approaches to thinking. For example, Mathematics involves numeracy skills as opposed to English. Avoid switching between many different topics as your mind needs to adjust to the type of thinking required. One tip is to revise one challenging topic a day and not mix them up.
Students receive many sheets of homework and study materials every day. Having a systematic filing system will save precious minutes, or even hours, spent looking for something in a cluttered mess. Organising with your child only takes less than an hour and will save many accumulated minutes spent searching for materials when they can be revising.
Create a Schedule
Having a schedule creates a time limit for each task. It establishes a completion goal and encourages your child to focus. Taking note of the time taken for each task makes us realise that we sometimes spend too long on something that could be done in a much shorter time. It also keeps track on time wasted on leisure activities like playing games or watching television. While it is essential to have breaks, do not overdo them.
While creating the schedule, also consider energy levels throughout the day. A task that requires higher cognitive power should be planned at the time when the child is most energised. For example, if your child’s toughest subject is Science, get him to start revising science in the morning when his energy is at his peak.
Studying is not a sprint. Allow your child to have some time to breathe by having breaks between study sessions. Your child will be more motivated and productive after short breaks.
One standard method is the Pomodoro technique. This technique splits study sessions into 25-minute periods with a 5-minute break after each one. There is a longer break after every four periods. There are many apps for the Pomodoro technique. Try this and see if it works for your child.
Almost everyone will agree that this is a tough one, and extremely necessary to overcome. Look at the reasons behind your child’s procrastination and find ways to handle them. A few examples are being afraid of producing “bad” work, not feeling like studying, or just having a bad habit. However, remind your child that it is so much less stressful to get started on a task than just think about doing it.
Students can also spend a few hours on the weekend to reduce the amount of work to be completed during school days. However, do remember to have plenty of time to rest and recharge!
Have a healthy lifestyle
A person’s level of productivity is linked to their lifestyle, as shown by many studies. Ensure that your child eats healthily and have enough sleep and exercise. It keeps energy levels up and in turn have better focus. The optimal hours of sleep are 7 to 8 hours. Compromising rest for extra hours of revision will do more harm than good in the long run.
Time management is pivotal to academic success. Your child can increase productivity by just removing distractions, planning a precise schedule and being disciplined.