When someone brings up essential skills for independent living, time management might not be at the top of your list.
It’s probably not one you would think of until your to do list has gotten out of control.
This post is the 2nd in a multi-part series on helping your child to succeed at moving out on their own or how to "help your kid move out and stay out."
This post covers how to help (ahem) "your child" establish good time management skills. I'll help you get the basics of good time management by sharing
Maybe you don't feel like you have time to manage your time. Making time for time management is like using a wish to ask for more wishes. It pays off in spades.
"You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.” - Charles Buxton
So what is time management exactly?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines time management as
“the practice of using the time that you have available in a useful and effective way, especially in your work: He's intelligent, but poor time management is limiting his success.”
Time management skills are most often addressed as productivity. You’ve probably heard of some of the top experts in this field, like Tim Ferriss, Craig Jarrow, or David Allen. These guys are next level, high performance advisers to the most successful people in the business world. Definitely worth investigating, but a little intense for the beginner.
In this article we'll hit the basics – effective, easy tasks and methods that even a kid can start doing now. For the purposes of this article I’ll articulate the definition of being good at time management as such:
Being good at time management means organizing your time intentionally and prioritizing activities that efficiently advance you towards your goals and honor your values.
Why are good time management skills important?
Good time management is essential to success. And it's not limited to success in the workplace. Success as a friend, parent, spouse, fitness, anything… requires good time management skills. Success in any endeavor requires giving it the proper amount of time at the right time.
Motivational public speaker and self-development author Brian Tracy says,
“Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life depends.“
It’s easy to let the seemingly urgent tasks of life crowd out the more precious and lasting priorities such as faith and family.
Living out your priorities and achieving your goals require being intentional and disciplined.
Time management is a particular challenge for young adults just launching out on their own. According to this article about half of the college kids surveyed felt like they were under-performing due to poor organizational skills and 88 percent of the college students said they want to improve their ability to manage their time.
For most kids, their schedules and priorities have been managed for them. Independence means unprecedented freedom and responsibility. Not knowing how to manage their time well can lead to missed deadlines, increased stress, and poorer performance at school or in the workplace.
It has been said that time is money, but the argument can be made that time is more valuable than money.
As founder and CEO of Life Hack, Leon Ho put it
“If you lose money, you might get a chance to make it back; but a wasted hour is irreplaceable.”