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Teaching time management and prioritisation skills to your child

As a parent, you hold the key to unlocking your child’s potential and shaping their future success. In today’s fast-paced world, the ability to effectively manage time and prioritize tasks is critical for academic achievements and overall well-being and this is why teaching time management and prioritisation skills to your child becomes very important.

Consistent and disciplined time management is important, especially when pressure, stress, and anxiety all start to increase when our work increases. When this happens we start to feel ‘out of control’, especially when the task ahead of us exceeds the time we have to do it and therefore this can reduce the energy we have to ensure the job gets done to the best of our ability.

This comprehensive guide is designed to help parents understand the significance of prioritization and time management skills and provide practical strategies to foster their development in children. By equipping your child with these essential skills, you are setting them on a path towards academic excellence, personal growth, and long-term success.

significance of time management and prioritisation skills to children.


Benefits of Effective Time Management and Prioritization


Teaching your child the art of good time management and prioritization offers numerous benefits that will positively impact their academic journey and beyond. Your child’s ability to manage their time well is based on doing the following: Getting homework done on time, timing their tests properly, and not rushing or finishing too early. Getting to bed on time. Waking up on time. Reading and completing questions at the right time. Knowing the differences in managing their time across the different subjects they are learning. Predicting how long something will take to do with accuracy.

When children can effectively manage their time, they become more efficient and productive in completing tasks. By prioritizing their responsibilities, they can strike a balance between schoolwork and other activities, reducing stress and fostering a healthy work-life equilibrium. Additionally, the skill enhances their study habits and learning strategies, leading to improved retention of information, better grades, and a solid foundation for future success. Furthermore, mastering time management and prioritization cultivate organizational skills, boosting their confidence, independence, and overall efficiency in various aspects of life.


Strategies for teaching time management and prioritisation skills to your child


Time Tracking


Introduce the concept of time tracking to your child as a way to become more aware of how they spend their time. Provide them with a notebook or a digital app where they can record the start and the end time of each task or activity throughout the day. Encourage them to estimate the time it takes for different activities, such as completing homework, practising a musical instrument, or playing a sport.

At the end of the day or week, review the time log together and discuss patterns and insights. Ask questions such as: Did they spend more time on certain activities than expected? Were there any time-wasting distractions? Help them reflect on how they can better allocate their time and identify areas where they can be more efficient. This practice cultivates self-awareness, enabling children to make conscious choices about time management and identify opportunities for improvement.


Using Power Quadrant 


This diagram is called the ‘Power Quadrant’. It means just that: it adds power to your child’s Do list. Here’s how to use it.

Time management tool

Orange Box: Must complete this week. This is work due in the next week. Energy and nerves will go up.

Red Box: This will be work that will be due in 2 to 3 days. Requires 100% focus and attention and you will need to know how long it will take and what is required. Awareness and Motivation will increase.

Blue Box: Work must be completed by next week.

Green Box: New tasks to be completed in 2-3 Weeks’ time. Motivation to complete this work will not be high, so you will need to regularly review and refresh what is needed so you don’t forget. 

The bulk of your learning will be in the blue and orange quadrants. Remember the green quadrant is your to-do list. If you find yourself in the red quadrant: Don’t follow your new weekly timetable, Don’t prioritise your To Do list. Don’t be aware of new incoming
Lastly, as much as we try to prevent entering into the RED QUADRANT, sometimes it just happens.

At Performance Learning you can learn more about the Power Quadrant and various other tools that your child needs in order to excel in this fast-paced world.


Task-based To-Do Lists


Encourage your child to create task-based to-do lists that break down larger assignments or tasks into smaller, actionable steps. For example, if they have a science project, guide them in listing specific tasks involved, such as researching the topic, gathering materials, conducting experiments, organizing data, and writing the report. Help them understand that breaking tasks into manageable steps not only makes the work less overwhelming but also allows for better time allocation and progress tracking.

Emphasize the importance of prioritizing tasks by discussing which steps need to be completed first and why. This strategy helps children develop a systematic approach to tackling their workload and instils the habit of breaking down complex tasks into more achievable components.


Setting SMART Goals 


Teach your child how to set SMART goals for their tasks and assignments. Begin by explaining the concept of SMART goals, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Collaborate with your child to identify specific objectives for their tasks, such as completing a math worksheet with 90% accuracy within 30 minutes or finishing a book chapter before bedtime. Help them break down the goal into smaller milestones or subtasks and discuss strategies for achieving them.

Encourage them to set realistic targets that challenge them but are attainable. Regularly check in with your child to review their progress, provide guidance, and offer praise for their achievements. This strategy teaches children the importance of setting clear objectives, creating a plan of action, and working towards each goal in a structured and focused manner.


Rewards and Consequences


Establish a system of rewards and consequences to motivate your child to manage their time effectively. Set realistic goals or targets for completing tasks within specific timeframes and offer rewards when they achieve them. For example, if they complete their homework within a set time, they can earn a small treat, extra playtime, or engage in a preferred activity.

Teaching time management and prioritisation skills to your child

Conversely, establish appropriate consequences when they fail to manage their time or miss deadlines, such as temporarily reducing screen time, delaying a fun activity, or assigning additional study hours. Ensure the rewards and consequences are meaningful and proportionate to the task at hand. Regularly communicate with your child about their progress, acknowledge their efforts, and provide constructive feedback. This system helps children understand the direct link between effective time management and positive outcomes, while also recognizing the negative consequences of procrastination or poor time allocation. It motivates them to develop a sense of responsibility, self-discipline, and accountability.


Time Blocking with Visual Timetables


Introduce the concept of time blocking by creating visual timetables or schedules with designated time slots for different activities. Work together with your child to develop a schedule that includes their study time, homework, extracurricular activities, meals, and relaxation time. Use a whiteboard, a poster, or a digital calendar to display the schedule visibly in their study area or a common area at home.

Help your child allocate specific time blocks for each activity, considering their energy levels, concentration span, and the demands of each task. Discuss the importance of adhering to the designated time slots and the benefits of maintaining a consistent routine. Encourage them to refer to the timetable regularly and make adjustments as needed. This strategy provides a visual representation of how their time should be allocated and helps children develop a sense of structure, time awareness, and efficient task planning.



In conclusion, by instilling effective time management and prioritization skills in your child, you are equipping them with invaluable tools for success. By teaching time management and prioritisation skills to your child you are helping them with increased efficiency, reduced stress, improved academic performance, and a balanced lifestyle.

By implementing the practical strategies outlined in this guide and providing ongoing support and guidance, you pave the way for your child’s academic achievement, personal growth, and long-term success. Embrace this opportunity to shape their future, unlock their potential, and foster lifelong habits that will serve them well in all aspects of life.




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