By Vaibhav Datar
As we move into the dynamic
professional world, one of the major topics during induction is of time
management. Ever wondered why? Because we have never been formally taught the
importance of time, except for being on time for school prayers. Parents rarely
sit with their child to talk to them about the importance of managing one’s
time. Whatever we learn as a child comes from observing seniors and through
personal experiences. What if we could teach time management skills to our
children early? It would help them become efficient and productive at a young
Let’s look at a few things we
could do as parents to inculcate the habit of time management in children.
Maintain a calendar
Teach children to maintain a
monthly and weekly calendar with a daily to-do list. With a monthly calendar,
they would be aware of what they need to achieve that month. It also helps them
to prepare well, in case of emergencies.
A monthly calendar also makes for
a good talking point. For example, we could have dinner table conversations
with the child on activities he/she prefers in the foreseeable future. They may
want to go shopping or to the cinema, host a party or go to a game; it can all
be planned on the monthly calendar. This prepares us for what’s coming up,
while teaching children to plan ahead.
Learn to schedule
Let us teach the importance of
estimating a time period for a certain activity. So many projects fail because
the team could not estimate their work time well. Bad scheduling can lead to
catastrophic outcomes, with related activities going into a spin, simply
because a team leader could not estimate the time required for a project. People
tend to overshoot the given time frame and it can create a big mess. Let us ask
our children to estimate the time required for doing a particular activity. The
child will keep gradually learn to plan well.
Importance of time
A child who understands the value
of time will also understand the importance of being efficient and productive.
A child will not only believe in his own time management, but can also become
an ideal for his friends. The way the child performs his task and goes about
planning things, will prove how effective he can be. With time, he will learn
to manage time in a better manner.
“A time for everything and
everything within time” could be the mantra for our homes. There has to be a
time for food, like breakfast, lunch and dinner. At the same time, meal times
cannot extend beyond a particular duration. There has to also be a time for
studies, but students can avoid sitting for studies beyond a stipulated time.
This helps the brain to allocate resources in anticipation of say, meal times.
With time, we as parents can also
talk about timelessness, which is as important as time management. We find
ourselves engrossed in particular tasks so much that we lose track of time and
space. That’s meditation. What if we could teach that it is okay to forget time
when we are completely engrossed in the activity we are doing. For example, if
the child likes to paint, then let there be no fixed time. When the child is
finished, he will feel fresh and rejuvenated. He would be happy to have spent
quality time creatively.
The earlier we teach our child,
the importance of time, the better it is. The results of time management are
bound to be extraordinary.