Friday, June 7, 2013

Estimating Completion For Time Management

When working with students, especially in middle and high school, time management almost always becomes a topic of discussion. There is much asked of students today. When you factor in school life, home life, and social life, the "to do" list can seem overwhelming. One tip I offer is for students to assign an estimated time for completion (ETC) for each assignment.

For example, if a student gets a project with a future due date, she should take a few minutes to go over the project requirements and make an educated guess on how long it will take HER to complete the project. The important part here is HER timeline, not how long it should take the class. By applying a personalized ETC, the student can then fill in her schedule so that she meets the teacher's deadline without rushing to finish on the night before it is due.

The same process can work well on regular nightly assignments. In a previous article, I advised students to add "When?" and "Where?" to "What?" and "How?" for every assignment. Having an ETC will support an appropriate answer to "When?" because it forces the student to factor time into the process.

Time management is a difficult skill for many students (and adults!) to master. In the rush to keep up with the demands of life and school, time is an often overlooked factor in planning and execution. By taking a few moments to estimate how long an assignment or obligation might take you to complete, you can give yourself an advantage against last minute cramming and/or turning in work that is less than satisfactory.

This article originally appeared on The Thrivapy Blog (May 7, 2013).
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