Lesson 3: Time Management and Organization

Click for introductory video for Lesson 3

In this lesson, you will interview the student, asking the following questions and recording the answers to complete a time use profile for further reflection and future planning. This will help them to think about their use of time. A printable copy of these questions can be found HERE.

  • How much time do you spend studying or doing homework each day?
  • Is this a specific amount of time, or do you work until your homework is finished?
  • Do you have a specific study/work area at home? What does it look like?
  • Do you study/work at about the same time every night?
  • Do you get distracted from your work easily at home? What distracts you?
  • How long can you study/ work at one sitting? Do you take breaks? How often and for how long?
  • Are there certain days when studying is harder to fit in?
  • Is there a time of year when studying is harder to fit in?
  • Do you keep track of your homework assignments and projects in a notebook or on a calendar?
  • If you have several things to study or work on in one night, how do you decide what to do? Do you make a plan? Do you prioritize?
  • Do you know when all your deadlines are?
  • What time of day is the best for you to study?
  • Do you tend to leave your work until the last minute?
  • Can you estimate accurately how long a particular problem/assignment/project will take to complete?

After the interview, you should arrange times for students to become involved with the following activities.

STUDENT ACTIVITY ONE:Time Management Chart
Students will need a chart with the days of the week on the horizontal axis and 24 hours on the vertical axis. This will give them a visual representation of how they spend their time. A printable example is found HERE.

Record your daily activities and how much time they take, including the weekend. Use a different color for each activity (e.g. eating, sleeping, travel time to and from school, class time, extracurricular clubs/activities, homework, leisure).

Once your graph is complete, evaluate the problem areas. For example, if you have athletic practices and music lessons on the same day, that will reduce how much time you have left for homework or leisure activities on that day. Each Sunday, set up a weekly plan that fits with your school and other commitments and post the plan where you will be able to see it as a reminder.

Study time includes all academic activities, including working on homework or projects, reviewing notes, getting ready for a test, or organization and scheduling. A printable example is found HERE.

Once you have established how much time you will allot for studying or doing homework, monitor how you use this study time. Make a chart with the following columns: day and date; assignment; time started; time spent; where you are; with whom you are studying; and distractions. Keep records for a week, then evaluate your problem areas. For instance, you may spend more time on homework if you start it later or if you are studying with someone.

Your study time chart can help you analyze how you study/work best, and you can use it to decide on the changes you want to make to increase your study time efficiency. Perhaps you will want to establish a regular time to start studying or set aside a certain amount of time each night. For instance, for students in grade 6, 20-30 minutes of homework, 5 days a week is suggested. For students in grades 7 and 8, 45-60 minutes, 5-6 days a week is recommended. In addition to a reasonable and regular study schedule, you might find out from your chart that you work best in a quiet place, away from distractions like ringing phones or family activities. If this is the case, you may want to find a regular study spot in your house that is comfortable, well lit, and away from family noise. You can then save more time by permanently equipping your space with everything you will need to work with.

Do not forget to start your study time by making a list of what has to be done (in priority order) and make sure to schedule a break (no longer than 10 minutes) which is added to your study time.

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