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 Is your child always procrastinating?

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Time Management for Busy Students and Families


Within a few short years, our children move from a parent-controlled environment to expectations of independence. Students’ workloads, social commitments and distractions increase exponentially. The key to helping your child thrive and succeed through these changes is learning effective time management.


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Improving time management skills will help your student perform to their full potential, increasing productivity and harmony within your family. Start by getting buy-in from your student.


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Set goals and priorities

Nagging your child and demonstrating the evils of procrastination does not work because it is reactionary. Together, you must proactively set goals and prioritize.


  • Start a list. What does your student want to achieve with his or her time? All ideas should be respected and included.
  • Categorize. Which items are ‘must do’ and which are ‘want to do’? This is a great time to examine time commitments and weed out less important activities.
  • Prioritize. Order the ‘must do’ list and the ‘want to do’ list from most to least important.
  • Offer Guidance. Offer guidance if something vital (school work) is falling to the bottom of the list, but listen when your child insists on recreational pursuits! Don't hesitate to hire a private tutor to assist with some of the school work.
  • Choose Goals and Priorities. Along with academic pursuits, include at least two items from the ‘want to do’ list.
  • Commit. Commit to giving your chosen goals the necessary time and effort.


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Finding Time

To keep up with priorities, it is important to help your child develop time awareness.

  • For one week, work together to create a chart illustrating how time is spent. Can your student identify the time-wasters? Are these on the ‘want to do’ list?
  • Compare that chart to their list of priorities and goals. Have a constructive conversation about time usage and redirecting time to work toward those goals.
  • Work together to create a plan for a more intentional week. Be sure to include time for some of the ‘want to do’ items!
  • Check in (at least) weekly. Did your student stick to the plan? Does he or she need to make adjustments to be true to commitments?


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Make it yours

Personalize the process: Working at the right time in the right environment will produce the best results.

  • Best time to work? Is your student a night owl or a morning person? Are moods worn thin by a long day in classes, and a break is needed? Or would they rather tackle responsibilities right away?
  • Location, location, location. Have a designated location for academic work away from the ‘high traffic’ areas of your house, but not so hidden that accountability suffers.
  • Know your needs. Music or silence? Minimize the need to wander by keeping snacks, gum and water handy. Leave your phone in another room.


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Organization is Key

  • Insist on using an agenda. Use an agenda or pocket-sized notebook to record homework, upcoming tests and projects. Stay on top of what is coming down the pike. Ask daily to see the agenda: Are there upcoming tests or projects?
  • Break up studying and projects into manageable bites. If there is a test on Friday or a project coming due, schedule work time nightly during the week.
  • Discover the joy of working ahead. Call it ‘Anti-Procrastination.’ Aim to read past designated pages and complete assignments early when possible.
  • Use technology for good. Set timers to add breaks into a long homework session. Also, set time limits on ‘want to do’ activities. Consider using an app to block access to social media and gaming sites during the designated study time.


Developing effective time management habits is a valuable investment in your child’s future and your sanity. Heap on the praise as you move through this process! Reinforce how good it feels to be on top of things. Taming the tempest of time management isn’t simple, but with a proactive strategy and persistence, your student will be successful. For any educational concerns please reach out to A+ Tutoring 818-850-6284