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One key aspect of managing time well is setting weekly goals. This one activity helps estimate time, prepare materials, and plan steps of action. When students set weekly goals, they can focus on what needs to be done to use time wisely and work smarter. With the many demands on students, honing this particular skill can make a tremendous difference. To help your student learn the skill, follow the steps below and then practice it several times until it becomes a habit.
- Choose one thing. It is likely that your student has several tasks or projects in one week but start with one and create the goal. Be specific with what needs to be accomplished and include the due date. For example: Finish the essay for English class by Thursday night.
- Estimate time. Think about how much time it will take to complete the goal. It is important to do this step in order and then see how close the estimate was after the project is broken into steps. Your student may need to change the estimate later, but don’t skip this step initially. For example: I need two hours to finish this project.
- Determine materials. List all of the materials that are needed to complete the project, even though some may seem obvious. This step helps save time trying to remember and find things later. For example: Computer, computer charger, essay outline, rough draft notes from teacher, works cited notes, page of quotes.
- Decide the steps. Breaking a project into manageable pieces makes it less overwhelming and naturally creates a plan to accomplish the goal. Think through each step that needs to be completed, and then estimate how much time it will take to finish each step. From here, your student can see how close the original estimate was and then plan when each of these steps needs to happen to reach the due date. For example: Step 1, Open rough draft and make all corrections given by the teacher. 30 minutes. Step 2, Incorporate more quotes into body paragraphs. 45 minutes. Step 3, Reread the paper to make sure the new quotes fit. 20 minutes. Step 4, Run a spell check and grammar check and change any errors. 5 minutes. Step 5, Create the Works Cited page. 20 minutes. Step 6, Look at spacing and other details and fix any errors. 10 minutes. Step 7, Submit paper on Turn-It-In. 5 minutes.
Getting in the habit of setting weekly goals will not only help your student in school, but also in life. This process of knowing what you would like to accomplish and then creating a plan to make it happen is essential to managing time well for all projects big and small. If you would like our complimentary Time Management Planning Kit, click on the picture below!