8 Essential Time Management Skills for Homeschoolers
Time-management is an essential skill that’s a must-have regardless of your social status, occupation, and portfolio. No matter who you are in this life, a president, a CEO or a student, time is constant, and each of us has the same 24 hours daily. The only distinction is how we manage it. If you feel that there isn’t enough time in a day, then the only rational explanation is that you don’t manage your time well. That is why you, as a homeschooler, should strive to cultivate practical time-management skills early in life. Once you hack the skills, it will be a smooth ride for the rest of your life. This article will outline 8 proven time-management skills that homeschoolers should learn and acquaint themselves with today.
1. Set Goals
Goals are desirable ends that you aspire to achieve. They are those visions, destinations, and outcomes that you always work towards. If you aspire to manage your time well, it should first be amongst your goals. Once your mind has registered that you have a goal of managing your time better, it will condition you to achieve it. In Napoleon Hill’s words, “What the mind believes, the body achieves.” Believe that you will achieve time-management.
As a homeschooler, your schedule is different from other school goers. You get to schedule your own time as opposed to those who are in school, where the school sets the schedule for them. Thus, when setting your goals, be realistic. Don’t get too ambitious. The premise is to set goals that are achievable with regard to your time and circumstances.
2. Set Priorities
As you get older and progress with your homeschooling, more subjects get added to your program. You get introduced to new subjects and disciplines which have to be worked on concurrently. But the time at your disposal hasn’t changed. You still have 24 hours a day as before, only the tasks that you need to carry out have increased. How do you go about it?
All that’s needed is prioritizing. You need to decide in advance the order in which you will tackle the subjects. Since you are a homeschooler, it is purely in your own prerogative to prioritize the subjects according to your preferences and rhythm.
In our experience, we have seen homeschoolers who decide to tackle hard or technical subjects during morning hours and take on the arts and less technical subjects in the afternoon. Others do the reverse as it is their preference. Whichever order you take, ensure that it works for you and enables you to perform tasks at their due time. You will have managed your time well.
3. Set a Schedule Task
It can be hard to manage or plan your time when you don’t have an idea what tasks you have to do. In a typical day, various tasks have to be done. Of course, your homeschooling program is one of them, then assignments, and probably some household chores and responsibilities later.
It can be frustrating to try to remember every detail of what you have to do. That is why a schedule of tasks is important. Make a daily or weekly list of all activities that need to be performed. You will remember them better and plan your time accordingly to perform them.
4. Focus on One Task at a Time
There is a notion that when you perform activities concurrently, you are able to get more done within less time. It has led many students to multitask a lot. One could be busy chatting on the phone while at the same time browsing the web and still writing an essay on the side. While it may be true that you can multitask, you only end up using more time to finish the tasks. Multitasking is inefficient and costly at the same time. Research has even proven that productivity tends to drop to a tune of 40% when one tries to multitask.
You’re better off focusing on one task at a time. It makes you utilize your time well and also come up with quality work.
5. Avoid Procrastination
You probably have heard the popular saying that procrastination is the thief of time. That saying bears the real state of affairs. It is a normal human tendency to put off tasks that have to be done. If you entertain this habit, you will find it hard to manage your time well. You will always have some pending tasks that are way past their deadline.
To gain power over procrastination, start the task in question. Tell yourself that it won’t take much of your time. Trust us, once you start working on it, you’ll get motivated to finish it. The power over procrastination lies with starting.
6. Set up Deadlines
Some people work well when they are under pressure to meet some set deadlines. Others will never work until there is an impending deadline. Thus, deadlines seem to have the ability to jerk people into action. Even so, they are important in time-management as they give a time period within which a task should be completed. They can serve as a planning tool. However, it is not sufficient to set up deadlines. Strict adherence to the deadlines should be present.
7. Take Breaks
It’s a good practice to always take breaks in between work. It may be tempting to put in long hours while working or studying in a bid to cover more. However, that is only a fallacy. There is no value you will be adding. In fact, you will only compromise on quality. Give yourself some rest. Have a short break between studying and working. Don’t view it as a waste of time. Rather, look at it as a moment to rejuvenate and recharge.
8. Learn to Say No
Many people struggle with being assertive. It’s a skill that even the high and mighty struggle with. This is true, especially when it comes to saying ‘no.’ Some people will always accept things that are not even a priority for them thus ending up wasting precious time. For you to manage your time wisely, learn to say ‘no’ to items or people that are not a priority. It could be social matters, projects at school or even recreational activities. Amicably say ‘no’ so that you can focus on what’s important. Your time is precious and should only be used to pursue only those activities that matter.
Time-management is indeed an essential aspect of life that needs to be cultivated as early as possible. This is a skill that homeschoolers need to know and master. Apply the above eight skills today to enable you to manage your time well as you learn and later in life.
Author’s Bio: Charles is a career mentor, content coordinator for essay writing service, motivational speaker & human resources consultant with over 10 years of experience in the HR sector. Apart from career mentoring, he loves photography and football. Find him on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook & Google+.
Tasha is a homeschooling mom to 5 and has been homeschooling for 14 years. Currently, her children's ages span from toddler to young adult. Tasha has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Social Sciences from Florida State University and is working on her MBA through SNHU/Berklee School of Music.