How to help your student improve their time management skills


If your student struggles with time management, there’s hope. You can help them get their time management skills in tiptop shape. Here are a few of our favorite approaches.

Figure out why

To get better at time management, your student needs to identify the underlying issue. If they miss deadlines or constantly feel behind, encourage them to think about how they currently manage their life. Common pitfalls include: 

  • Lack of balance.
  • Disorganization.
  • Perfectionism.
  • Taking on too much.

Since the number of hours in a day never changes, how they use them makes all the difference.

Think like a machine

The basic concept of thinking like a machine is to start managing tasks like a computer: just start steadily working. If your student spends less time multitasking or procrastinating, they’ll have more time to devote to getting things done.

Computers are great at managing interruptions. You may click a button 50 times, but the computer is going to complete whatever it’s doing before getting to that click. Your student needs to treat their interruptions the same way. If they’re getting a ton of texts or emails, they should wait until they’re done with a task before responding.

The time in time management

Instead of working from a to-do list, your student should try working straight off their calendar. This changes their mindset from task-based to time-based. A calendar will force them to see deadlines and know exactly how much time they have to accomplish something. It can create a stronger sense of urgency to complete time-sensitive items first.

The calendar view of their schedule will help them see when they have a lot of projects due and when they have less pressing things during their week. They’ll immediately see when they need to adjust their social schedule in favor of a due date.

To continue improving time management skills, your student can take this time management quiz.