Lee is an 11th grade student in a good school. He is smart, popular, and planning on going to a good college. He will likely be accepted to his first choice school. His grades are good. He belongs to some of the school's intramural sports teams. He is active in the drama club and works on the yearbook staff. Lee has many routine things to do every day, and on many days he also had to schedule special tasks or chores to accomplish the long list of things he wanted to do. Like many of us Lee was having trouble balancing his personal and his school life.
Lee is solving his time management problems using the same technique that his parents use. You see Lee thinks he knows everything there is to know about time management. He explains, "My parents are both successful business people and I just manage my time just like they do." It is true. Lee's parents have good jobs, earn a decent wage and seem happy. They spend most of their time at their jobs doing whatever it is that adults do at work. They each have their own computers at home, which they use to do office work in the evenings on holidays and during weekends. They are respected and admired. Perfect role models for time management. Or so it seems. Lee's parents like their parents before and at least a few generations more accomplish time management by doing what comes naturally. If they didn't have enough time to accomplish the required daily tasks, they would stay up late or get up early.
"I have just given up. There is no way I am ever going to get more than five hours of sleep in a night!" sighed Lee. It just can't happen." I have tried and tried, but I have just too much to do."
Sleep is often the only negotiable that many of us use to learn to balance our schedule and to manage time. It is a serious mistake to regularly manage time by decreasing our scheduled sleep time.
Sleep is not and should not be negotiable, especially for teens. Today we know that teens need more sleep than adults and need to sleep later than adults. We also know that sleep-deprived people do not think as clearly or function as well. In fact they can be dangerous to themselves and others. There is speculation that being deprived of eight hours of sleep impairs judgment and function about the same amount as 3-4 drinks of alcohol. Staying up all night to study for a test will have about the same effect on taking the test as having enough alcohol to make it illegal to drive in all 50 states! How could we possibly believe that sleep was where we would find the time?
Time Management is not using sleep schedules to get extra time!
1. Understand how to set priorities
2. Distinguish between the urgent and important needs
3. Identify three lessons of time management.
4. Learn how to get better at making better decision.
5. Become familiar with a time management system
6. Practice planning - setting daily, intermediate, and long term goals.