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Plans and Ideas on Time Management for Students

written by: dianahardin • edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch • updated: 2/8/2012

Emphasizing good time management will benefit students academically and socially as they continue to grow. It is a key foundational skill that can be taught through these tips and techniques.

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    Planning Time in Elementary School

    Materials List:

    • Notebooks, various colors
    • Stickers
    • Markers
    • Crayons
    • Ribbons
    • Bows
    • Glue


    The objective of this lesson is to help students appreciate the tools of time management by allowing them to create their own planner.


    Give students the plain notebooks, letting them select the color that most appeals to them. Tell students they can decorate the notebooks in any way they like, letting them use the materials provided. Inform students that their planners will be used each day to help them keep track of their time.

    Other Tips:

    Use colorful containers, pockets and files and color-code each one to a daily activity.

    Elementary students are positively influenced by the security and safety of a routine. Use this to your advantage. Plan a routine, and stick with it every day. If children can learn there's a time and place for everything, from work to play, they will form positive habits relating to routine. This will make it easier as they grow.

    Rewards are a great way to motivate young students. Offer simple daily rewards for basic time management. Give them a larger reward to work toward if they can show a pattern of good time management skills for an extended period of time.

  • slide 2 of 3

    Time Management for Middle School Students

    Materials List:

    • Design magazines/catalogs
    • Rugs/carpet
    • Chairs
    • Desk
    • Pillows
    • Bulletin boards
    • Pictures
    • Containers
    • Nails/hardware supplies
    • Paint


    The objective of this lesson is allow students to create a study area that appeals to them by decorating a designated section of the classroom to suit their personality.


    Talk with students before you shop. Allow them to work together to define a "style" upon which they can agree for their study area. Explain that this area will be for studying only, so their minds will automatically shift to work mode when they're in this area. Make sure they have a separate area for socializing. Work with them to decorate their area using the materials you have provided.

    Other Tips:

    Relationships are important for middle school students. Teach them that two (or three) heads are sometimes better than one. Use brainstorming sessions, group projects and study buddies. This gives students who are leaders an opportunity to lead and offers those who are struggling a different perspective for learning.

    Middle school is a time when students undergo a lot of physical changes. Make sure students understand the connection between time management and rest, diet and exercise. Teach students that they'll be able to accomplish more in the time they have when they're able to focus well and not be distracted by exhaustion or hunger.

  • slide 3 of 3

    Time Management Lesson Plan for High School Students

    Materials List:

    • Daily planner
    • Pen
    • Highlighter


    The objective of this lesson is to give students a sense of accomplishment and help them organize their time to find possible gaps or "wasted" spaces.


    Give students a daily planner. Use class time to have them fill in the pages with every activity they're involved in, including sports, music, academics and even social time. Discuss the idea of organization and how it can help with time management. Instruct students to check or mark off tasks as they're completed each day. Make it clear that there should be no activity or task that is not noted on their schedule. After a week of using the schedule, use a class period to discuss how it makes them feel to check off activities or look back and see all of the activities they have completed.

    Have students take a highlighter and mark areas in each day where no assignments or activities were scheduled. Discuss the idea of using their "free" time to accomplish small tasks, such as reviewing notes for an exam or reading a portion of a larger assignment. After week two, discuss whether or not students have noticed a difference in their evening workload when they fill in gaps of unused time during the day.

    Other Tips:

    Discuss the idea that being a good student sometimes means making choices or occasionally saying no. Students definitely need to have a balance of work and play, but overcommitment can be a problem. There may be times when a fun activity or even another school function needs to be declined for the sake of an exam or paper. It will benefit students to learn that no one can do everything all the time without serious consequences.

    Sometimes time management is about finding the best time to work. Help students understand that all time is not equal. Everyone has a time of the day when they're most productive. If students can find their "best" time, then they can focus studying around those times and relax during their less productive hours. Ask students to evaluate when they feel most productive, when they feel most inclined to take a nap and when they have the most energy.


  • Source: Writer's Experience

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