Successful time management requires planning. Knowing your goals and priorities is important, but knowing the steps between setting your goal and reaching it is absolutely essential. Time management experts have developed many tools for helping people plan and reach their goals.
Here are three tools you can use to teach your students to manage their time:
- Gantt Chart
A Gantt chart is a tool for developing a timeline. Creating a Gantt chart is fairly easy.
- First, create a goal statement.
- Next, list all the steps it will take to achieve your goal.
- Then, plot each step going down the left-hand side of the chart in the order they must be accomplished to reach your goal.
- Finally, estimate the time required for each step and plot this time segment across the horizontal part of the Gantt chart. Overlap these time segments only when they can or should be accomplished at the same time.
Completing a Gantt chart will give you a much more realistic picture of how to spend and prioritize your time in order to reach a long-term goal. And a Gantt chart will give you a detailed blueprint to follow to reach your goal efficiently.
Another popular method for planning is the calendar method. You can use any calendar for planning and creating a timeline. There are online calendars, paper calendars, cell phone apps for calendar scheduling, and Personal Digital Assistants or PDA’s. Just be sure the calendar you use is easily portable so you can always keep it with you and can update it as needed.
Another planning tool that you can use is a list. A list can help you remember and organize what you need to get done. A To Do list contains the tasks you need to complete in order to achieve your goals. It reminds you of what you need to accomplish. You can have a master list of everything that needs to be done to accomplish your goal and then you can create a daily list to plan what you will do each day to get done what needs to be done that day, including planning specific time for tasks related to your goal.
Keep your list with you so you can refer to and update it regularly. Update your list by crossing off completed tasks and adding new tasks that need to be done. Urgent or important tasks can be highlighted or marked with an asterisk.
Thanks for tuning into our series on teaching planning and time management to your students. If you want to learn more about developing or teaching soft skills, sign up for a free soft skills webinar here.