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Time-Management Tips for Teen

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: I'm trying to find ways to help my 16-year-old daughter manage her time more wisely. Lately, she seems to be burning the candle at both ends between school, a part-time job, softball, and other activities. Any tips you could provide would be helpful.

A: Do you remember when you were 16? Most teenagers are very busy people. Your daughter probably doesn't have too many activities if her grades are satisfactory and her health is good. The more successful she is in handling her time in high school, the more ready she will be for managing her life after graduation. Many of the problems students have in college are really time-management problems.

Time is one of everyone's most important resources. The first step in managing time is to find out where time is being spent. Have your daughter fill in an hourly time chart for a week so she can see at a glance where all her hours are going. She will be able to determine if she needs to cut back on an activity or may find out that she is spending too much time on the telephone, watching television, or listening to the radio. Your daughter may be surprised to discover how she is spending her time.

Once your daughter knows where her time is going, she is ready to set up a schedule. However, before she does this, she must set priorities determining exactly which activities are most important.

Some students like to plan their time by setting up definite activities for every hour. Others like to use a to-do list that prioritizes which activities to do first each day. For others, the best time-management tool is planning how many hours to spend on major activities each day. Have your daughter try the time-management plan that she believes will work best for her. If it isn't effective, she can try another plan instead.

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Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

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