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5 Good Things Time Management is REally About

The good news: A new topic has caught my fascination. I love the way it feels to want to devote time and energy to something I’m curious about. 

The bad news: The other aspects of my life are still very much present. How will I find the time to satisfy my curiosity with books and courses, build a new vocabulary, practice and apply new skills while maintaining everything else? 

More good news: I’ve had 40-something years with this wild, wandering mind and have learned through much trial and many errors what I need to work it into my schedule. It has me thinking about my students who struggle with time management. And why teaching them to write events and tasks into a calendar and planner is a good start, but really just a gateway to what’s really involved in time management.

I don’t think time management is really about using a planner. It’s a good start, but if you have a student between the ages of 14-20 something who struggles with this, there are some good reasons, 5 that I can think of, to explain why it’s probably going to take more than a planner.

These 5 good things that time management is really about will need guidance, modeling, patience, and, well, time, to nurture and develop. 

5 Good Things that Time Management is Really About 

1) Energy: What habits and routines do they have to ensure that they have the physical and mental energy to be aware, alert, and resourceful as they move through those plans? A big part of this means sleep. Something I think I’m going to start every “time management” conversation with in the coming school year. 

2) Resilience: I really appreciate Lisa Vanderkam’s work on time management. She taught me the concept of swapping a perfect schedule for a resilient schedule, which really relies on the resiliency of the scheduler. So many of my students resist planning because things take longer than they expected or new things come up that throw their expectations off course. Anticipating imperfection and learning the art of the buffer can help, but takes practice with the next condition. 

3) Self-compassion: Oh, friends. This is probably a life long skill to cultivate, but it’s worth the practice. Do you remember the last day that went exactly as planned? If you’re like me, and many of my students are, it’s easy to turn that into self-criticism and shame about not being able to keep up. And that creates time management’s nemeses: procrastination and lack of motivation. 

4) Communication: We often think time management takes place on the pages or screen of a planner, but it also takes place in our communication with others. Negotiating deadlines, reaching out to collaborate with others who can help us stay on track, explaining time conflicts, these all come up when we start working with a time management system in real life. 

5) Agency: This is really what I’m after when I teach a student anything about time management. What I’m really doing is helping them cultivate a sense of being in the driver’s seat on the path to meaningful goals. The calendar and planner is just the map, but they get to be the one in charge around here about moving forward. all my best, Tricia
Happy Grades Under Contract with How2Conquer Publishers


The 4 pillars I outline Happy Grades are all about supporting each and every one of those items above with practical exercises using the science of happiness to transform traditional skills for keeping up at school. If you haven’t done so already, get on the VIP list now and be the first to know about special promotions and ways to be involved with the fun book launch coming up later this summer! I’d love to have you with me on this ride of getting this book out into the world. 


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P.S. Lisa VanderKam’s newest book about time management is called Tranquility by Tuesday. It’s on my summer reading list. If you’re interested in a little book chat about it, subscribe and you’ll stay connected about this and other exclusive ways to connect only for subscribers to my newsletter. Would love to have you with us!

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