When I was a high school teacher, I tried to teach my students valuable life lessons in addition to the English curriculum. Time management was a non-academic lesson I focused on year after year. I would ask for students to set deadlines for research, outlines, drafts and final papers and projects. My students were then evaluated on their abilities to meet their own deadlines, in addition to being evaluated on the content of their work. Failure to meet a deadline would result in a conversation with me about why they missed the set mark and how they planned to get back on schedule. I served as a coach to help them improve their time management skills.
By the end of the year, students could set their own scope, deadlines, and methodologies for assignments. Surprisingly, they would meet their requirements and, in almost every case, these requirements were more stringent than I would have imposed if I would have created them. In fact, I can’t recall a single student missing his or her final project deadline.
What I learned from my experience teaching time management is that anyone can learn it. Time management isn’t a talent reserved for only an elite few. Students from all different backgrounds and skill sets could master it, and they were only teenagers.
Clutter and time management are closely linked. If you have a tendency to say “I’ll get to that later” and procrastinate, then you’re more likely to find patches of clutter in your home. Mastering time management can help you to get your clutter problems under control and free you from stress. And, as I’ve learned through years of experience, anyone can learn time management.
If you struggle with time management, consider checking out the following websites from the LifeRemix network that often discuss time management techniques:
- Cranking Widgets Blog
- Dumb Little Man
- Happiness Project
- Pick the Brain
- Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Workweek Blog
- Zen Habits
Additionally, if you haven’t read David Allen’s Getting Things Done, you may want to start with it. There is an audio version of the book available through Audible if you don’t want to bring another book into your home to clutter up your bookshelf. The better you are at time management, the more likely your home is to be clutter free and remain that way.