Time Management Lesson

Time is an amazing thing! We all have equal amounts of it! It’s something we all need, however, we all view it and use it differently! Is your personal and family time balanced or is it a hot mess? This Time Management Lesson explores a variety of concepts associated with time management, culminating in an engaging family planning exercise that will have your students thinking critically as they organize life events for a family!


  • Ask students to guess or estimate the approximate number of hours a day the average American spends on the following:
    • Sleeping
    • Working at a Job
    • Educational Activities
    • Household Activities
    • Leisure Activities
    • Caring for Children
    • Time with Pets
    • Miscellaneous
  • Give students the actual statistics based on the article titled, “American Time Survey“. Do these numbers surprise you?
  • Share this analogy with students: Imagine you had a back that credited your account every morning with $1440–with only one condition. Whatever part of the $1440 you failed to use during the day would be erased from your account and no balance would be carried over. Ask what they would do.
  • I believe most of us would draw out EVERY cent EVERY day and use it to our best advantage! The irony is that we do have such a bank and it’s name is TIME. Everyday each of us is given 1,440 minutes or 24 hours.
  • Ask students to think about where their time goes in an average day and generate a list. You could even ask them to keep track and create a color-coded visual illustrating what they did and for how long. It is very eye-opening…just like the initial statistics!



  • Have students share activities and things that take up their time. Generate a master list on the board.
  • To show students what crazy schedules can look like, have them participate in the Juggling Schedules activity. You will need items that can be tossed and represent a variety of activities listed such as: car keys (errands), wallet (job), play cell phone (social media), cooking tool (meal prep/eating/chores), harmonica (band), tennis ball (sports), white out (homework), remote for tv or game controller (screen time), pet toy (pets), hair brush (personal grooming)…you get the idea.
    • Stand in a circle, take one item from above and start tossing it around the circle. Keep adding more items, one at a time, and make sure to keep them all “flying”. Note: remind students to gently toss, not chuck their items to others!  If you use the balls linked above, use a sharpie to write the activities each represent on separate balls.
  • The juggling activity is a great lead into a discussion on using time more efficiently. Assign students to small groups and have them brainstorm 10 strategies to help individuals and families manage and use time more wisely and efficiently. Ideas may include: lists, planners, prioritizing, multi-tasking, delegating, setting deadlines, not procrastinating, not wasting time, saying NO, and being more mindful of what we are doing with the resources we have available. You may even want students to brainstorm a list of time wasters that impede us from practicing good time management strategies. These may include procrastination, being a perfectionist, being unorganized, never following through, etc.
  • Students share their ideas and we discuss and talk about examples. We end up discussing how their suggestions can work for us as individuals, as well as for parents who are juggling many different schedules for themselves and their children all day, everyday.
  • To illustrate what parents go through with trying to balance work and family with their time, have students work individually or with a partner to plan a week’s worth of activities based on the provided information within the below case study. This activity is an eye opener for students who don’t realize what their parents do to “make everything happen”!


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