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How to Teach Time Management to Teens

Posted by Michelle Osborn on

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As blunt as this may sound, teens who do not learn time management skills are at risk of becoming adults who procrastinate. In the adult world, their college professor or boss will not care why they are behind on turning in a paper or late showing up for work. 

Part of teaching your teen responsibility involves teaching them how to manage their time wisely. And it doesn’t stop there. It also involves helping them to not need recurring reminders or assistance from you to get their work done, wake up on time, or be early for an appointment.

Benefits of Time Management Skills

As a child approaches their high school years, they may think life is busy with school work, having a job, and any extracurricular activities. The truth of the matter is the adult world can be even busier. It is best if your teen learns time management skills as early as possible.

With that being said, starting with the benefits is a way to help shape their perspective of the skill itself. Let them know that perks of good time management skills include:

  • Reduced anxiety when something is due.
  • An increase in independence.
  • Enhanced responsibility.
  • Ability to make better decisions.
  • More time to enjoy things in life (such as family and friends).
  • Overall better performance in school (and work).

5 Steps to Teaching Time Management Skills to Teens

By this stage of development, your teen most likely has a fairly structured schedule. Their schoolwork and activities may already be planned out for them. As a result, many teens don’t take the opportunity to manage their downtime. 

Here are 5 steps to consider when teaching your teen time management skills:

Model good time management habits.

9 times out of 10 your teen will follow suit with what they’re shown. If you’re always running late and/or missing deadlines, they will naturally model that behavior. Practice managing your time wisely to show your teen that daily activities can easily be accomplished. 

Give your teen time management tools.

If you are the planner type, provide one for your teen as well. Even if you’re not the planner type, see if they’d be interested in using one. You can also suggest apps for their phones, a scheduler, alarms clocks, etc. The Student Work & Habit Tracker might be the perfect match for your teen or older child. Explain the importance of using tools to help create a schedule that helps them prioritize their time and activities wisely. (Check out the other schedulers and planners listed at the end of this post )

Encourage your teen to develop routines.

Although their school and work schedules may already be set, teens can begin to develop routines with other areas of their life such as healthy eating habits, exercising, and chores. Knowing what their days consist of can help cut back on wasted time, overuse of technology, and laziness. 

Encourage your teen to set goals.

Setting goals plays a big role in time management as they will give teens something to work toward. Having a goal in mind means they will have to complete tasks to reach those goals, and those tasks will require scheduling and prioritizing. 

Assist your teen with prioritizing tasks and activities. 

Conflicts in schedules are bound to happen - even in adulthood. Whether it’s a football game, birthday party, or church activity, discuss prioritizing tasks and activities with your teen. Help them create a schedule based on values and commitments. Encourage your teen to write down their schedule on a daily or weekly basis.

Here are a few planners to check out for your teen.

Distance Learning Planner

A Homeschool Planner That Encourages Independent Learning

Digital Student Planner Template

Teaching time management skills to your teen is one of the best life lessons they could ever learn. Although they are bound to make a mistake or two, knowing they will attempt to make the most of their time is one less worry.

Enjoying the journey,


  Michelle Osborn is the owner and founder of Yellow House Book Rental, specializing in providing homeschool curriculum for rent or purchase, as well as counseling and guidance for homeschool families. She is a wife of 32 years, a 22-year homeschool veteran, and mom of four amazing children and five adorable grandchildren. Three of her children are now entrepreneurs, running their own businesses and doing quite well. Michelle’s passions include serving by leading worship at her church and encouraging homeschool moms through one on one, social media and speaking engagements. She has found her niche in helping parents homeschooling their teens through the high school years and on to pursue their dreams

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