Archive for December, 2011

Are Your Critical Things Getting Done?

Time Box Trading is a time management system which gives you some flexibility and freedom while making certain that the most important things actually do get done.  One of the most difficult challenges for students is the leaning toward ease and spontaneous fun moments while still managing to meet their daily responsibilities.

Many will resist tight hour by hour scheduling outside of school but the truth is by the time you add in all the scheduled after school and weekend activities there is often very little time left over.  Unfortunately these conflicts can result in the child or teen having a generally unfocused way of doing things which usually leads to stress or disaster of some kind.

With the Time Box Trading method you put activities and commitments in hour long boxes (usually divided into 1/2 or 1/4 hour segments) and move them if the need arises.  For many students this leads to the usual running out of time to finish the project or study for that big test.

When you are doing the Time Box Trading system you can be flexible but after you have run out of “Flex Boxes” your only choice is to LOCK DOWN the remaining boxes and finish your important task.  This is best done by putting a heavy red outline around the boxes which must be locked.  If you always keep the commitments in the locked red outlined boxes at least the critical things will get done! 

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Bright Eyed and Ready

Any time students have a break of a week or more off from school it is important to get them back into regular school mode by starting that process a few days before their first day back.  If you can return to sleeping hours which are not more than two hours different from their regular going to bed and getting up times that will be most effective.

The body has built in waking and sleeping rhythms called Circadian rhythms.  These are often referred to as the “body clock” and upsets in normal sleeping and waking times can have a very negative effect on both physical and mental performance.

If your child or teen has traveled across several time zones during the time off from school it can be particularly tricky to get back onto a normal schedule.  This is most evident when experiencing jet lag. 

If you can get your child back on a normal sleeping schedule from three to five days before the first day of school you will get best results.  It is really helpful if at least two days before the first day back your student can wake up and go to bed within one hour of the usual school day times.  If you can only get back to two hours earlier or later you will fall inside that two hour zone.  The body clock can usually make that work.

You will be sending a better rested and more alert child off to school on the first day back.  

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Homework independence simply means your child actually gets the assignments written down correctly, brings home from school the books and materials needed to complete the work, and completes the work on his own.  That means they are not depending on prodding from you to get the work done.  What a concept!  Yes, it can actually be done, and perhaps more easily than you think.

If the student thinks about doing homework and can see a MENTAL PICTURE of where all the necessary items are he is far more likely to be willing to start the work than if he is facing a frustrating and sometimes fruitless task of having to round up all the books and materials he needs to get started.

Consider this.  You need to prepare a dinner for the family.  What would be your level of enthusiam for getting started if you could picture in your miind exactly where every item you need is placed?  Also everything you need is already in your kitchen just waiting to be pulled out and prepared for the dinner.   All your dishes and utensils are clean and ready to use.

Contrast that with your willingness to start to prepare the same meal but you are missing one critical item and have to go to the store for that.  Some of your dishes and utensils are not clean and your key chopping tool you need is GONE!  You look everywhere but it is nowhere to be found.  You search for 20 minutes and finally give up and leave out your favorite ingredient.  Now it won’t taste as good as usual.

If your middle school student can work with a system for making sure she always has all the proper materials at hand to start the homework, there will be a lot less resistance to getting started.  A truly exceptional tool for this purpose is the Pace-It Homework Instant Organizer System.

  Once students get the system and learn how to use it they can be organized and confident the very next day!


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