Time Management

9, 10, 11, 12

The students will engage in activities to examine how they make use of their time, make an action plan, and create a to-do list to improve upon their own time management.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Class Period

The learner will:

  • document how they use their time.
  • utilize an action plan to better manage their time.
  • make a prioritized‘To Do’ list.
  • chart paper
  • markers, writing paper, pencils
  • action plans and a time allocation chart prepared in advance
  • student copies of HandoutOne: Time Management
  • optional: teacher-created handout for vocabulary
  • adjust: to shift, to make something fit better
  • advocacy: an act, or process of writing or speaking in favor of, or supporting, a cause
  • allocating: distribute according to a plan
  • analyze: to look at the details to discover key parts
  • optimize: to get the most out of something (an act or supply, etc)
  • philanthropy: giving time, talent and/or treasure and taking action for the common good
  • planning: creating a course of action
  • prioritize: to think about importance
  • prune: to cut back
  • setting goals: process of deciding what you want and creating a plan to achieve the result you desire
  • time management: a range of skills, tools, and techniques used to manage time when accomplishing specific tasks, projects and goals
Pose the following questions for students to write or discuss:
  1. What are some "unnecessary activities" that take up your time that you wish you didn't spend time on because they distract you from your goals? 
  2. What are some "unnecessary activities" that are positive and help you be more productive because they energize you?
  3. The activities on these two lists of what people want to do and don't want to do will be unique for each person. If students indicate that volunteerism or doing things that help others is energizing, discuss how these activities benefit the self and the community.
Discuss, "How might today’s work help you find time for the things you want to do?"


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask: Do you ever wish you had more hours in the day to do everything you need or want to do?Ask the students to "Think, Pair, Share" about the following question:If you had no time constraintsor obligations, like school or jobs,what are two things you would do with your time? Say, "After you have taken a minute to think about this question, pair up with a neighbor and share your response."Give the studentsa fewminutes to share their thinking. Then discuss this as a class, sorting the suggested activities by putting talliesinto categories such as sports/exercise, friends, volunteering, relaxing, art, and media. Discuss in which categoriesmost activities fall. Talk about the benefits of having time todo what you like to do.Tell the students that today they will learn some strategies for time management that just might give them the time to do some of those things.

  2. On chart paper, create a two-column chart with the title of “Time.” Label one side of the column “How I spend my time” and the other side “How I would like to spend my time.” Model forthe studentsfilling in a few items on each side of the chart. Fill in examples such as sleep, eat, school, and shower on the first side. Under the second column give a few examples such as exercise and visiting friends.

  3. Hand out blank pieces of paper and givethe studentsa few minutes to get started on their own charts. Then, havestudents share their ideas with a partner. They may add ideas prompted from the partner discussions.

  4. Revisit the original chart created as a model and show students how to assign hours/minutes to each item that is listed in the first column. Instruct the students to do the same on their own and count up the total estimated hours and minutes they spend on things.

  5. Gain the attention of the group and askstudentshow much time they have left fromtwenty-four hours aday that they already use up with activities in the first column. Ask whether there are areas where they spend too little time or too much.

  6. Now bring the students’ attention to the second column and ask them to each circle the item on their own chartthey would like to spend more time doing. Tell them they’ll be making an action plan for getting more time for that item. Discuss the benefits to themselves and others if they get more time to do that activity.

  7. Distributecopies of Handout One: Time Management. Readand discuss the steps of the action plan, and then givestudents time to complete the page.Have them share their plan with a classmate, discussing and adjusting their plan based on feedback.

  8. Discuss the value of making a to-do list from their time management plan. Modelmaking a to-dolist using your own personal goals. Showthe studentshow to assign a time frame and then show them how to assign importance andprioritize. Pass out paper and givethestudentstime to create their ownto-do list.

  9. Working insmall groups of 3 or 4 students,ask the students todiscuss and create a list of how adopting good time management skills might affect their lives. What might be different? Allow a few minutesfor whole group discussion. Now ask the groupsto think about how applying time management skills might affect their community or the world.

  10. Ask the groupsthefollowing question:"Should people set aside time to act for the common good (philanthropy)? Why or why not?" Allow a few minutesfor discussion. Ask each group to share the ideas generated about what might be different in their community and/or the world if people spent some of their time in service, volunteerism and/or advocacy for the common good.Have themdraw or describe what someone who volunteers or serves looks like. They can share their illustrations/descriptions with the class. Discuss their perceptions, and talk about howgiving and servingrelates to time.

  11. End this session using the suggestions in the Reflection and Youth Voice sections of this lesson.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Define philanthropy to include giving and sharing; volunteering; and private individual action intended for the common good. Explain how a volunteer individual/group can act for the common good.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Describe and give examples of characteristics of someone who helps others.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Define and give examples of motivations for giving and serving.