About Workforce Echoes

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Time Management

As the holidays approach, I find it more and more difficult to keep all the balls in the air and manage my time well. Time management skills are one of those skill sets we assume are innate to all of us; it isn’t taught in schools and is rarely taught in the workplace. You’re just supposed to know how to do it well. Unfortunately, many people do not and I think I know one of the reasons why this is so.

All too often, as employers or as parents, we expect the most important life skills to just develop by osmosis. We are willing to teach math, and grammar, and science and technical skill. But how much effort do we, as parents or as employers, put into teaching time management, conflict management, presentation skills, and communication? The skills we neglect to teach are the same skills that can make or break a person’s career in any field.

Consider how we teach children conflict management skills. How often do you hear both parents and teachers alike saying that kids need to learn how to work their problems out on their own? So, I guess this means we expect them to learn something from fighting, screaming, or withdrawing? How exactly does this teach them how to do it right?

Let’s just take a look at my youngest son. He is 11 years old. He is supposed to do his assigned homework 5 nights per week. He is also supposed to spend one hour per week, any time he wants, on a math website to practice math facts. He has to complete three pages in his spelling book each week and turn them in on Friday. He has at least 3 tests or quizzes to study for each week. He is also supposed to read 30 minutes per day, five times per week. That is just his school assignments. He also has daily chores in the house and he is supposed to practice his guitar 4 times per week for 30 minutes. Now, how is he being taught time management? He isn’t! I am on his case constantly, reminding him what he is supposed to do and making sure that he doesn’t forget anything. I am his time management brain. There is so much for him to do and remember that I just assume I need to watch over him hourly. But what exactly am I teaching him? Just as importantly, how many employers are STILL doing this for their employees?

So, what’s the answer? Well Workforce Echoes just happens to have courses available for many of these important but often neglected life skills. Taking time to learn these skills can go a long ways towards successfully keeping all those balls in the air and continuously moving forward. As a parent, well, I’ve decided to start teaching our courses at home as well!