The Executive Functioning Skill of Time Management

Have you worked with students who need help planning and organizing their time effectively? They may need help estimating how long it takes to complete a task and may need help prioritizing tasks and activities based on their importance. These students may need help with the executive skill known as time management. What can school psychologists do to help students who struggle to manage their time? Let’s discuss time management skills and ways school psychs can support students in the classroom!

Which Skills Does Time Management Require?

Since time management is a higher-level executive skill, it requires several components, including the ability to plan and organize, create and follow a schedule, and monitor progress to see a task through to completion. To successfully manage time, students must also understand how to tell time, have estimation skills, and be flexible with their schedules.  When you are communicating with parents or teachers for students who struggle with time management, it is important to ask questions to determine which component skill might need support.

Teaching Time Management Skills

Did you know the Premack Principle is a research-based tool that can help students develop time management skills? Additionally, research indicates that assisting students in making a plan to accomplish a specific task and asking them to guess how long each step will take is an effective way to teach estimation skills. Have the student compare their estimate to the required time! If the two numbers don’t match, discuss what factors may have contributed to the difference.

If you are interested in learning more about time management and how school psychs can support students with time management weaknesses, check out our Time Management document by clicking the link below. 

Did you know that inside our Prepared School Psych community, we have additional information on this topic, including evidence-based strategies for time management, irrational beliefs about time management to share with students, and sample IEP goals! We have resources for many more executive skills as well.  Check us out if you are not a member of our community at today!

Dawson, P. & Guare, R. (2018). Executive skills in children and adolescents: A practical guide to assessment and intervention (3rd ed.). The Guilford Publications Inc.
Dawson, P., Guare, R., & Guare, C. (2013). Smart but scattered teens. The Guilford Publications Inc.