Time Blocking For Students: What Parents Need to Know

Time blocking is a hot topic in the world of productivity. I’ve talked about it on the blog to help your business grow and created a template for time blocking. What we haven’t talked about is how it is an excellent time management tool for students.

Time Blocking Template

I think the easiest way to start time blocking is to use a spreadsheet or piece of paper to create a grid for the days of the week and the times of the day. Making a time map can get messy so my preference is the spreadsheet. If you are using paper use a pencil or erasable pens.

Whatever time blocking technique you choose make sure it brings a sense of fun to pulling your time map together.

You can get my template spreadsheet in this free Trello Template here to work with a time block schedule for your student.  I link to articles on the Trello Template that goes over my time blocking method.

How to organize my time to study better than ever?

Now that you have the template start by marking off time for sleep and meals. Next, mark any recurring appointments like rehearsals or practices. Finally, designate the times you will work on school work and practicing for extra-circulars, hobbies, or self-care.

It is important for your student to schedule downtime to avoid burnout. It may also be beneficial to schedule co-study sessions. Studying alone can get boring and having a friend to quiz you can help aid in learning.

Students working on project with laptop


Take advantage of study hall

Your students will spend a large chunk of their day at school. Whether in person or virtual. Talk to your student about what time during school that they can get started on homework or studying for tests.

Mark these times on the time map to remind your student to take advantage of this time.

How to manage time to study wisely?

One of the first things your student will need to do for effective time management and succeeding at time blocking will be to create an assignment list with due dates. Even better help your students to craft goals to keep them motivated.

Some goals for students may include:

  • Studying for a certain number of hours for a course

  • Completing all course work on time

  • Maintaining a certain GPA

Knowing what you are working towards will allow your students to allocate the right amount of study time on their google calendar. The list of assignments and goals can be kept in a google doc for easy reference.

setting goals for time blocking


Identify Time Wasters

Once you have your time map up and running and you are time blocking your projects and study time you may find that you need to adjust the time allocated in your blocks. Have your students time their tasks and make adjustments to the schedule as needed. Timing tasks is a great productivity hack for students that will boost the student’s productivity.

We often under or overestimate the time it takes to complete important tasks based on how we feel about the task at hand. If we like something we think it takes less time, while if we dislike the task we think it takes forever. Ahem, unloading the dishwasher.

Productivity apps for students

There are so many great apps out there to track tasks, manage projects, and help you to focus. A few of my favorites are Trello, OneNote, and FocusMe.

With Trello your student can create a visual representation of their day and task list. By creating headers they can use the time block method and drag and drop tasks into particular dayparts.

OneNote gives students the ability to store research for projects and keep class notes organized. There is even the ability to create flashcards to help with studying. If your student utilizes Google Classroom Keep is another option for storing information on research.

FocusMe allows students to block apps and websites so they can stay, you guessed it, focused. You can set up a schedule to match your time map for when you are doing focused work.


Project management for students

When starting to time block with students start with the end date or when a project is due. You then want to backtrack. Have your student think about the milestones of the project and assign due dates to the important tasks.

For example, if your student has a paper due you might set dates for the research, outline, first draft, second draft, and final paper. Mapping this out and putting dates on your calendar will keep you on track to your final goal.

How do you coordinate on group projects?

You don’t have to throw off your time blocked planning just because you have a partner or a group project. Coordinate your schedules and be clear on your boundaries. An easy way to coordinate dates for group work is to use a doodle. This app allows you to easily see when everyone is available.

When working with groups you may want to color-code tasks so you can see at a glance what has been assigned to who. Using google docs is a great way to collaborate when you can’t work together in person.

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Time Blocking for students
student worried about deadlines


How to become more productive at school?

Whether you have a middle school student, a high school student, or a college student they will benefit from utilizing time blocking techniques. Start general and then with time you can really drill down on what your student could be doing and when.

If you need help developing a plan for your student I would love to chat with you. Some times outside eyes will see the nooks and crannies and how it all fits together.

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