03-25-2010 - MTFF: Time Management Lessons From 16 Boys and 15lbs of Flour!
The Grade Coach
MTFF: Time Management Lessons From 16 Boys and 15lbs of Flour! Sent Thursday, March 25, 2010 
March 25th 2010
Weekly tips for better grades with less stress from The Grade Coach

A Note From Julie

Hi ,

After postponing because of rain, my son's 11th birthday party finally happened. We all had great fun and the antics of all those boys caused me to reflect on what lessons I could pull out that would relate to their time management skills. May be in a few years they might be ready to hear them but for now I hope you will find some inspiration in these reflections.

This week's blog articles focus on MCAS and exam taking, as this is swiftly becoming the season! Good luck everyone!- check it out here.

I hope you enjoy this weeks articles.
Wishing happiness and success
Julie Baird


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    Time Management Lessons From 16 Boys and 15lbs of Flour!

    Picture the scene in my backyard on Sunday. After postponing for a week because of torrential downpours, my son's 11th birthday was finally happening. 16 11 year old boys with way too much energy fidgeted on my back deck as the format was explained.                   

    The challenge was to build a catapult and defensive barrier so they could attack the other teams with water and flour bombs!

    There would be 4 phases. Planning, building, testing and battling.

    Each team had an adult who would assist and cut wood if necessary but was not meant to really help. Each team had the same supplies of wood, rope, bungee cords and string.

    A great time was had by all and at the end 15 very messy boys were taken home and I was left to hose down the birthday boy.

    You can check out my photos on my Facebook page

    But how does all of this relate to time management? Well, from my safe and clean vantage point I had a good view of all the teams and came up with the following lessons.

    1. Time spent planning is well invested

    The team that actually did some planning (let's face it they are 11 and we told them they could pelt each other with flour and water once they were done building!) were able to spend less time on construction and seemed to had a more solid basis.

    2. Stay on task and follow the steps in the plan

    11 year olds are very easily distracted and keep coming up with new ways to do things and get up to mischief. In each team the only way things kept on moving was when they were all involved in the next step and the could see how it would lead to completion

    3. Have regular breaks

    I have never been so popular as when I blew the whistle for a hot dog break! Although they scoffed them down in record time, it provided them with enough of a break to send them off refreshed and refocused. The enforced time away from the physical "doing" let them rethink and regroup

    4. Keep the end in mind

    Without a doubt what kept them going was the idea of the battle at the end. It kept their energy level high (although at 11 that is not too hard!) and kept them focused on what the catapult was for. They were very intent on making sure it worked and would have enough reach to get to the opposing teams.

    5. If you have trouble focusing get help

    Undoubtedly if there had not been an adult present in each team, we would still have had loose piles of wood in our yard and the boys would have just thrown handfuls of flour at one another! Having the adult there helped them focus, challenged them to find solutions and think through their ideas. Fortunately for us the team coaches as they turned out to be also encouraged everyone to tidy up at the end.

    So there you have it. 16 flour caked boys, a backyard with a lot of white patches and some time management insights. Not a bad party at all! The only question is....how are we going to top it next year!!

    If you or your child are struggling to control your time and get the results you know you are capable of then it is time to take action.  The Focused Time Management System TM for Students avoids all the clutter and gives you the most important things to focus on to get you back in control of your time and your life. It's all step by step, not a big mish mash of things. So you do step one of the system, and when you're done with that, you move on to step two, and so on. So easy!  All the tips, tools, and worksheets are handed to you on a silver platter.  E mail me at Julie@thegradecoach.com to arrange a time to chat over your issues and see if I can help.
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    You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:The Grade Coach Julie Baird helps overwhelmed students through High School and college with time management skills so they can get back in control of their lives and get the grades they deserve with less stress. Julie publishes the FREE weekly E-Zine "Make Time For Fun" for students and their parents. If you want valuable tips and resources to get more done in less time. Sign up now at www.MakeTimeForFun.com

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    More articles are in our blog

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