Employers say that time management is the most important skill for a successful nanny.
Time does not wait for any of us. In fact, we can’t really “manage time”. But we can manage how we use our time. Making plans, being organized and being on time are useful skills for anyone to have.
Are you a super-organized person who is always on time? No? Welcome to the club! But don’t be discouraged; time management skills can be learned and they get better with practice. You can use them to keep your home running smoothly, to balance your social life with your other duties and to help you in your studies. Most of all, strong time management skills will help you to be successful at work.
This chapter will focus on the following skills:
- being on time
- taking initiative
- listening to instructions
- organizing tasks
These four skills work together as part of the time management “team”.
The Essential Skills Connection
The above time management skills connect with the Essential Skills framework in this way:
A Time Management Checklist
You may have better time management skills than you think. Answer these questions and then rate yourself:
Do you wear a watch?
Do you have time most mornings to eat breakfast before going to work or school?
Do you usually arrive on time, or five minutes early?
Do you avoid showing up too early?
Do you write dates and times of appointments on a calendar or daybook?
Do you have enough time to do things that you find fun and enjoyable?
Do you manage to finish your daily tasks, like cleaning and shopping, so your life runs smoothly?
Would your friends and family describe you as a well-organized person?
If you answered “yes” to most of these questions you are well on your way to being a good time manager!
Time management is an essential skill and therefore it is transferable. This means that you can use it in many different jobs and in many different life situations. Examples:
- Taxi drivers work to strict time schedules and pick up passengers on the dot.
- Florists prepare orders for special dates. They can’t be late!
- Chambermaids must complete a series of tasks by the end of each shift.
- Cashiers make use of their down time to stock shelves and check prices.
- Parents get their kids to the right place, at the right time, with the right stuff.
- Students plan their free time so that homework and assignments get done.