Great communities make great people. Great people make great communities. Action in love. Love in action.
It is that time of year again. Students, student-athletes, parents, teachers, and coaches are all wondering how to handle the academic workload. How to manage time. How to make sure that the people in our lives meet whatever standards that have been set. How to ensure peaceful and joyful growth. How to love in a loving way. How to love in traffic and chaos. How to love out loud.
The great divide in academic success comes at the intersection of make an excuse or make a way. The sign by the side of the road “that I do not have the time.” On the other side of the street is a sign that says “168.” One is an excuse. One is the right way.
I do not have the time usually means that a person simple can not figure out how to manage their time. Prioritizing is simple once the direction and goal are known. Detours are less likely when the destination is agreed upon.
In the other direction is the 168. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Successful people and unsuccessful people both have the same 168 hours per week to accomplish the same things. Successful people use the 168 to set priorities, determine paths, choose focuses, define purposes, and to stay on course to whatever it is that is being pursued.
Misdirected, disconnected, and unfocused people allow time to pass without using their 168 purposefully. The time is wasted and spent, leaving a vacuum of missed opportunities. In retrospect, there are short and direct roads to success to look down. In hindsight, there were clear roads to success in the rearview mirror.
Forward, there are ways to help our young people manage time. There are ways to help them stay on the right path, the easier journey, and the successful way.
If you want control of your 168, plan ahead. Know where your time bank account is being spent. Know what expectations are required of you by teachers, parents, and coaches. Consider sleep, meals, school, faith, family, and chores. Be aware of time spent on social media, watching television, listening to music, talking or looking at your phone, and workouts. Consider your practice time if you are a student athlete, and the time for study halls, homework, film study. Talk to your teachers in advance, let them know your plan for success, and use the connection to make sure that you stay ahead of responsibilities, assignments, quizzes, and tests. Use your time on school buses or car rides home for studying if you are not driving. Use the wait time for practices to begin for studying. Use the wait time after practice for studying. Confirm and reconfirm your projects due dates, and use your time in class for the reason you are there. To learn. Take notes, and share the notes with your teacher to make sure that you did not miss anything. It helps make the teacher better to know that their intended message was heard, received, and learned.
Know your young persons 168. It is hard to help them if you do not know where time is spent and how. You can not know these things if you do not ask. Ask about time on social media, time talking to potential dates, time texting, surfing the net, and listening to music. Know their assignments due, their work turned in, and what is coming due next. Know the teachers and coaches, and stay connected to them for the mutual benefit of your young person. Do not be afraid to ask or demand for headphones to be off when you are checking in on them. Shared information and IQ keeps the connection strong. Its much easier to help when connected. You know when your child goes left or right off the path if you stay connected to them. Set aside time to check in each week with your child. Ask about assignments turned in, assignments due, and what they are learning. Set aside 5 minutes to look over those notes that were taken. It speaks volume on what is going on. Feel free to ask the teacher to sign them and send home for review. The additional boundary of them knowing that you care and will confirm removes a lot of going off the path.
Offer the students access to you for checking notes, communicating with parents, and working with coaches. Truth is, coaches have some additional time and leverage with the student athlete. They have time and reason to check status and standing. The more connected the teacher-parent-coach-student are, the easier it is to be aware of status and standing. This removes the 23rd hour of panic, stress, chaos, and drama of not knowing that something is due, something is wrong, something is missing, something was missed, or something was not turned in. A few moments at the beginning or ending of each week can save the teacher from drama. Use it. Everyone wins.
You have the student-athlete’s attention and time. You have access to the student athlete 5-6 days a week, anywhere from 5 to 20 hours a week. Remember, the first thing remains first. Academics. If a student-athlete is struggling academically, the practice can not take precedent over the academics. Use that time to get caught up or ahead. Sometimes, the practice facility needs to be the classroom. Also, there are usually 10-90 teammates who are taking the classes as well. Often, the same classes. Take advantage of the team’s shared IQ. There are other teammates who took notes, got assignments, are working on projects as well. Let the team help the team. We rise together, so let them study together for the greater good of the teammate if needed. Ask for direct help from the teachers. Get weekly updates, or daily ones if possible. Get weekly communications from the parents as well. SHARED IQ. The more we know, the more we share, the more we agree on, the more we do together, the more success we have together. Teams that study together, and learn together, win together.
For some of you, this is already being done. Bravo, and thank you. If you are not, there is hope. The 168 is there for you to use. It has value, and makes sense. Use your 168. It is a plan for success.