FITTING 4-H INTO YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE
Julia S. Kelly, UF/IFAS Extension-St. Johns County, St. Augustine, FL
Situation: In an article published in the journal Perspectives on Labour and Income, 16% of teens identified themselves as workaholics and 39% felt they were under constant pressure to get more done than they could and 64% decreased the amount of sleep they had to fit everything in (Marshall, 2007). 4-H teen leaders often report that they feel too busy and have little free time. Seniors in St. Johns County who are responsible for their own deadlines (i.e. parents aren’t reminding them) sometimes miss deadlines because they were “too busy.” These youth are often juggling several non-4-H activities with 4-H activities and report feeling overwhelmed to fit everything in.
Objective: Youth create a balanced schedule including time for 4-H, school, family, peers, work and relaxation.
Methods: In an experiential workshop, youth completed a Time Balance Sheet, in which they account for the time dedicated to each of their activities. Once completed, the youth discovered whether they were overcommitted or under-committed. They identified which activities were flexible or inflexible. Discussion and reflection about the difference followed with an explanation of what each category meant for time management. They applied what they had learned by creating a weekly schedule that could be used the following school year (workshops were given at Third Executive Board in April and at 4-H University in July).
Results: According to the results of completing the Time Balance Sheet, more than 75% of participants reported being over-committed. In the evaluations given at the end of the workshop, (n=48), the following was found: 56.3% reported they would make a weekly schedule in the future and 12.5% said maybe. 41.6% reported learning time management skills and 29% learned to prioritize.
Conclusion: 4-H teens in leadership roles are often over-committed with 4-H, school, peers and family obligations. They are unaware of the activities that waste time and the lack of planned relaxation. The teen leaders in this workshop created weekly schedules which addressed those scheduling challenges, with the majority reporting they will continue to do so in the future.
Marshall, K. (2007). The busy lives of teens. Perspectives on Labour and Income, 19(2), 5-15. https://login.lp.hscl.ufl.edu/login?URL=http://search.proquest.com/accountid=10920?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/213989393?accountid=10920