4-H Teaches Time Management for School, Life

By Chasity Turner

The school year is now in full swing, which means homework and other tasks are piling up. Kids everywhere can get quickly overwhelmed.

It takes practice to prioritize tasks and budget the time needed to complete them. Children involved in the Florida 4-H Youth Development Program learn valuable time management skills that can be applied throughout the school year.

Time management is an essential tool that 4-H youth learn throughout their 4-H experience, said Stacey Ellison, associate state program leader for Florida 4-H, the UF/IFAS Extension youth development program.

“In 4-H there are literally hundreds of projects, events and activities a young person can choose from. Youth quickly learn when and where to devote their time in effort to reach their personal goals,” Ellison said.

Kata Muellerleile said 4-H has helped her practice managing many commitments at once.

“Personally, the leadership and citizenship projects have taught me valuable life skills, such as properly managing my time,” said Muellerleile, Florida 4-H state council vice president.

“In almost all of my school group projects I naturally step up and help lead the group. A specific role that I naturally step into is to make sure that everything is done in a timely fashion, and 4-H is the organization to give credit to in teaching me the skills and continuing to help me build upon them,” said Muellerleile.

“Not only has 4-H taught me how to set a schedule and agenda but to make sure I do my very best while completing the task in a timely manner,” Muellerleile said. “4-H has helped me delegate the time I need for each school lesson or activity, as well as create personal time for my family and myself.”

One way to stay on top of everything is to create an organizing system. Whether that be creating a to-do list or getting a planner, staying organized will help save time.

“If it wasn’t for 4-H, I wouldn’t have a planner to schedule out my day to day schoolwork. My planner is my best friend,” said Muellerleile.

Most 4-H youth choose to participate in several projects and events, so they learn early on to organize by priority.

“Our 4-H youth learn the necessity of prioritizing and efficiently completing the most important tasks in a timely manner. They also learn they can’t do it all.  This can be disappointing, but they also have the opportunity to practice self-discovery, determine what is important to them and take proactive steps to make time for those important items,” Ellison said.

Time management is something that most of us struggle with at some point.  4-H members have a head start in life because they have the opportunity to develop and exercise these skills in a safe environment.  In 4-H if a young person falls short of a goal, we pick them back up, reassess and help them try again using what they’ve learned.  Growth, not perfection, is the goal, Ellison said.

For more information or to get involved in Florida 4-H, visit www.florida4h.org.

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