A life-long journey of time management

Tick, tick, tick, tick…does this remind you anything? Time. It continually ticks, running eternally without pause. It is the most precious and finite resource. It accompanies us throughout our journey from the moment of birth to the golden years of retirement. Each different life stage presents its own challenges, opportunities, and demands on our time, so the way we manage our time is crucial.

From birth

Feeding, sleeping and playing are the three main activities for babies at this stage. Parents mainly oversee time management. As infants grow, they begin to develop basic time concepts, for example, day and night.

Early childhood

Children start to develop the concept of time in a more structured manner. They learn about days, weeks, seasons, and simply daily routines. Preschool teachers and parents are key components of this learning process.


As Children start school, structured routines become crucial for effective time management. Balancing academic commitments, extracurricular activities, and playtime requires coordination between parents, teachers, and the child. Developing time management skills during this stage sets the foundation for future success.


Rapid physical development arises, with a focus on social identity and self-exploration. Time management becomes critical as teenagers juggle academic pressure, social activities, and personal interests. The ability to prioritise and plan for the future becomes more important. They need to develop a sense of responsibility and accountability for time at this period.

University Years

Balancing classes, assignments, social activities, and possibly part-time jobs challenges young adults to refine their organisational skills and time management skills before starting their careers. They will learn how to prioritise tasks.

Professional Life

All of what we have learned about time comes into play now. We either realise we are time management pros from university or conclude that we absolutely suck at it. For me, it was the latter. I was never great at managing priorities and assignments, and it wasn’t until I began my professional career that I knew I needed to develop some strategies to succeed.

So, here are some of my personal strategies that have been a game changer in managing my time more effectively…

  1. Set up small and achievable short-term goals that lead you to the big long-term goals.
  2. Create a to-do list for the day. And a separate one for the week.
  3. Prioritise the tasks in your list, check each task’s importance and mark the deadlines.
  4. Allocate the time for each task; try not to multitask, as it will reduce overall productivity.
  5. Regularly review the to-do list and update them accordingly. (Some software can assist you with points 2-5 more efficiently.)
  6. Fully understand your own capacity; don’t overload it. Ask for help if you need to.
  7. Regularly review short-term and long-term goals and adjust if you need to.

As time goes by, we get a greater sense of stability in terms of career and personal life. We may start a relationship and form a family. Then, we face new challenges like managing family obligations and career advancements. Again, our priorities change. And how we manage time effectively becomes another learning curve. For me, the ultimate goal is to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

Old Age

As we progress to the later stages of life, hopefully, managing time will not be a concern. In an ideal world, we’ve already established good habits. With a lifetime of experience under our belts, managing time just becomes part of our DNA. We know what works for us and what doesn’t. But let’s be honest, once we retire, don’t we just get to sit back, relax, and finally not worry about time? Or perhaps it’s the opposite; time is vastly slipping away. Therefore, it’s a chance to maximise the time we’ve got left. Sounds bleak, but hey.

The evolution of time management across the various stages of life reflects the dynamic nature of human existence. Isn’t it fascinating how we have been learning about time subconsciously our whole lives? We do not often consider how we know how to prioritise tasks, manage responsibilities, and essentially grasp the concept of time. It seamlessly begins from birth, much like learning to walk.

If you don’t know where to begin, want to talk through something, or have a specific question but are not sure who to address it to, fill in the form, and we’ll get back to you within two working days.

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