“How important is time management to a hairdresser?” I asked.
“Very important,” was the reply, “especially in a busy salon like this with so much going on.”
I glanced around quickly at the seven or eight clients, all at different stages of hair treatments, and the hairdressers hovering about them. The client beside me sipped a cup of coffee and flicked through a magazine while waiting for her timer to go off.
“What happens if a hairdresser doesn’t have good time management skills?” I continued.
“If you don’t have them, you have to learn them,” replied my hairdresser, “otherwise it would be too stressful. You have to keep your eye on the time and not do more than what the client has booked in for. Clients do not like to be kept waiting for more than a few minutes. Some hairdressers take longer to do things than others, and if they can’t keep up, they need to find work in a quieter salon.”
Hairdressing is not the only occupation where timing is important. Public transport is an area where time-tables are strictly observed. Have you ever experienced the frustration of being almost at a bus stop and seeing the bus pull out from the kerb before you can get there? It feels as though you are being punished for not managing your time better as you wait twenty minutes or so for the next bus to come.
Time management is a learnable skill and we owe it to our children to teach them how to manage time practically. Urging children to “Hurry up!” is not the answer as often young children don’t understand what needs to be done and how long it will take. It is far better to say:
“It’s time to put your toys away . . . it’s time to put on your socks and shoes . . . it’s time to put on your coat . . . it’s time to go out to the car now.”
Even older children (and some adults) don’t have much idea of how long it takes to do things. Timing how long it takes to shower, dress, clean teeth and brush hair can be helpful for planning when to begin to get ready to go to school or work. Estimating how long it will take to walk to the bus stop and then timing it may help to plan when to leave home to catch the bus in the future. Setting an alarm on a clock or mobile phone to get up at a certain time every morning can give you a head start on the day. Using alarms as reminders to do certain things can also be useful as well as setting them to signal when a task should be completed. Making sure that special events are not missed becomes easier if the events are written onto a calendar and the days are marked off every day.
Clocks, timers and calendars are all useful tools for helping us to manage our time and our lives effectively. Help your children learn to use these tools too.