PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Time Management: Have-To's, Want-To's, and Goals

What are the things we have to do in our lives? What are the things we want to do? All of these take TIME!


"Have-To's" need to be a part of almost every day. Whether we like it or not, we all have to find time to get them done.

  • Family responsibilities. You know the drill: household chores, helping your little bro with homework, keeping your room clean.

  • School and homework. You won't always be a student, but while you are, it's your job to give time and energy to your education.

  • Sleep. This may seem like a big "DUH," but it helps to be reminded: Sleep is a must for our bodies and minds, and doctors agree that young people need at least eight hours every night. If you think you can squeeze more time into your schedule by cutting back on Zzzz's, you'll probably find that you're sleepy and sluggish during the day, and wind up taking longer to do things anyway.

  • Eating and personal hygiene. We know, another big "DUH." But many people skip meals because they're running late. Taking enough time to eat so that you actually enjoy it, rather than just shoving cereal down your throat, will help you develop healthy food habits. The same goes for bathing, dressing, and other things that make you presentable to the world. If you block out time to do them and enjoy them, you're likely to feel better about yourself that day.


Fortunately, our time isn't just about responsibilities-we get to have some fun, too! "Want-To's" make our lives a little more fulfilling.

  • Activities. You might be a violinist, a soccer player, a painter, a poet, or a ballet dancer. Sports, the arts, and other hobbies are important because they help make us well-rounded and develop our bodies and minds. Plus, they just plain make us happy.

  • Chill time. Okay, let's not forget that you also deserve some time to just be you and do whatever you feel like, whether it's going to the park, hanging out with friends, reading a book, or being alone with your thoughts.


Many of our Have-To's and Want-To's get done because we set goals for ourselves.

Short-term goals are things we want or need to do that can be accomplished in a few hours or days. Let's say you want to bake a birthday cake for your dad. You might not think about it, but that's a short-term goal. It'll probably take just an hour or two, but making that goal and planning to achieve it will result in that yummy cake. Other short-term goals take longer; for instance, building a skateboard ramp or going through old boxes in the attic, which might happen over a weekend or more.

Long-term goals are part of the "bigger picture" of our lives -- our dreams and aspirations. Although they may take months or years to accomplish, they still take up time on a regular basis. These might include teaching yourself to play guitar, writing a book, becoming a better basketball player, or learning to speak French. Goals like these can't be achieved by setting aside one big block of time but rather, smaller blocks of time over a period of days, months, or even years.

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