Guiding Students to Success: Time Management Goals for IEPs


Time management is a critical skill for students, particularly those with special needs, as it supports academic achievement and daily functioning. This guide aims to assist educators in establishing impactful time management IEP (Individualized Education Program) goals to enhance students’ ability to manage their schedules and responsibilities efficiently.

Understanding the Importance of Time Management Skills

Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to divide one’s time between specific activities. Effective time management allows students to work smarter, not harder, so that they get more done in less time, even when time is tight and pressures are high. For students with special needs, this skill is essential for reducing stress, increasing productivity, and improving overall academic and personal outcomes.

The Significance of Time Management Goals in IEPs

Setting time management goals in a student’s IEP can significantly influence their educational and personal success. These goals help students gain control over their time, which can lead to better study habits, less procrastination, and improved ability to function in a variety of settings.

Creating SMART Time Management IEP Goals

  • Specific: Define clear, specific goals such as managing daily task completion or improving the ability to estimate how long tasks will take.
  • Measurable: Establish how progress will be measured, such as by the number of tasks completed within the allocated time.
  • Achievable: Ensure the goals are attainable, given the student’s current ability and resources.
  • Relevant: The goals should meet the student’s personal educational needs and help them towards long-term objectives.
  • Time-bound: Set deadlines for milestones and the final goal to keep the student on track.

Time Management IEP Goals and Compliance

Time management IEP goals need to be compliant with the student’s Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) and the legal requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This ensures that the goals are personalized to the student’s needs and provide a framework for measurable progress.

  • Alignment with PLAAFP: Goals must reflect the student’s current capabilities and challenges as identified in the PLAAFP.
  • Legal Compliance: Goals should adhere to the educational standards required under IDEA, ensuring they contribute positively to the student’s educational experience.
  • Individualized and Specific: Customize goals to fit the unique needs and circumstances of the student, enhancing their practical relevance.
  • Measurable Progress: Use clear metrics to monitor improvements and make adjustments as needed.

Time Management IEP Goals Samples

Daily Planning

  • By (date), the student will independently create and follow a daily to-do list, marking off completed tasks, achieving this for 80% of the school days in a month.
  • By (date), the student will prioritize daily tasks using a color-coded system and complete all high-priority tasks first for three consecutive weeks.

Task Initiation and Follow-through

  • By (date), the student will begin homework assignments within 30 minutes of getting home and complete them before dinner, as measured over four consecutive weeks.
  • By (date), the student will use a digital calendar to set reminders for upcoming tests and assignments and start preparing for them at least three days in advance, maintaining this practice throughout the school semester.

Time Estimation

  • By (date), the student will estimate the time needed for tasks with 80% accuracy and adjust their schedule accordingly to complete these tasks on time for one month.
  • By (date), the student will track the time spent on homework for each subject and adjust their planning if tasks consistently take longer or shorter than expected for two consecutive weeks
Elevate Your Team’s Approach to IEP Meetings

Our Transition Planning Rubric is designed to support district leaders and educators in guiding their teams towards excellence in transition planning.

It provides comprehensive criteria that cover the breadth of transition planning, from gauging student engagement to evaluating post-secondary goals and services.

Why Use This Rubric?

  • Tailored Feedback: Utilize a structured scoring system to evaluate and enhance individual transition plans.
  • Fillable Format: Conveniently fill out the rubric digitally or print it for hands-on collaboration.
  • Action-Oriented Guidance: Benefit from a clearly defined path towards creating robust and legally compliant IEPs.

Expand your team’s capabilities and improve the success of IEP meetings.

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Additional Time Management IEP Goals

Managing Breaks and Downtime

  • By (date), the student will schedule short breaks between homework tasks to prevent burnout, adhering to this schedule for at least 90% of the time during a four-week period.
  • By (date), the student will use a timer to ensure that leisure activities do not exceed planned durations, maintaining this discipline in 85% of instances over a semester.

Long-term Project Management

  • By (date), the student will outline all steps needed to complete a long-term project and follow this plan, completing all stages by the predetermined deadlines for two major assignments.
  • By (date), the student will regularly update a project progress chart and discuss it during weekly check-ins with a teacher or parent, showing consistent progress across the school term.


Integrating specific, measurable time management goals into a student’s IEP can profoundly impact their academic performance and daily life. By focusing on these skills, educators can help students develop a stronger command over their time, leading to enhanced learning efficiency and greater personal autonomy. This guide provides a structured approach to crafting effective time management IEP goals, supporting students in achieving their fullest potential.

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Jon Izak

Jon Izak is the founder and CEO of Ori Learning.

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Jon Izak
Jon Izak is the founder and CEO of Ori Learning.