Now that we're back at school, I was reminded of this hack my mother used on me to teach me time management skills. I was the type of kid that would get settled to do homework, and then have to pop up to sharpen a pencil, get a drink, etc. Not very focused, in other words. What my mother eventually did was set a minute timer next to me, and set it for a short period — probably 3-5 minutes. I wasn't allowed up while the timer was going, but when it dinged I could get up and do whatever I needed to do. In this way, she slowly taught me to focus and concentrate on getting things done. (I still use the hack sometimes as an adult…it reminds me of some of Flylady's methods.)
More Parent Hacks posts on how timers simplify life with kids.