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Time Management Strategies

Setting priorities

One of the biggest issues students have is learning how to manage their time. As students grow they take on more tasks every week and sometimes it’s more than they can handle. It’s easy creating schedules which are usually filled with work, spending time with family and friends, and most importantly studying, but knowing which task is a higher priority than the other is the most challenging part. Experts agree that the most important tasks are not always necessarily the most urgent tasks. By categorizing your tasks into four main categories; urgent, not urgent, important, and not important will help you understand what task should be done first or which one you should spend more time on. This will help students spend more time on the tasks that are important but not necessarily urgent. One of the easiest ways to prioritize your tasks is by keeping track of what you have going on by creating a “to-do” list. This will help keep young minds from scrambling by keeping all the things they need to complete in one place, it will also help a student say “no” to activities that may be interesting or that provides a sense of achievement, but doesn’t fit their basic priorities.


Use a planning tool

As a high school student, by jotting down each assignment that’s due or which days you have a quiz or test in each class, will extremely help ease your stress. These small but useful memory joggers will help clear your mind to focus on other things. As a student, it’s impossible to remember everything and simply forgetting to complete a task happens quite easily and frequently, but using a planning tool will prevent you from making those honest mistakes. The key is to find something that is most convenient for each individual. Not all tools are the same, and each planning tool would need to checked every day to help refresh your mind on what you have to complete that day. Color coding is not useful for everyone but assigning each class a color or even a specific color for family-related events, social-related events and work- related events may make your planner more efficient to use and possibly more visually appealing. Finally, bringing the planning tool with you to your school, will be more accessible to add new tasks everyday as you cross off the completed ones. Always record the information on the tool itself, by jotting notes elsewhere and then having to transfer them later is inefficient. The notes that you may have jotted down on another sheet of paper either get lost or the ones you have written down on your phone get forgotten about.


Schedule your time appropriately

Even the busiest of people manage to find time for what they want to do, and what they may feel is important. Scheduling is not always jotting down what has to be done but also a commitment to yourself that you will pursue. Only you can schedule your time as you know yourself best. Using your planning tool, you would schedule certain tasks that are more challenging during the times of the day you feel you’re the most productive and alert. Block the time you have to accomplish high priority tasks and protect that time from any interruptions. You may work your best just after school before your parents arrive home from work and the house is quiet, or maybe after dinner when you have the most energy, it all depends on each specific individual. The planning tool may not be used just for educational studies, but time for yourself as well. About ¼ of your day should be scheduled for downtime like, listening to music, reading a book or spending time with your family. You may put off certain tasks for a variety of different reasons, maybe its unpleasant, or time consuming, or just simply overwhelming. Try breaking down the task into small segments for each day so it’s a more realistic deadline. This way, he task will require less time commitment and you will be more mentally inclined to have it completed. If you’re having trouble getting started, start a task that has you organizing your notes to make it easier to begin studying or if you need to complete an assignment, schedule a time where you collect the materials needed. There is absolutely nothing wrong in taking baby steps to accomplish larger, more complicated tasks. Another fun method in helping you keep on track of your list is by creating a system in which you receive a reward after completing each smaller segment of the task. Reward systems help keep the positive energy in learning, it gives your brain a little break to process what you have just learned as well as it helps preserve the fun.

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