Student Diaries: Time Management
We all struggle with time management. It can feel like time is never on our side. I totally understand. Some days I get slamed with homework, have to go to cheer, and have other personal things I need to do. Other days I will have all the time in the world and be really lost on what to do with my day.
As a high school student, I have learned a ton of things that have helped me with time management. Good time management is key to a healthy lifestyle because it effects to your sleep schedule, mood, productivity, getting your homework done on time, and your own self care. I empasize getting necessary tasks done but I want to note that it is still super important to also prioritize your mental health and the things that bring you joy! I still struggle with time management but I do have a few tips on how you can manage yours!
1. Do your homework right after school
Personally, doing my homework right after school helps me to get it done so much faster. I am already in the mindset of school so my brain power is still moving. It is also one of the most productive times of my day. When I do my homework right after school, it makes me feel like I got it out of the way and I can carry on with my day with no stress.
If you are too run down at the end of the school day, don't worry! I totally understand that. Sometimes if you have a ton of tests or just a big school day, you may feel super tired after and have zero motivation to do homework. If this is you, take an hour or so break in between the end of school and the start of your homework. During this time I encourage you to get off your phone. You could workout, make some food, or just anything creative. When you are finished, sit down and get your homework done.
If you have something directly after school, like sports practice or an appointment, do your homework when you get home. That way you can get it over with and chill for the rest of the night.
2. Plan ahead
Planning ahead can come in the form of a to-do list or reminders set on your phone. By making a to-do list, you can organize your thoughts and all the tasks you need to get done. I like to put my daily to do lists on my desk so when I am done with one thing, I am immediatly reminded of the other thing I need to get done. I also make the to-do list with little check boxes so I can check off what I've done. Its so satisfying to see all the boxes checked at the end of the day. You can also set reminders on your phone to tell you when to do things and literally remind you to get it done.
3. Section off time for everything
I know this level of organization isn't for everyone but it really does help. Setting time goals really helps you to maintain your focus on one task at a time. For example, say to yourself, "I'm going to do homework from 3-4 and then I'll take a 20 minute break." This also helps you to set goals for your day. You can use the reminders on your phone to remind you what time to start or stop doing things.
If you know your homework is going to take two hours, you need to set aside two hours to do it. You can separate it into incraments of 1 hour each or however you want to divide it. You can do an hour right after school, then you can do an hour right before dinner.
4. Prioritize by importance
If you didn't get the memo already, you absolutly have to prioritize completing the most important tasks first. Say I had 3 hours of homework, cheer practice, and also wanted to make a 3 teir cake. Realisticly, between everyday the activities, family dinner time, the time it takes to get to and from practice, and getting into the groove of homework, I would have no time to make a 3 teir cake.
So when making your to-do list: think about what absolutly has to get done, and what you want to do for fun. Then remeber any other things that are happening that day and plan accordingly. After you are done with the things that need to get done, then you can do anything else you want! This is the time you can use to be creative or relax!
5. Set screen time restrictions
This has really helped me to spend less time on my phone, and more time doing the things I love. I get in ruts of just scrolling through Instagram. The worst part is, its not even doing anything for me. It just wastes time that I could be using effectivly. Whether you want to stay off your phone during homework time, or just limit the use of certain apps, it is so helpful when considering your productivity. Here is how to set screen time restrictions on an IPhone:
Specific times: Settings> Screen Time> Downtime
Specific apps: Settings> Screen Time> App Limits