If you’re feeling like you have a lot to balance in life, you’re not alone. The adolescent years can include an overwhelming amount of responsibilities. For instance, there’s your social life which likely feels incredibly important to you. Then there’s also school which means homework, studying for exams, and preparing research projects. You might also have practice for the sports team you’re on. And there might also be the time it takes to commute to school, exercise, sleep, and prepare meals for yourself.
Because of all these responsibilities, learning the skill of time management may come in handy. There are many different ways you can learn to manage your time. For instance, you can use planners, wall calendars, or notebooks to write down the events and responsibilities you need to complete. Yet, no matter the tools you use, what’s most important is that you have a time management system.
Here are tips for managing your time in a way that allows you to get everything done:
1. Set Goals. Once you know you need to get certain things done by a certain day or time, you can set goals that give you plenty of time for preparation and completion of those tasks. Keep in mind that your goals should be realistic. Goals should give you time to take a nap, eat, and socialize. For example, if you are ambitious, scheduling homework and studying all day, every day of the week, may eventually take a toll on your health. For this reason, goals need to be realistic and healthy and allow for time to rest and rejuvenate
2. Make A Schedule. Once you are clear about your goals, create a schedule that works well for you. For instance, let’s say you know you need two hours in the morning for swim practice, then you might want to create a schedule in which you wake up an hour earlier so that you have time to eat and shower before heading to school.
3. Revisit and Revise Your Plan. As you live out the schedule you’ve created for yourself, take some time to make adjustments as needed. For instance, once you are paying attention to your schedule, you might want to answer the following questions in order to make revisions to your schedule:
- How are you actually using your time?
- Which tasks were you able to do? What didn’t get done?
- Was your energy level appropriate? Your stress level?
- What changes need to be made to your weekly schedule?
- What are persistent time wasters?
- Could better communication have helped you stick to your plan?
- Was procrastination an issue?
4. Adjust your plan as your life changes. Once you graduate and move on to college or perhaps working full time, you may need to change your time management plan accordingly. Even after college, having a busy career will demand the ability to manage time well. Although there might be some days in which you may not need to be so strict to schedule, managing time well will come in handy after you graduate.
Teens, learning how to manage time can contribute to a successful life both while you’re in school and beyond.