Many teens feel the pressure of having to meet the demands of parents and teachers. There is so much happening during adolescence, emotionally and psychologically, that it might be difficult to finish school assignments, chores, and other family responsibilities.
The many things that might occupy a teen’s time can include:
- Completing school projects
- Catching up!
- Commuting to school
- Walking around campus
- Playing an instrument
- Attending events at school
- Playing a sport
- Helping a friend
- Checking email
- Revising your essay
- Chatting with friends
- Attending family events
- Going to the gym
- Getting ready for class
- Caring for family members
- Going out with friends
- Cultivating a relationship
- Meeting new friends
- Going to office hours
- Studying for tests
- Doing library research
There are many different ways teens can learn to manage their time in order to complete their day to day tasks. They can use planners, wall calendars, or really any notebook to write down a list of events and responsibilities to get done that day. Of course, there are some tools that are better than others. For instance, planners can help teens manage not only their daily tasks but also large school projects that span over a few weeks or months.
Furthermore, learning how to manage time well is a skill that can be used long into the future. Below are some questions teens can ask themselves to help them manage their time:
- The time of day I am most alert is: .
- The time of day I am sleepiest is: .
- Six things I am distracted by:
- To decrease distraction I will:
- I prefer: short intense study sessions or longer study sessions
- Ideally I should wake up at and go to sleep at .
- To reward myself for getting tasks done I will:
- Goals to improve my time management are:
Creating a Time Management Schedule
In addition to answering the above questions, teens might want to create a time management schedule. To do this, they should consider the following:
1. Set Goals. Once they know they need to get certain things done by a certain day or time, they can set goals that give themselves plenty of time for preparation and completion of those tasks. Also, their goals should be realistic. Goals should give them time to take a nap, eat, and socialize. If teens are ambitious, scheduling homework and studying all day, every day of the week, may eventually take a toll on their health. For this reason, goals need to be realistic and healthy.
2. Make A Schedule. Once teens are clear about their goals, they can create a schedule that works well for them. For instance, let’s say a teen knows that he or she needs two hours in the morning for swim practice, then they might want to create a schedule in which they 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 teens live out the schedule they’ve created for themselves, they should take the time to make adjustments as needed. For instance, once teens are paying attention to their schedule, they might want to answer the following questions in order to make revisions to their 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?
Although there might be some days in which a teen may not need to be so strict to his or her time management schedule, managing time well will come in handy during college. Even after college, having a busy career will demand the ability to manage time well. Learning how to manage time can contribute to a successful life.