Do you ever find yourself scribbling out an assignment at the last minute? Maybe you procrastinated the night before and fell asleep in front of the TV. Perhaps you even forgot that there was an assignment in the first place. Either way, you might need some help managing your time so that you can finish that assignment long before it is due. Here are our tips on keeping your schedule in order:
• Balance Your Activities – If you find yourself caught up in the confusion of school, extracurricular activities, and time with friends, take some time to examine everything that you are doing. Perhaps you are spending too much time with your friends every night and, as a result, the quality of your schoolwork is slipping. The key to this is balance. Make sure to divide your time between work and play, so that you do your best in everything.
• Plan Ahead – Set aside a few minutes at the beginning of each week to go over your schedule. Figure out the days that assignments are due and the nights that you are busy. Make sure that you have plenty of time to finish your homework, while still doing everything fun that you want. If you struggle with procrastination, set some specific time aside every night to chip away at that ever-growing pile of homework. If you separate certain assignments into manageable chunks every night, they do not seem quite as daunting, and you can still finish them before they are due by planning ahead.
• Make Lists – Okay, so this is coming from a compulsive list-maker, but really – lists can help you plan your time better. Every night, check over your planner and see what’s due the next couple of days. Then make a check list of everything you need to get done that night, and as you finish each task, check it off your list (it really gives you a boost of satisfaction). You can do the same with long-term projects that require lots of steps, or even with typical everyday tasks. Making lists also ensures that you’ll never forget anything.
• Give Yourself a Break – It’s important to set aside time for homework every night, whether it is right when you get home or later in the evening, but always remember to allow yourself breaks. If you know you have a few hours of work ahead of you, make a plan to take a ten or fifteen minute break every hour. Or you can plan your work so that you get half done, take a break for dinner, a TV show, etc., then finish the other half. However you do it, make sure your break is worthwhile. Grab a snack, check Facebook, or text a friend. Just make sure that when break time is up, you get back to work immediately and don’t get behind on time.
Even the best of students can struggle with planning their time and avoiding procrastination, so remember that beating yourself up about it won’t help. Instead, take a moment to sit down, make a plan that you know you can follow, and then stick to it. If you don’t get everything done that night, make another plan about when you’ll finish. Following these types of time management tips will help you stay on top of school while still keeping your life in balance.
Post by Callan and Emma M., teen bloggers