Everyone has 24 hours in a day, so how do some students get their homework done, win a soccer game, study for the SATs, and practice the saxophone, while others struggle to turn in homework on time? There are a number of factors that can feed in to your ability to get things done. Some people have more energy, others have a stronger motivation or passion, some students are excellent at time management and prioritizing, and still others are overextended sacrificing sleep and meals to keep up. How can you prioritize your time in a healthy way so that you have plenty of time to study?
How You Use Your Time
The first step is to discover where your time is going. Keep a journal of how you are spending your time. You may find you are watching more tv than you thought or that texting takes up a significant amount of your time after school.
Next, you must prioritize what you want to accomplish. Is homework the most important? Do you want to play on a sports team? How much time do you want to spend preparing for the SAT or ACT?
Once you have your priorities in order, you can look at your calendar. Calendars, schedules, and reminders on phones are very helpful and have their place, but when you are mapping our your time it can be useful to look at a paper calendar. Paper calendars can give you a clearer mental map of due dates, important events and free days. Map out when big school projects are due, all day tournaments are happening and other major events. On the free days, plan some time to study for the SAT or ACT, then those days won’t unintentionally pass by.
Plan for Stress Relief
As you schedule and prioritize, be sure to include time with family and friends, time for sleeping, and time for exercise. Including these things in your schedule will help relieve stress and tension and can prevent burnout. You might be less tempted to veg out in front of the tv if you are feeling healthy and calm. If you find you just can’t squeeze it all in, you may have to find some activity to let go of. Mapping out your time will reveal a better understanding of what tasks are essential and what is causing unnecessary stress.
Use the things that tend to absorb your time like tv or BuzzFeed as a reward for accomplishing your work. When your studying is accomplished, you can enjoy those things without feeling guilt or without cutting into important study time.
Intentional With Your Time
Being intentional with your time will help you accomplish your goals. You will feel less anxiety over squeezing everything in, and you will have clear vision, motivation and purpose, which will give you the energy you need to get everything done.
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