How To: Manage Your Time

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How To: Manage Your Time

A clock on a desk.

A clock on a desk.

A clock on a desk.

A clock on a desk.

Mueez Khan, Staff Writer

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Although doing work, going to public events, and sleeping are all important in the life of a high schooler, there is always one factor that could let us or keep us from being involved in these events: time.

Why Should You Manage Your Time?

Managing your own time provides you with the freedom to spend your time elsewhere. If you want enough time for practicing other interests like drawing or playing piano, knowing what days you’re available, and having enough time to get the sleep you need to catch up on is important, thus managing your time is essential.

By having discipline through following a time structure and prioritizing your assignments along with tangible ways to keep track of this schedule (such as an agenda), having free time to do other tasks that you want to do and even knowing when you will have such free time in the future is definitely possible.

Time Management Tips

The following tips will be both general and specific, therefore you can easily choose and combine different methods for managing your time:

  • Use an agenda or a calendar
    • One of the most common yet efficient methods for dealing with multiple tasks is using an agenda or planner. By being able to write down newly assigned tasks and checking off completed tasks, an agenda provides a great display of what you have done and what is left.
    • Using a calendar alongside an agenda is great when setting long-term events or important dates that are many days or weeks away.
    • Digital to-do lists such as OneNote are also great for keeping track of your priorities. With programs like this you can create a new page every day for a new to-do list and access your list from your phone, tablet, or even computer.
  • Prioritize your tasks
    • Prioritization is crucial to keep yourself from becoming a super busy person. Write down on a piece of paper what tasks you have that are the most important and what needs to get done. That way you’ll know what you should get done and have the rest of your time for other menial tasks.  Eventually you will complete them all.
    • A simple way to prioritize tasks in a to-do list like a list in an agenda is drawing a star next to specific important tasks to help you recall what’s of the utmost importance on your list.
  • Use deadlines
    • Although procrastination causes many students to work very close to the deadline rather than in advance, it’s important to follow through on deadlines as the pressure is a motivating factor to get a task done. Creating mini-deadlines for specific tasks, like creating an outline for your essay by a certain time, allows you to complete large tasks without having to spend much of your time on one day, and to even have spare time to put off certain mini tasks if necessary.
    • Simply thinking about making mini-deadlines may not be enough to follow through, so listing these mini-deadlines on an agenda and calendar is a great and helpful way to complete your larger priorities if they are due on a far-off date.
  • Avoid distractions
    • Opening up Instagram or browsing YouTube endlessly may occur very often, so it’s helpful to turn off your phone or computer in order to get work done that doesn’t need the Internet. Besides, doing these tasks during your free time is much better than when you have more important tasks to deal with like an upcoming deadline for a project!
  • Keep your work and materials organized
    • A tidy work space and organized papers can decrease the amount of time spent doing work itself by providing for easy access to everything you need for completing tasks quicker. Simple improvements may include using a pencil case or color coding folders for classes.

All in all, these tips suggest that you keep yourself following a structure or schedule so that you’re more organized and know your limitations for doing certain tasks based on time. As tasks are completed and priorities are focused upon, there should there be remaining time which you can have to yourself. Whether it be sleeping earlier or hanging out with friends, it is possible to have time for what you want to do by keeping track of your work and fulfilling your priorities.

Here’s a helpful video by Thomas Frank on time management tips, as there are different useful tips he provides with very practical, and even funny, modern examples along with his own personal experiences.

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