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Top 5 Time Management Tips for High School Students

High school is hectic with homework, college applications, and extracurricular activities. Keep on top of everything with these time management tips.

Ever thought you need more hours in a day to complete all the work you need to do? Is there a way to combat that feeling of being constantly sleep-deprived? That is relatable to all of us, given the amount of assignments and work we need to complete, coupled with the rest of the commitments in our lives. However, despite your busy schedule, there's always a way to balance all of the work and find the perfect equilibrium to finish everything productively and effectively!

Speaking from experience, I can say that most of the challenge lies in not knowing how to handle the workload and manage your time rather than the supposed complexity and tediousness of the tasks themselves. You need to be prepared to deal with the workload without compromising on quality or your stress levels. Here are a few helpful tips I’ve picked up over the years to better manage my daily routine better and improve time management.

1. Make schedules

Even though this depends on the sort of person you are, half the battle is won once you get yourself better organized. I always like waking up in the morning and knowing exactly what the rest of the day will bring me. Balancing your work begins with knowing your daily activities and the objectives you hope to fulfill. Plan your day to the minute if that’s what it takes to help you keep on track and stay focused. I always make my schedules as comprehensive as possible so I can complete as much work as possible.

At the same time, keep your schedules realistic so you don’t overwork yourself and burnout quickly. To avoid late nights and chaos, it also helps if you learn how to prioritize your work better so that you complete the harder and more complicated tasks before you address the easier ones. I would strongly recommend still maintaining good schedules during the holidays or when you are on short breaks or study leave. It can give you a flexible routine so that you stay on track and, most importantly, avoid procrastinating.

Related: Better Time Management in 3 Simple Steps

2. Be smart about your time

Find the right time to work, as it helps when you’re at your best and most alert. Some of us tend to be night owls, while others are early birds. It’s essential to realize that your time is highly valuable and you have the power to regulate and decide how you choose to spend it! Even though you need to give yourself breaks and treat yourself to maintain your sanity, sometimes you'll need to make sacrifices for school and cut down on the free time you usually give yourself. For the most part, you should know when to prioritize your time so that you complete all of your work first and protect your interests. Instead of allocating too much time toward completing a specific task or stressing too much over an overly difficult homework question, try sleeping on it, splitting your tasks, changing the time of day you work, or asking for help.

3. Try to multitask effectively

You’ve probably heard this so often you may completely skip over this tip just to avoid repetition—but hear me out! Contrary to what some experts may say, you need to have the ability to do more than one task at a time to improve your productivity and bolster your time management skills. You could do monotonous chores and work on school work at the same time by listening to an audio version of a novel you have to read for English. Or you could take notes on your phone and get some extra reading done while traveling on the bus or train. Prioritization, once again, can be handy in this scenario as well, because you know the combination of tasks you could feasibly complete together.

Related: How Do I Get Better at Multitasking as a Student?

4. Stay ahead of schedule

Beginning your work early gives you an added advantage as it gives you the chance to plan out your work effectively and with precision. You have time to work on it,h and you may end up completing it a lot quicker than you hoped, as you refrained from wasting your time procrastinating. I always complete lengthy and difficult tasks right after I receive them so that I’m not bogged down with them once I get even busier. I find that segmenting my tasks can go a long way in enabling me to finish my work with ease.

5. Manage your sleep schedule

All-nighters, polyphasic sleep, midday napping: They’re all choices I would strongly recommend against. Even though you may be able to finish your work, you could end up compromising on the quality of your work, destroying your sleep cycle, and weakening your immunity all at once in the long run. Most of the time you'll end up feeling groggy and miserable for a large part of the next day. Get your sleep! Things will only be easier if you do and harder if you don't. 

Related: Sleepy Students: What Being Tired Does to Teens

Even though being more conscious of your time management seems demanding at first, it helps give your high school life order amid the disorder you face every day. Time also tends to fly when you need it to slow down, and that’s one truth high school students need to face over the next few years!

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About Shivani Ekkanath

Shivani Ekkanath

As a person applying to college this year, I want to chronicle this crazy and unpredictable yet rewarding and fascinating journey so the experience feels less daunting for other students. I'm currently preparing to study Political Science for my undergraduate degree while trying my best to win a battle with the pressures of the IB diploma. I'm a lover of music, debating, reading about current affairs, dancing, baking (not too well), and writing. I'm also an an aspiring journalist and hope to attend Columbia University one day and work for the New York Times or Wall Street Journal.


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