All too often, we ignore time management for teens. So many time management articles focus on the lives of adults, but everyone, especially teens, need to learn the benefits of time management.
Teens are so busy with school, extracurriculars, and part-time jobs all while trying to juggle a social life. Even worse, society puts so much pressure on teens to have it all in order to get into a good college. That is why it is so important to teach teens how to manage their time. They have so much to fit into their limited days. Between the hours at school and curfews, teens have less time to their days than adults do. And, they rely so heavily on their parents that fostering good time management in a teenager can help increase the productivity in any household.
In this article, we will examine some of the things that teens should and shouldn’t do when trying to master the important life skill of time management. It’s important for teens to know what they need to avoid and what they need to do to become better at managing their time and becoming more efficient and productive.
First, let’s talk about some of the things that teenagers should avoid to become better at managing their time:
So, you’re taking all AP classes, you’re in the orchestra, you have a part time job, you’re in a few different clubs, you just got a part in the school play, you participate with your church, and you just got a new girlfriend/boyfriend? It’s a lot. High school is one of the best times of your life and it’s so easy to want to get to do it all. But, it’s important to not overdo it. Having too many activities on your plate is a quick and easy way to become overwhelmed and start to become less productive. Don’t feel like you need to do everything all at once. You have four years in high school. Spread out some of the activities. It’s okay to take a step back. And, if you are feeling too overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to step down from some of your responsibilities. You’re in high school – nobody expects you to be perfect and able to juggle all of life’s responsibilities just yet.
That English paper is due first thing in the morning so you’re up at 3 AM with enough caffeine that could kill a small animal coursing through your veins. We’ve all been there. All-nighters are such a common element to education. But all-nighters are not good. And, as a teenager, your body is still growing so sleep is incredibly important. You need to be able to sleep. Don’t let yourself get so overwhelmed that you miss out on sleep. You need to sleep to be able to succeed in school and to succeed in time management.
Social media is great. It’s a great way to keep up with friends, learn, and interact with different kinds of people. However, it’s such a quick route to distraction and procrastination. Don’t let yourself get wrapped up in Facebook that you forget about that paper you have due. Don’t start reading all of Kanye’s tweets and stay up all night pondering his insanity. Keep your social media interaction as limited as possible. This is a super easy way to suddenly fall behind, so limit yourself.
Having goals is so important when trying to manage your time. But, it is really easy to set unrealistic goals and then get down on yourself for not achieving them. Be sure to have realistic goals for yourself. If you worry that you might be overreaching, ask someone if they think it is a possible goal for you to achieve. Focus on what you can do in a timely fashion. Don’t try to do everything all at once. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
We’ve already mentioned not taking on too many responsibilities, but another part of that is never relaxing. You are only young once and sometimes, being young means not doing anything. Vegging out on the couch, floating in the pool, sleeping until noon – these are all ways that teenagers can and do relax. Don’t focus too much on working all the time. Just because you are trying to manage your time doesn’t mean that you have to have every second filled with work. Relaxing is incredibly important. It helps us recharge for the next big event.
All too often, teenagers try to be perfect. That urge for perfectionism is a huge opponent of time management. By focusing on being perfect, you might take longer than normal for a simple task. Don’t worry about getting things done perfectly or being perfect – focus on doing what needs to get done and then the rest on enjoying yourself. You are only young once.
Now that you are familiar with what not to do, let’s talk about some helpful tips for you to better manage your time. These tips will help you succeed at time management.
Having a schedule is such an important aspect of time management. With a schedule, you know exactly what needs done and when it needs done by. This is a great way to keep track of all your assignments and events. Many schools provide a planner for their students at the beginning of the year. Don’t take forget to take advantage of this! It’s a great way for you to be mindful of your time.
Utilize your syllabi and write down the due date of every major assignment in your planner at the beginning of the year. Trust me – you won’t regret it. Knowing exactly when things are done and what needs to be done is a huge part of managing your time – especially in high school. So many students don’t write down all the parts of an assignment and waste precise time reaching out to figure out what needs to be done. Write it down all at once – along with the due date.
Don’t forget to treat yourself every once in a while. Get yourself ice cream for a job well done. You need to reward good behavior. The carrot – not the stick.
Large projects can be terrible. Don’t wait until the last minute to finish them. When you are originally assigned a big project, take the time to break it up into smaller, more manageable parts. Set deadlines for yourself leading up to the big due date. It’ll be helpful in the long run.
Use folders for different projects. Organization is a huge part of time management. There are so many different ways of organization available to you. Use whatever method you find the best and stick with it. It’ll save you time. By organizing, you won’t ever be hunting for a particular notecard again.
Time management is an important skill for teenagers to learn especially if they are planning to head into college. Time management is a great thing to learn and high school is a great place to put those skills into practice. By following the tips and knowing what bad habits to avoid, your teenager can become an expert in time management in no time.
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