By Rachel Lewis
School has officially started and the work is probably piling up at an alarming rate! On top of that, sports are practicing and after school activities are starting to pick up their pace as well. Suddenly, it seems like all the free time of summer is a long distant memory, and you have too much to do in too little time. That’s where time management becomes your number one strategy, especially since it is linked to lower stress levels, greater productivity, and higher self-esteem.
Personal time management is about controlling the use of your most valuable and yet still undervalued resource: time. To do that, you must be both efficient and effective. Efficient and effective go hand in hand because getting things done quickly and correctly will save you time over doing assignments fast but incorrectly.
Planning is Key
However, even trying to start figuring out how to manage your time can be a daunting and overwhelming task. The best way to get started is to create a plan by looking at your objectives and determining how to accomplish them. It is realistically looking at each project (whether it is a test, papers, practice, or finding time to spend with friends) and then mapping out what needs to happen to accomplish it. It might also include having a contingency plan to deal with any unexpected events. Think of it this way: planning is an investment in success.
The best way to start planning is by determining two things. The first is your priorities. Prioritizing is about making choices of what to do now and what can wait. To prioritize effectively, you need to be able to rate its importance to you. The second important piece to planning is figuring out what is important vs. what is urgent. At a quick glance, many of the tasks you face during the day seem equally urgent and important. However, is that really the case? Take time to really think about what you face each day and how you can break down larger tasks so they feel smaller.
Tools for Effective
and Efficient Time Management
There are also a few tools you can use to get a handle on effective and efficient time management.
Although this seems fairly obvious, it is astounding how unorganized life in high school can be. Just think that if you have a particular spot for each class, pens, calculator, etc. then you don’t have to spend time trying to remember where you put something when you need it again. When studying for a test, you can go right to that spot and have your materials in hand very quickly.
You can also use files to create a system that works for you. They can be labeled such as “Do Today”or “Do This Week” or “To Be Filed” along with files
2. A Planner
Planners are a good place to store lots of information so that it is easily accessible. They are useful for planning your time on an annual, monthly, weekly, and daily basis. They can also keep you on track of long-term projects, and they are very easy to personalize.
3. Prioritized To-Do Lists
Prioritized To-Do Lists are very simple, but they are also extremely powerful, both as a method of organizing yourself and as a method of reducing stress. They are simply a list of tasks necessary to achieve goals. These goals might be specific targets or may simply be the efficient administration of your day.
Those are just a few tips to help you get started. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about personalizing your time management.
Rachel Lewis graduated with honors from the University of Kansas in just three and a half years in December, 2010, and has already written a book and started her second business. She has been interviewed by the New York Times, USA Today, Fox Business and has been cited in an article in Forbes on successful businesses. She has worked with students from middle school through college helping with goal setting, confidence building, study skills, and getting ready for “the real world.” She launched Success Skills Weekly with her mother and brother to assist students with critical skills that are needed for success, but not being taught anywhere. Rachel is a member of the Junior League of Kansas City, and was selected as a Belle of the American Royal in 2011 and has been an active volunteer for the BOTAR and the American Royal organizations. She is also an Assistant Dance and Cheer Team Coach at her high school alma mater.
If you would like more information about a success skills program for your middle school, high school or college age student, please visit www.SuccessSkillsWeekly.com, email Rachel directly at email@example.com or call 1-877-872-5019.