So today I was sitting at lunch with a select group of friends and one of them said, “I have no time for anything.” Which made me think about my own mental schedule and how I can do it all with enough time to breathe.
Here is a list of things that take up my time and energy and make me really busy:
I am the president of one of my community’s service clubs. I have to draft agendas and make sure everything is ready in time for our meeting next Tuesday.
I am taking two AP classes, one of which includes me reading a lesson every night.
I am my Senior class secretary, which means attending meetings and having to be included in all school activities.
I am taking my SAT and ACT in a month and only 6 days apart.
I am the publicist for my National Honor Society, which entails me to make announcements and posters.
I am a high school Senior, which means scholarships and applications to university take up 90% of my brain capacity.
I run a semi-successful blog (which you are currently reading) which I like to post on about three times a week.
As you can see by this list, I have very little free-time. And yet, with all of this, I’ve learned to manage it so that I still have time to spend a Saturday night with friends. The same friend who said the above quote also said that he was bad at time management. Well, it’s lucky for him, because I’m the queen of getting it all to work out.
Managing Time Like a Boss
Lists are going to be very helpful. Make a list of all the things you need to do. Then make sub-lists of all the things you need to do for those things. Use separate notebooks or different colored pens to make it even easier to organize what goes where.
If you have a smartphone, utilize your technology. Something I said to my friend was, “I have this app for all of my community service, this app for my daily activities, this app for projects I want to do, this app for all my blog things, this app for all my ideas, this app for all my writing, and this app for all my school stuff.” Smartphones are great for one thing, being smart. You’ll really be on top of what you need to do if you utilize the power of a smartphone.
Use a planner (or a great app like Teux Deux) to write down what you need to do every day of the week. I like this for when I have due dates or when I want to do something on a certain date. This is great because it lets you keep track of what you are doing on a particular day.
Keep all your books and notes in a visible place. You know the saying, “Outta sight, outta mind”, well it’s true. Put all your things you need to do (for me it’s my SAT/ACT books, community service binder, and the Common Application) in a place where you will see them every day and will remind you you need to do them (such as on my desk where I see it first thing when I get up and last thing when I go to bed).
Set yourself reminders. If you have a paper due on Monday morning, make yourself a reminder on your phone set for Sunday, so that then you can do it with plenty of time to spare.
Keep a calendar handy. That way you can write down dates you need to remember and won’t double-book yourself too much.
Know your schedule really well. Knowing your schedule means that you know when you will and will not be busy. That way, since I know I’m busy on Monday with work until 5, I won’t agree to babysit at 5:15 since I know I have homework and need to eat. It’s about pacing yourself and knowing what you are capable of.
Being able to manage your time is a great skill to have. People who put a lot on their plate but don’t know how to handle it end up shorting some of their activities and irritating their fellow activity-goers. If you are going to commit yourself to something, make sure you actually have the time and energy to commit to it. Just today I was asked to participate in a club I’ve been in for a few years, but declined. I declined because I’ve been in the club and each year I feel like I’m not participating/doing anything and could actually being using my time doing something actually helpful to my community/self. Use your time to your advantage and you’ll see how far you go!
I hope these tips were helpful to you. And if you want more/didn’t like them/have some of your own, please feel free to say so in the comments. I’d love to see what you think!