San Francisco — With the school year slowly creeping up, a lot of us are wondering how we are going to make it through it alive. Studying, after-school activities and personal life can all clash together if you don’t manage your time well. It takes practice and trial and error to learn how to properly optimize your time.
Successfully navigating the year will rely on properly organizing your time without feeling like you are losing control on your life. Time management is one of the most important life skills, and here are 10 essential tips to help you have a great, fulfilling year.
- Make a priorities list and rank tasks from most to least important. Create lists of tasks you need to complete and compare their importance and urgency. Consider deadlines, the impact of your completion and consequences if you fail to complete it. Practice your list with consistency and with time, it will become part of your time management routine.
- Commute to school? Check bus times for more home study time. It's best if you can avoid waiting for buses and trains. Even if you don’t study, it gives you more time for sleep which is crucial to having stellar time management.
- Plan to do schoolwork on Fridays for weekend breaks/other activities. Weekends are for relaxation and non-school activities, avoid procrastination to reduce stress, enhance concentration and productivity, and to practice self discipline.
- Engage in distributed practice. Study in short increments throughout the week instead of all at once. This learning technique is the most effective study method for better memorization.
- Take breaks when you need them. Taking breaks can reset your focus and prevent physical strains. It also promotes a healthy work-life balance even if it is only five minutes.
- Start using a calendar. It keeps your commitments and activities organized while also reminding you to not overbook yourself. It allows you to make better decisions based on when you are available to assume new commitments or to prioritize existing ones.
- Learn to say “no.” Be realistic with your time and avoid taking on more activities than you can manage in a day. It avoids overwhelm and burnout as well.
- Eliminate distractions. The first step is to eliminate distracting workplaces. Avoid multitasking and turn off our notifications. Your friends and social media might be blowing up your phone, but your deadline priorities come first. Your outer distractions can be taken care of, but also address your internal distractions such as personal worries and use stress relieving practices.
- Reflect and evaluate your use of time at the end of the week. Decide what was useful for you, what wasn’t, and what you could do differently next time. Learn from mistakes and analyze your strategies that helped you achieve what you did. Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Recognize that not everything can go well all the time and that there are things that are out of your control. Self-criticism won’t help you improve, but self-compassion will.
- Leave time for yourself. The best productivity comes with hobbies, rejuvenation, and social gatherings. Connect with nature, bake a cake, play a sport; anything to take a break from your workload. Most importantly, celebrate your achievements and progression.
Hannah Coleman (she/her) is from San Francisco who writes about contentious issues that concern Gen Z. Follow her on Instagram: @hannah_c.lmn.
Edited by Nykeya Woods