Time management is an essential skill for getting through high school, college, and the rest of your life! Here are my top two suggestions for getting organized and making the most of your time.
By making a list of tasks, you will be able to manage your time accordingly to get everything done. Being aware of everything you have to do is half of the battle!
I would recommend splitting your to-do list into three parts, depending on the urgency of each task. Here is an example list:
1. Highest Priority – do this today
- Biology homework (due tomorrow in class)
- Proofread essay on “Of Mice and Men” (due tomorrow in class)
- Pick up French textbook from Alice’s house
2. Medium Priority – do this before the end of the week
- Meet with Matthew to work on history presentation (due next week)
- Organize handouts in Math folder
- Practice SAT test before tutoring session on Friday
3. Low Priority – do this before the end of the month
- Sign up for May SAT test date
While you are studying, I would also recommend listing any concepts that you are struggling to understand. That way, you can easily articulate any questions to your teacher, and you will be able to focus on those “problem areas” when studying for a test.
[Continue reading to learn about study schedules and additional tips]
These are particularly important when you have a test coming up, but are also vital for getting homework done and reviewing class material. Scheduling regular blocks of time for homework, revision, and practice tests will ensure that you cover all the necessary material in a timely fashion.
Tips for creating a study schedule:
- Make sure that your schedule is realistic – don’t push yourself unreasonably hard! Leave enough time for eating, sleeping, extracurriculars, and fun with friends. Do not cram – pace yourself.
- Everyone has a different attention span, so figure out what blocks of study time work best for you through trial and error. It is much easier to stay efficient when you do bursts of focused work interspersed with regular breaks. Do you work better early in the morning, or after dinner? At home, or in the library? Figure out where, when, and how you work best.
- Make a detailed plan for each block of time. For example, instead of dedicating one hour to “Biology Homework”, specify what you hope to get done in that hour: “Biology: review chapters 1 and 2, complete example questions on page 45, create vocabulary flashcards for different parts of the nervous system.”
- Make a schedule at the start of each week, and keep a printed copy with you at school and in your study space at home. You can write it out by hand, or use a digital planner like Google Calendar or iCal.
- Always turn off your phone while you are studying
- Keep your to-do list handy at all times
- Always reward yourself for hard work!
About the author: Nina is a junior at Princeton majoring in Anthropology, with a minor in Gender Studies. She tutors with Princeton Tutoring, sings with Tigressions a cappella, blogs for Equal Writes, and is the “culturally cap” chairwoman of the Cap & Gown Club. She is also an avid creative writer. Her first poetry collection, “Every Single One”, will be released by flipped eye publishing in Summer 2011. Her other interests include photography, cooking, and 20th century American fiction.