Time management tips encourage student success

Belle Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

High school students have a lot on their plates between managing sports, clubs, grades, classwork, family, and still having a social life — all while trying to get through a pandemic.

With college around the corner for high schoolers, the pressure of being the perfect student and person on paper is daunting. It’s easy to overlook what you truly need in order to succeed rather than what looks good in the gradebook.
That being said, it’s important to challenge yourself as a student by taking harder classes and getting involved in activities, but in doing so time management is key.
Online school has allowed students the freedom to complete some assignments on their own time. They may be given the option to do their work in class or for homework. This means now more-than-ever it’s important to prioritize time management skills.
Virtual learning adds an extra obstacle to completing work. Guidance Counselor Molly Roseland said, “While screen breaks are super important, it’s also a struggle to get back to work once you’ve shut the laptop and get out of work mode.”
With using just a few time management strategies, you can feel more motivated and have time to do activities you legitimately enjoy.
First, keeping a planner is important in order to stay organized and on schedule. Here you can write down due dates of assignments, times of extracurriculars, and any side notes about the day.
Sophomore Haley Lauer said, “The planner helps me because it keeps me organized with my schoolwork and daily activities.”
During any other normal school year, students usually are running from one commitment to the other, leaving school and going to work or changing for practice. Mrs. Roseland said that “often times, our time is so regimented that it actually helps us. Knowing you only have an hour or two to complete all work in your planner, turns something on in your brain that says, ‘Okay, it’s time to focus!’ Without the variety of commitments that many of us have grown accustomed to having, it’s difficult to manage our time. We often say to ourselves, “I have five hours; I’ll get to it later…” Getting started once we’ve taken a break, doesn’t come easily.”
Mrs. Roseland recommends to “apply for a part time jobs for nights or weekends, join a team or a club, schedule times to talk to or get together with friends. In short, fill your schedule, and set aside time to work on school work.”
She added that “these days it may not be as easy or safe to fill your schedule. If that is the case, I recommend taking a 30-minute to one-hour break after the school day, but before you do, set an alarm to remind yourself to get back to work — no exceptions. This will allow your brain some time off to recharge and start fresh.”
As a student athlete, school work and practice can clash together. Both are important tasks that need to be done, but finding the time in doing them can be tight, especially on weekdays. What can help this is prioritizing your To-Do list.
This means out of everything you have to do for the day, complete what’s most important first. Go through what you have to do for the day and group similar tasks together by how much time they’ll take or by subject. Then number the tasks in the order that you want to complete them, which should be based on their deadlines.
A tip is to start with an easier task for the beginning of every day because this helps reduce feeling overwhelmed and jump start your productivity.
Junior Robbie Hauf said, “I just do things when I feel like it, so I feel more motivated.”
Having a goal in mind while completing work is also important. Mrs. Roseland said that “without a goal, you may waste time trying to figure out where to begin.” She also added writing a “physical list” helps her way more than the “sticky notes” app on a laptop screen.
To get into a working mindset, you can give yourself some sort of incentive. This is a great motivator to keep at your goals.
Junior Megan Palm said a reward she has for herself is “watching Netflix” after she’s done all homework. This keeps her “motivated and focused.”
One of the biggest struggles students are now facing through online school and doing homework is getting distracted. This could be students playing on their phone in class, watching TV, or taking a nap. The possibilities are endless.
Some tips for students to stay focused during class and homework are to turn their phones off and silence any tempting notifications. During class they can put the Teams call on full screen to avoid opening other tabs. Another tip is to tell a friend what they have to do that day so they can help to hold you accountable.
Waking up and turning on the computer each day can seem optional because of how easy it is for students to just sleep in and ignore student duties. Now is not the time to wait for time management to just come naturally. Students should take action right now by making lists of deadlines for the semester, getting a planner, making schedules for tomorrow, and not giving up!
Remember that a lot of these methods are simply about organizing your brain onto paper so that students don’t have to remember everything on their plate. Bodies are not designed for remembering every little thing humans have to do.
Sometimes everyone just needs a helping hand to keep track of things.