WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Assignments. Tests. Papers. Practices. College applications. Rehearsals. It’s easy for students to feel strained and drained by all that’s on their plates during the school year. Yet, there are ways to for teens to manage their time so they can do everything they need and want to do. Summer is a great time for your teen to reassess his or her approach to time management. Here are some concrete ways for teens to take control of their time.
- Pick a planner. There’s a reason this item tops the list. No student (or adult) should be without a planner. That could be a spiral-bound paper planner or an online/smartphone calendar system with automated reminders. Explore your options and find one system that will work for you. Practice using it during the summer to record activities, appointments, summer job schedule and projects. Larger tasks should be broken down into smaller steps, assigned deadlines, and put in the calendar, too.
- Identify your time-drains. Time is valuable, but it is very easy to become sidetracked and distracted. Figure out what’s likely to be the biggest distraction during the school year: Facebook? Google Hangouts? Video games? Plan to allot specific times of the day where you give yourself permission to indulge in your distractions.
- Ditch the digital. Replace digital clocks and watches with analog. Seeing actual hands move their way around a clock face gives us a clearer perception of time.
- Just say no. Know your limits. Better yet, know when you have reached them. You can’t say no to a school or work assignment, but it is your right to say no to any demands on your time that you can’t or don’t want to meet, such as watching your neighbors’ dog while they’re away or going to a concert of a band you don’t love. If you have other, higher priorities, it’s OK to take a pass
Michelle Sagalyn is the founder and president of Successful Study Skills 4 Students, LLC.