For Those of You Who Need Advice on How to Manage Your Time

Dear St. Pete High,


   One of the crucial things that all high schoolers must learn to master is time management. None of us can get through school without knowing a thing or two about what we should be doing with our time. You may understand what homework to prioritize, or when to start studying for a test, but the issue in many students is whether these tasks are being implemented. I’m here to provide tips on how to improve on completing work in a timely matter.

   First, (and most obviously) put down your phone. Put it down. This is the most important step to take. Phones and the many applications on them are convenient, but they also include many distractions! You should not be using a phone while doing homework, notes, or studying. It’s fine to use the internet for schoolwork sometimes, but when you do not need it, there is no reason to have it on. There are large numbers of social media sites on phones that may keep your mind off of getting something done on time, without you even noticing! This does not mean that social media is a bad thing. It is a way to stay informed and keep in contact with friends and family. You don’t have to give up socializing in this way to still stay on top of your work. When snapping people or scrolling through the black hole of Instagram starts taking up time that should be set aside for school, work, or your various other obligations, then you know that your phone has become a distraction and needs to be put away when you do your schoolwork. 

   Keep this mantra in mind: work first, fun after. Ending your day well and happy will improve your mood and sleep, therefore making you more motivated the next day, starting a positive cycle to keep you on schedule. It may not be what you want to spend your time on, but you need to begin homework in school or once you get home. Prioritize homework first. Your time to start homework will be different than others, seeing as many have extracurriculars, but if you are using your time wisely then you won’t feel rushed. Always make sure to think ahead about large tests or projects and your schedule for the week. Many people find that writing a schedule down can help a lot! Being able to see your week laid out in front of you will help you begin studying at an earlier time than you would have. Planning a homework schedule can help improve the planning process and make it more efficient, especially for the more visual learners. It will increase how much you are able to remember and help you work ahead, which makes things easier and less stressful for us all.

   It may be tempting to do the easiest homework first when you aren’t in a mood to do work. Rather than this, it is smart to complete homework in the order of when assignments are due. This way, you won’t be stuck cramming for something due the next day while you have all of the easier assignments for the next week done already. With that said, if you have homework that is graded for participation only, you really don’t have to spend time making it perfect compared to assignments graded on accuracy. It might be hard for some people to leave their completed homework as is when it could be better, but just remember all the more important assignments that need your attention. When trying to finish an assignment quickly, it definitely helps to have something to look forward to, like an event you might have coming up, or the weekend when you can give yourself a little break. Just remember that the sooner you finish the assignment, the sooner you will get to do that! 

   Speaking of a tactic to make yourself get things done, you will feel much more motivated right after exercising, reading, helping someone who is struggling, or other healthy habits, rather than being on your phone. You can do those lazy activities after completing assignments. This way, you won’t be stressed out by the immediacy of having to do homework after wasting time doing those activities before. Taking care of yourself and being kind to others can help keep you in a good mental state that will significantly improve your focus. Just try it. Minimize that screen time.

   The last thing to remember is that no one can actually multitask. Even if you think that you can, it will only hurt you. The two tasks, and sometimes more, that you’re trying to take care of at the same time, will end up being done at a lower quality than they could have been with a singular focus. Even if one of them does not require much thought or action, it still takes some attention away from the more important task at hand. Do not divide your attention when doing homework by texting, talking with someone, or anything else. The product will be much better and it will be finished quicker. All this in mind, you should work on managing your time better as a student by actually putting into practice some of these suggestions that I have found help myself and others, such as putting your phone away somewhere while doing homework, getting a head start in school or immediately upon getting home, working in order of what’s due, and writing down your assignments. Most of all, you will see an improvement in your time management if you are taking care of yourself!



                                                                                 Your Advice Columnist