If I could get more of anything, it’d be time — time to finish homework, time to practice my speech, time to relax. Until time machines are invented, our busy selves will have to learn to balance everything we do in only 24 hours a day.
The skill of time management is like a muscle; it constantly has to be exercised for it to get stronger. The stronger it gets, the easier it is to handle heavier weights.
I haven’t always been good at managing my time, and I still slip up every now and then, but I’ve improved a lot throughout my high school career. There are three things for you to remember when it comes to time management, and, lucky for you, they all start with P!
We can’t do work without having any! The first step is figuring out what needs to be done. You need priorities. It’s much easier to say yes than it is to say no, so it isn’t uncommon for you to pile a lot of things on your plate. When this happens, you should rank your tasks by deadline and importance. The most important tasks with the closest deadlines should be prioritized while the less important tasks with later deadlines should be lower on the list.
My priorities are as follows: school, theatre, pageantry. This means my homework, projects, and tests come before anything else. Once those are complete, I shift my attention to rehearsing for my next performance. After that, I dedicate the rest of my energy to pageantry.
Now that we have our priorities straight, it’s time for the next P:
Once you know what needs to get done, you have to figure out a way to do it. The best way to do this is by planning ahead. Having a plan to accomplish your goals prevents procrastination and unnecessary stress.
If you only remember one thing from this post, it should be the importance of a planner. No one can remember everything, and that’s totally okay. What isn’t okay is using that as an excuse to not complete your work. Planners help you keep track of your commitments, allowing you to be more organized.
One of my favorite strategies is planning out my day by the hour. In my school day, I usually have one free period. When planning my day, I dedicate this time to completing smaller assignments. I also allocate the hour immediately after school to completing anything I didn’t finish in school and other small assignments. Next, I finish longer assignments due the next day. After, I spend anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes on larger projects. When scheduling your day, don’t forget to leave time for things you absolutely cannot avoid such as walking home, practices and rehearsals, dinner, and getting ready for bed.
Another Way to Plan
Planning out the day hour-by-hour doesn’t work for everyone. Oftentimes, you don’t know how long each assignment will take to complete. If this sounds like you, try this strategy:
Overload your planner! Instead of scheduling your day to the hour, list an unrealistic amount of tasks to complete in one night.
If you finish everything on your list, you will be incredibly ahead of schedule, giving yourself more time to relax throughout the week. If you don’t finish everything, you aren’t behind. It’s a win-win situation! One of my good friends does this, and although it doesn’t work for me, it always works for her.
Priorities? Check. Plan? Check. Time for the last P:
When it comes to what you think about yourself, you’re right no matter what. If you never believe you can do something, you won’t be able to! Therefore, it is very important to ditch the self-deprecating jokes and keep a positive attitude.
Make your environment an uplifting one. Be sure to keep your support group close, and don’t be afraid to reach out to them when you need a little encouragement (don’t forget to be a supportive friend yourself). Leaving uplifting quotes in your room can also be very helpful. If you need some ideas, check out our Instagram feed. We post positive messages daily!
With positivity comes self-care. When everything gets too overwhelming, don’t forget to give yourself some time to breathe! Dedicate some time to do something you genuinely enjoy. This could be something as small as watching a video on Youtube or listening to music.
Speaking of pageants, one tip I have is making your personal introduction your lock screen and saying it out loud every time you pick up your phone. I start doing this a month before my next pageant to help me memorize it.
There you have it!
The three P’s to success are priorities, plan, and positivity! Try to start implementing these things in your everyday routine and see if they work for you. I hope you found this post helpful!