Do you know how you actually spend your time? Gone are the days of my high school life when I was waiting for the bus, I would pick up my book and read. Now you can fill your time with Facebook, Tik Tok, Snapchat, read through your texts, Tweet, take 10000 selfies of what you would look like with and without bangs. And before you know it, that project that was due two weeks from now is due tomorrow. There is no possible way you can get it done in time so you fake a stomachache and stay home to finish the project.
How did this happen? You started the year off awesome! You wrote all the due dates in that school planner, you started reading ahead, heck, you even took a pre-course course for your hardest classes! But now you are so behind, you are looking forward to Thanksgiving break so you can “catch up.”
Don’t worry, all is not lost. You can catch up before Thanksgiving. Here are a few things you can do in order to better manage your time.
For the next two days, start a log of all the things you do and how much time you spend on them. Yes, every. single. thing. Log how much time you are on Facebook, youtube, etc., how much time you spend eating, attending a class, talking on the phone, watching TV, assignments. Everything!!! There is no judgment here, don’t try to change anything you do in your normal day just yet…
7:00-7:18am – wake up, check Instagram, get dressed
7:18-7:30am – eat breakfast and check Tik Tok, check emails
7:30-7:40am – ride to school with Mom, make a Snapchat of my mom lecturing me
7:40-7:45am- get my books from my locker and go to class
class (1.5 hours)
lunch- eat lunch with my friends and talk about the snapchats or Tik Tok we posted this morning
class (30 minutes)
…… and so on throughout the day
This exercise should be really eye-opening to how you spend your time. Even while studying, you may be spending way more time completing a project than estimated. Look at your daily log inventory to make serious changes. For example, wherein your schedule can you completely put away your smart phone and social media and actually focus on completing your tasks?
Now that you’ve found all this time you can fill, let’s fill it productively!
Write in your planner:
Are you just writing due dates in your planner? If so, that’s a great start. Yes, I said start. Go back and read over the assignments, estimate how much time each one is going to take you, and block out times to complete before the due dates. This includes writing down when you should start studying for finals and midterms, ideally starting to review at least 3 weeks in advance of your final.
Make a to-do list daily:
This should include your study times and goals for you to complete. Once you’ve completed it, check it off! Do this daily to manage your daily schedules and track if your goals. Also take some work with you to use your downtime, like waiting for your ride or riding the bus to school, as an opportunity to get some studying out of the way.
This article is written by Insight Senior Counselor Jenny Bloom.
Jenny has worked with a variety of students since 2012 to help them take the right steps to achieve their academic goals. Part of her philosophy is to guide students to consider how they will build and hone their skills and talents to make a difference in the world around them. Contact Insight Education today to schedule an initial consultation with Jenny. Read her full bio here.