Step 1: Marking time
Start time management the simple way. Instead of marking off the days of the week, use a calendar to fill in up-coming events. When you schedule something, make sure you also schedule the time it takes to get to and from the event. For instance, if your school day is 8:00 to 2:30 but you have an hour bus ride both ways, then your school day is really 7:00 to 3:30.
As well as scheduling school days and social activities, schedule chores. For instance, if it’s your job to take out the garbage or clean the cat box, write it on your calendar. That way, when you’re trying to study or in the middle of your favorite TV show, you won’t be interrupted by an irate parent.
Speaking of TV, if you have a favorite show that you don’t want to miss, write it down. Schedule everything for a week or if big events like your birthday are up coming, write them down, too. Use empty calendar boxes (like the ones after day 31) to keep track of future plans. (Next month basketball practice starts– [date]).
Now that you know what’s in the future, you should have a pretty good handle on the rest of your time. So, if homecoming is on the 6th and the history test is on the 7th, you can schedule extra history study time for the 5th. In addition, make it a point to take good notes that you can quickly review on the morning of the 7th.
Step 2: Use a To Do List
Use a small notebook and jot down things you need to do 1) today, 2) tomorrow, and 3) by the end of the week or later. Prioritize today’s list. If today’s list is too long, it’s time to regroup, break down, and move some items to tomorrow or further into the week. That isn’t procrastination; it’s time management. Procrastination is when you know you have to get something done, but agonize over doing it as time slips away. For example, if on Monday you get a large assignment that’s due Friday, break it into smaller parts and work on it all through the week, making your goal to have most of it done before Thursday’s study time.
Step 3: Schedule your time
Step 4: Analyze your schedule
At the end of the week, take a look back at what you had to do and what you accomplished. See what worked and what didn’t work for you. Use both the hits and misses from this week in building a schedule for next week.