Time Management Tips for Students By lwilliams Ah, high school! These four years can be truly exhilarating — and, not to mention, exhausting. Between all of the homework, extracurricular activities, and volunteer work, it’s surprising that you can find any time just to relax or sleep. Finding a healthy balance is often the key to success. In fact, a recent study shows that students who sacrifice sleep for additional study time are more likely to have difficulty understanding new material or trouble with testing. Surprised? Maybe those all-night study sessions aren’t worth the sleep deprivation. (Besides, it doesn’t count if you start to doze off in class.) So, how does a busy high school student like yourself find time to fit everything in and still get a good night’s rest? It starts with learning good time-management skills. Here are five time management tips for students — you can do now to help control your schedule and create balance in your life. 1. Start a To-Do List Start each day with a list of what you need to accomplish, starting with the most important tasks first. Review the list over breakfast (a great way to boost your energy level and kick-start your brain), and be sure to gather any items you may need (projects, uniforms, forms, etc.). If you don’t complete every item on your list, don’t get upset. Simply add it to the next day’s to-do list. 2. Know Your Limits If you find your to-do list is getting too long, it may be that you have over-extended yourself. It can be easy to get involved in more activities than you can handle, especially if your friends are pushing you to join them. Remember, it’s okay to say “no.” Knowing your limits and sticking to them will go a long way in keeping your to-do list a manageable size and keeping your stress levels to a minimum. 3. Bring Work Along If you have an upcoming test or assignment due, bring along your work wherever you go. You can use free time at lunch to study (have a friend quiz you) or start reading your science book while waiting for the bus. Instead of reaching for your phone to check Facebook and Twitter, use your time more wisely and catch up on homework. Just a few minutes here and there will quickly add up and give you more time for other things, like sleeping!. 4. Should College Students Schedule Everything? One way to stay on top of necessary tasks at school, including all required activities and studying, is to schedule everything. Keep track of these responsibilities in an app or in a binder, whatever works best for you. Use a calendar to help you to focus on what your responsibilities are. Carrying a pocket planner or using a calendar app on your phone should help you stay organized and on schedule. Be sure to include any tests, assignments, rehearsals/practices, work shifts, and volunteer hours in your planner. This will help you avoid conflicts in your schedule and give you a clearer picture of when you will have time to study. It may help to post a calendar in the kitchen for your family, so they can see where you’ll be and when. This way, mom and dad won’t accidentally schedule a trip to grandma’s the night of your big game or the weekend you are working on a big project. 5. How to Stop Procrastinating as a College Student? Many people become overwhelmed by all there is to do in college. That may lead to procrastination. To avoid this, tackle tasks as soon as assigned. Try to find time to do a bit of every project each day instead of leaving it all until the end. We know you hear this all the time, but we can’t stress it enough! Don’t make a habit of putting off what you can do today for tomorrow. If you do, you’ll soon find your schedule is in disarray and you’ve run out of time to complete everything. By spreading out your work into manageable segments over several days, and sticking to that schedule, you will find yourself more relaxed and organized. Finding a healthy balance between school, work, and a social life can be challenging, but it will only get more complicated in college. By implementing these time-management strategies now, you’ll be ahead of the game. Not only will these skills translate to college, but to your future career, as well. The choice is yours: time-management guru or procrastinator. Which will you choose? 6. What are some tips for better managing time as a college student? A good place to start is by finding a healthy balance of entertainment and recreation along with studying, socializing, and extracurriculars. Students may need to also balance time for health, including proper sleep. Try to create a schedule that allows time for all necessary tasks, and don’t be afraid to say no when you are out of time.