When one takes a peek at a student’s schedule, school and school-related events take up most of a student’s time. Your time is allotted for different activities: going to school, doing homework, completing group projects, and attending field trips. But these are not the only activities that keep you busy. In fact, extra-curricular activities like sports, dance classes, educational trips, national and international competitions and Kumon time also keep you on your toes.
Developing a balance between your academic and extra-curricular responsibilities is not an easy task. The first challenge is how to actually start doing it. To help you do just this and more, here are some tips on how to manage your time and stay on track:
- Be organized. Make use of time-saving tools like planners, calendars, and to-do lists for all your planning, even listing down when study time is. You can use these tools for either long-term (yearly) or short-term (daily/weekly) planning. Also, make sure that you have an organized workplace so that you don’t waste time looking for materials that you need.
- Plan ahead. Determine how long your tasks will take before starting it and set goals for both the long-term and short-term tasks. Consider whether any tasks can be combined or done in succession. Also, determine if big tasks can be broken down into smaller tasks that can be easier to schedule.
- Prioritize your tasks. Make use of an ABC rating system for tasks on your to-do list with A as the task with the highest priority. Gauge the time requirement for each task on your to-do list and take note of all details and steps needed in order to achieve the tasks. Also, don’t postpone the smalls tasks since these can become larger tasks once overlooked.
- Avoid overload. Make it a point to take short breaks in between tasks since this prevents you from burning out on one task or a number of tasks. Always include time for rest, sleep, and fun in your schedule. Also, when you have a lot of tasks to do, learn to say no when appropriate and learn to negotiate for better deadlines when appropriate.
- Be flexible. Unexpected events and activities will happen. Know how to rearrange your schedule when necessary and know how to fit even the most unexpected events. Also, be aware of who you can approach for help when needed.
In balancing your time between school and extra-curricular activities, never forget the big picture. Keeping in mind your long-term goals will constantly remind you of why you are doing all your tasks every day. This, along with a positive and open attitude toward challenges, will make your day-to-day journey of completing tasks will seem less stressful and more enjoyable. So start planning and managing your time, now!