Shannon Presley Alexander
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Tick tock… the clock sounds; as each minute passes anxiety can build. Uncertain of what the day holds or what’s on the agenda can lead to life living you instead of you living life. You can miss the moment, perhaps not ‘miss it’ but lose it due to the negligence of planning and ensuring that you live the moments. Managing your time wisely isn’t something that just happens; you have to actively plan and this often means planning ahead of time. So what does this look like? And how can you get better at time management? Let’s review a few steps that will help you get in alignment with your target.

    1. Make a daily to do list
      Put the most important things at the top; write down appointments and class assignments; as well as, those things that are considered to be the most tedious to do. Do the most important tasks first followed by the tedious ones. Knock those off the list and the rest of your day will be easier. You’ll also be amazed at how good it feels to check each item off as you accomplish your daily goals.
    2. Make a schedule
      After creating your daily list, create a weekly schedule as a reminder for appointments, assignments, tests, sports practice, family activities, etc. Put a time limit on each activity to better comprehend the time it takes to get things accomplished. Ensure that you are allotting adequate time for each day when factoring in appointments and daily to dos. You may also want to factor in 15 – 20 % more time on big projects to act as a buffer for unexpected mishaps. By the way, did you know that teens who keep a written schedule are much more likely to reach their goals? Remembering and preparation is half the battle.
    3. Be okay with saying “No”
      Taking on too much can affect how much you accomplish. I know we live in the days where ‘multi-tasking’ is what it’s all about; however, if you spread yourself to thin by taking on too much, chances are you might be successful in getting things accomplished yet jeopardizing the quality or accuracy of your tasks.
    4. Keep an organized environment
      Organizing areas such as: your bedroom, study area, car and locker, will improve your ability to stay on schedule and stay focused during your hectic schedule. Being able to locate things makes a world of difference especially when/if unexpected things arise.
    5. Mental, physical & emotional wellness
      Listen to your body; it knows what you need. Get adequate rest, between 7 – 8 hours of sleep nightly. Make better nutritional choices; fruits and veggies are always important. Attempt to get 30 minutes of daily exercise. Combining these will contribute to your overall wellbeing. Being healthy and alert allows you to be ready for anything that comes your way.

While life as a high school student can be exceptionally busy and easily overwhelming, by following the tips provided, you can be in control of your time. Take charge; manage your time so you know what to expect and appreciate all that the day has to offer. Being prepared provides you with the opportunity to enjoy the moment; it’s yours to seize. Go forth and conquer!