The Importance of Developing Your Time Management Skills
For many teens, time management is simply a phrase that applies to adults. What they often don’t realize is that good time management skills are just as crucial for teens, especially those who are juggling everything from school to part-time jobs, sports, friends, and family. Let’s examine why time management is so important, as well as what teens can do to develop these important skills.
These are skills that you will use for the rest of your life. Taking the time to learn proper time management skills as a teen will:
- Help you study, play, work, and rest more effectively.
- Allow you to feel a sense of calmness and balance that you cannot achieve when you are running around trying to do things at the last minute.
- Devote more time to creating lasting relationships with others.
- Help you become more independent and less reliant on others, a skill that will become increasingly important as you get older.
How Can Teens Enhance Their Time Management Skills?
It is not nearly as difficult as you might think to become an expert at time management. Utilize the following tips to get you started:
Set a schedule and stick to it.
For you to truly be successful, you need to establish a routine. For example, set aside the same time each day, if possible, to do your homework or chores. It is a good idea to do this right after school when the information is still fresh. If you have a part-time job, talk with your manager about the possibility of having a set schedule instead of working different days every week.
Make certain you are well organized.
Without good organizational skills, it is almost impossible to have good time management skills. Invest in a bulletin board and calendar or a dry erase calendar. Clearly mark exam dates, reports, practice schedules, project deadlines, etc. Then, break down big projects and test study sessions into small goals and clearly mark them on the calendar to plan out a project’s completion.
It is also a good idea to carry around a day planner that is simply a smaller, portable version of the calendar you have hanging up at home.
Fight the urge to procrastinate.
It’s not unusual for teens (and adults) to put things off until the last possible minute, especially if it is a task they are dreading. The easiest way to overcome procrastination is to simply dive in and start working. It is also advisable to break big projects down into more
manageable pieces and allow yourself a break when you finish a section.
Prioritize your activities.
For instance, make completing your homework the first thing you do when you get home in the afternoon. If you know that you are having a quiz on Friday, but you have to work Thursday night, be sure to study for it on Wednesday and allow yourself a few minutes to review the material on Thursday. It is up to you to determine what should rank where in your list of priorities, but keep in mind that school usually should come first.
Plan out things ahead of time.
While it may seem like common sense to get your backpack and clothes ready for school the night before, there are plenty of people who do not. Instead, they end up rushing to get school on time after spending 15 minutes looking for a pair of shoes. Before you go to bed each night, set out the things you will need to get through the next day, including sports uniforms (don’t forget the socks and hat), work uniform, project that is due, and library book that you need to return.
Creating a daily to-do list is crucial for good time management skills.
Writing things down that you need to get done each day and marking them off as you complete them is extremely important. Include even the most mundane things, such as filling up your water bottle before leaving for basketball practice.
Make good use of your free time.
Occasionally, you will get lucky enough to carve out some unexpected free time, such as when you are one of the first ones to turn in your biology test. Use this time wisely. For example, review your history notes for an upcoming test or pull out the math homework you were assigned during your last class and get started on it.
In today’s fast-paced world, developing good time management skills is absolutely necessary to ensure that you get everything completed. With good skills in time management will help you get more accomplished today with less stress, but it will also serve you well as you enter into adulthood.