School can be a balancing act and you can quickly become
completely overwhelmed if you do not establish effective management habits. By
efficiently managing your time and many responsibilities you can be successful
at school and still have time for the things you enjoy outside of school.
The first step to managing your school career is to take
personal responsibility for your life. Good grades do not just happen. You must
purpose to be a successful student. While your parents, teachers and friends
are there to help you out, it is up to you to take the initiative to make
How do you make
things happen? First, get organized. You need to have a place where you write
everything down and keep important paperwork, like a planner or binder. What
you use is not important. It just needs to be something that you are
comfortable with, always carry with you and use consistently.
Once you have a place to organize everything you need to
have a clear set of goals in mind. It is important to have an overall goal to
keep you motivated and focused. It helps to stay motivated when you are taking
a class you dread if you focus on how it will help you achieve your goal of
college rather than how difficult or boring the class is.
You also need short term goals. At the start of each week, write down your weekly
goals. You may have to write a paper, give a presentation and study for a math
test. Once you have written your goals down break them into bite sized pieces
for the week and schedule the time you will need for each task. You may decide
you need to dedicate an hour each night to write your paper, fifteen minutes
nightly to work on your presentation, and 30 minutes to study for your math
test. Make sure to schedule time to work when you are most effective. If you
are sleepy right after school then you may want to wait until after dinner to
work on your tasks.
Once you have written down your goals for the week number
them in order of importance. By prioritizing your goals you know that if
something comes up, and it always does, you will know what absolutely has to
happen and what you can shift to the next day. By ordering your tasks and
breaking them into daily increments you won’t end up pulling an all-nighter to
finish a paper or cram for a test. Effective time managers never wait until the
night before to start a project. The day prior to a project’s due date should
be reserved to do your final editing or make minor adjustments.
The last element in effective management is taking care of
you! While taking care of yourself may seem like a luxury with your busy
schedule it is actually a very important part of successfully managing your
life. When you make time to attend to your mind, body and soul you come to
school rested, full of energy and clear headed. Schedule time each day to do
the things that rejuvenate you and bring you joy even if it is just a few
minutes. Take the time to eat three healthy meals a day and turn the lights out
at a reasonable hour. Your brain works much more efficiently when your life is
in balance which will in turn allow you to work at full capacity and be the
student you want to be.