How good are you at time management?
Most people struggle with this at least a little bit. Some people are better at it than others, but we all need help at one time or another.
As a teenager, you’re probably bombarded with homework assignments, extracurricular activities, and household chores. How are you supposed to have time to do anything else that will make your life meaningful or make you happy? Add the draw of social media and the Internet, and you have a formula for wasted time and a stressful life.
Maybe you don’t care. Why does it matter if I waste time and get all of my homework done at the last minute? As long as I do everything required of me, can’t I waste the rest of the time?
Time is a gift from God. He has given us every day of our lives to fulfill His purpose for us. If you waste time doing mindless, meaningless things, you are wasting the time He has given you to do important, meaningful things to His glory.
So how can you get better at managing time well?
1. Get a planner.
It doesn’t matter what system you choose, but it should have a calendar and space for making to-do lists. You can buy a fancy planner, use a notebook with a calendar taped in the front, or use your phone. It doesn’t matter, as long as it works for you.
If you choose, like me, to use your phone, there are countless apps out there designed to help you be more productive. When I got my phone, I literally just downloaded the first free to-do list app I found. I didn’t like that one, so I tried another one. And so on and so forth. If you get free ones, you can just delete them and try another one until you find one you like.
Do try to find one that has a calendar and a to-do list together. After trying many, many apps with over-complicated or over-simplified systems, I found one called isoTimer that was perfect for me. Find one that works for you and that you can use. Or use a physical planner if you find that works better.
2. Write everything down.
Write down every event on your calendar. Write down every homework assignment, every chore your mom asks you to do, and anything else you need to do on your to-do list. You can relax if you know for sure that you have everything written down and won’t forget anything.
Don’t forget to sync your calendar to that of your family; make sure everyone’s on the same page. Double check the family calendar every so often to make sure you have everything that affects you written down. Also be sure that all of your events are on the family calendar so your parents know about them.
If you use your phone and have homework to keep track of, I would recommend having a separate place to write down homework while in class, since you can’t really type it into your phone while the teacher’s talking. Write it down there and then enter it into your phone at lunch or after school.
3. Give yourself time to adjust.
It takes time to get adjusted to a new system. Don’t give up right away if it feels weird and you keep forgetting to write things down. Once it’s been a little while and you’ve adjusted to it, it’s a wonderful feeling of having everything under control. (Trust me, it’s just happening to me now. I got this app a few weeks ago.)
4. Just do it.
No matter how much you write things down, there will always be that time when you absolutely do not feel like doing anything. When that happens, you literally just have to do it, no matter what.
There are times when I have to just walk myself through the steps. “Grace, now you need to walk to your room. Now plug in your headphones. Now turn on the music. Now get out your homework. Now look up the textbook pages. Now start writing.” Just get it done.
I hope these tips help you! God gave us 24 hours in a day, and we should be making the most of that time.