Managing a Busy Schedule for High School Students by

by Niclas Marie

High School can be a very exciting and busy time in the life of a young student. So much of a teen's future can depend on the way he or she performs in high school. With so many pressures to have the right friends, join the right clubs, and get the right grades, it can often be an overwhelming time in a young person's life, causing lots of stress. There are ways in which high school students can properly manage time, to balance school and social activities. Following these tips will help high school students to be less stressed, as well as better placed for success.

Be Organized and Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is an essential step in proper time management. Having and using a school planner will help students keep track of assignments, project due dates, and future obligations. These obligations can be organized by making a daily checklist of things that need to be completed. Prioritizing the checklist from most important to least important will help students know how much time to allot for each task. It is also a good idea to prioritize tasks that are most difficult for the student to be completed at times when the student is the most alert. Trying to complete a difficult task while tired only makes the task even more trying. Planning to use free time during the school day is another way to properly manage a student's use of time. Study halls may seem like a great time to catch up with friends or write notes, but the successful student will use this time to his or her advantage by completing tasks on the daily checklist.

Another great way to reduce stress and better manage time is to make sure that the personal space of the student is well organized. Lockers, bedrooms, and study spaces can cause distractions when they are unorganized. It is important to develop good organizational habits to ensure that a student isn't wasting time and energy shuffling through piles of paper to find a due assignment.

Finally, planning the night before school will help ease the student's stress during the morning. It is a good idea to plan outfits the night before to avoid rushing around in the morning. Preparing school supplies, fixing lunch, and packing backpacks the night before are other ways in which the student can plan ahead.

Set Realistic Goals

Goal setting can help a student to properly manage time by allowing for the student to implement a plan of action for achieving those goals. It is good to have dreams and high expectations for one's self, especially in high school. It is important, however, for students to be sure to set goals that are realistic. By setting goals that are too lofty, or impossible to achieve, a student will be sitting him or herself up for failure. By doing so, the student can experience discouragement, which can have a domino effect, causing poor performance and lack of effort in other tasks. It is important for a student to understand the difference between setting goals that are challenging and difficult, versus unattainable.

Observe Good Study Habits

Proper study habits should to be learned and observed by all students. A good way to organize study time is to establish a regular study routine. Last minute cramming before a big exam is not a suitable way to maximize learning potential. Time is better utilized by studying in smaller increments leading up the to exam, rather than trying to fit it all in with a long, late night cram session. Breaks in studying are important for the student to be able to recharge and better retain the information. By implementing a study routine that takes place during a regular time, the student can better plan tasks around this time, as well as ensure proper study time is occurring. It has also been determined that studying during the day is more effective than night time study. Utilizing scheduled study halls during school hours is a great way to maintain a study routine.

Students should organize study materials in order to help ease the study process. These materials should be easy to use and transport. Having materials that can be easily accessible during a student's downtime, such as while waiting for a ride or when arriving early to class, can also help the student accomplish the planned study time for the day. Many students find that making flash cards and summary sheets can help organize information in an easy to use way.

Another great study habit for a student to adopt is to reinforce the day's learning by reviewing the class notes every day. By reviewing the information while it is still fresh in the mind, students will find it easier to recall the information the next day. Over time, this will make studying easier as exams draw closer.

Mental and Physical Health

In order to maintain effective time management and reduce stress, it is important that students take care of their mental and physical welfare. It can be very hard for high school students to balance academic work, extracurricular activities, as well as a social life. All of those areas are important in the life of a student and time should be allotted accordingly for each. Getting the proper amount of sleep at night is one of the most basic ways a student can properly participate in effective time management. Getting the proper amount of sleep helps keep students sharp and focus, making it easier to complete goals and tasks during the day.

Resources for Further Reading

Organized Students = Successful Students

8 Ways To Take Control of Your Time

Time Management Activities

High School Planner for Applying to Colleges

Goal Setting Activity - PDF

Study Tips for New High School Students

Study Skills & Time Management - PDF

Extracurricular Participation and Student Engagement

Teens & Sleep

Wakin' Up is Hard to Do: The Challenge of Sleep in the Teen Years

Teen Stress - PDF

Managing School Stress

About the author

is the founder and CEO of TimeCenter Online Scheduling and lives in Helsingborg, Sweden. He loves to code beautiful and simple web apps, and occasionally enjoys a game of blitz chess.

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