Time Managementby Deana Archambault, Wrentham,MATuesday was a hectic day. It was only the second week of school and I already had long-term project assignments. I had every class except gym. Every teacher had given homework but I managed to get some done in my one free period. The problem was getting the rest done. I had a soccer game that afternoon. On the way, I should have been thinking about scoring goals and winning the game, but I was worried about homework. When are you going to do all of this? I thought. You have a geometry assignment, a religion test and an English paper, all due tomorrow! During the game, I was able to put my homework in the back of my mind. But when we got back on the bus, I began to worry again. Now I know you're probably thinking, Why worry? You have plenty of time to get your work done. It's only six o'clock at night. But I could not go home yet. I still had dance class until 9: 30. At dance, I was again able to clear my mind of my overload of homework, but I was not feeling well and it took all of my energy just to move.When my dad picked me up, I was very tired and wanted to go to bed. Then he asked about my homework. That was when I started crying. "Dad, I'll never finish all of it," I moaned. "I have so much to do and it's already 9: 30. Plus, I don't feel well.""Calm down," my dad said. "Just tell me what you have to do and we'll figure out a way to get it done." He told me I would get everything done if I just relaxed. I felt relieved because not only had my dad helped me figure out how to manage everything, but he had also restored my confidence. I went to my room and began my task. I picked up my agenda to take one last look at what I had to do. "Don't think," I told myself, "just do. Don't think about what you have to do or how much time you have. Just keep on working." Does any of this sound familiar? I ended up getting everything done, but that's not what was important: I learned how to manage my time. Time management means scheduling appointments and activities from the most to least important in a way that fits your time frame. As young adults, we are active, with many places to go and lots to do. If we learn to manage our time wisely, we will be able to do more things that we want to do.I know that it seems like agendas and calendars are only for super-smart and organized people. In reality, it is the unorganized and confused people who need help managing their time. Organizational tools like these are helpful when you are scheduling appointments, dates and activities. By using them, you can see how much time you have and how many things you have to do.Your time can be managed in a variety of ways. Many people make to-do lists. However, this is not always sufficient for teenagers because we tend to forget how much time we have and we procrastinate. Many schools give students agendas to help them organize their homework, projects and other assignments. Students at my school find these useful for keeping track of grades, homework and long-term assignments.For keeping track of your extra-curricular activities (such as sports and clubs), calendars have always been useful. Time can be managed in a simple way. First, write down everything you have to complete within the day, week, month, etc. Then, record the due date for each and how long it will take to do. From there, plug each item into a time slot so that everything is given the proper amount of time. By using this method, you can be organized and have plenty of time to lead a stress-free, well-rounded life. ?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.