Time Management is always an issue that students and adults face as we try to meet all the demands placed on us. It is important for students to experience the entire Upper School experience and managing time well is a crucial part of successful Upper School life. First and foremost, that means working up to one’s potential in the classroom. However, second to that includes being well-rounded. Find some activities that interest and immerse yourself in them just like you do with your classes. These could be playing on our sports teams, getting involved with school plays, or some of the many other co-curricular offerings MPA has. It is important to find and maintain a healthy balance between school, work and social life.
I still remember traveling to basketball games and seeing Kareem Daniel from the Class of 1992 doing his homework on the bus and sitting in the stands during the JV games finishing his homework. He was one of the reasons why we won ISL Basketball Championships, but even more importantly, he ended up being the top student in his class. That type of work ethic has served him well in life in college to being a very successful young man today. I mention his ability to manage his time well to my students still today.
To help manage your time and get everything done, it is important to not procrastinate. I know students hear this all the time. Don’t make a habit of putting off what you can do today for tomorrow. If you do, you’ll soon find your schedule is in disarray and you’ve run out of time to complete everything. By spreading out your work into manageable segments over several days, and sticking to that schedule, you will find yourself more relaxed and organized.
Next, you should start each day with a list of what you need to accomplish, starting with the most important tasks first. If you don’t complete every item on your list, don’t get upset. Simply add it to the next day’s to-do list. It is important to know what your limits are. If you find your to-do list is getting too long, it may be that you have over-extended yourself. It can be easy to get involved in more activities than you can handle. Remember, it’s okay to say ‘no.’
As I mentioned with my example about Kareem Daniel, if you have an upcoming test or assignment due, bring along your work wherever you go. Instead of reaching for your phone to check social media pages, use your time wisely and catch up on homework. Just a few minutes here and there will quickly add up.
Finally, you need to schedule all the things you do. Using a calendar app on your phone can help you stay organized. Include any tests, assignments, rehearsals/practices, work shifts, and volunteer hours. This will help you avoid conflicts in your schedule and give you a clearer picture of when you will have time to study.