5 essential time management strategies

// GUEST POST BY TEEN GIRL TALIA, YR 9, BRISBANE

Time management. Known by all, but mastered by none. No one has enough time to do it all however there are a few tips to make your life that little bit easier!

1. Make a to do list

If anyone walked into my room they will find a “Things I Must Do” list placed on the edge of my desk. Not only is it incredibly satisfying to cross off that final thing (it actually releases dopamine, a hormone that makes you happy) but it also helps align your thoughts and keep your mind focused on what’s next.

2. Prioritise

I need to work on this. When you have so many tasks to do sometimes it can be difficult to determine what matters most, what do you have to do first and where to start?! I’ve found it helps to order your to-do list in terms of either what comes first, the biggest piece of work, what you believe is most important or what you are most stressed about. That way you have a plan and won’t ever get stuck not knowing where to begin.

3. Don’t procrastinate.

Easier said than done but it is hands down the most important thing you can do. One minute of scrolling can turn into 20, a Youtube video can turn into 10, a nap can turn into a sleep before your very eyes … well, closed eyes. Get to it. Just do it. NOW. It is proven that if you don’t do something, or start to do it within five minutes, you won’t do it at all. So the second that thought pops into your mind, take at least a small step to completing it.

4. Plan out the week

I don’t know about you, but the amount of times I’ve gotten to Thursday night only to realise the amount of work I have due Friday is ridiculous … how did it all pile up so quickly? When you leave it all for the final night it seems unbearable. Unmanageable. Impossible. So plan out your week and weekend. On Monday, allocate time to set subjects. Add it up in your head, if you procrastinate that maths will you actually have enough time to do it later? Schedule time into blocks and allocate certain work to a day. For me, Tuesday afternoon I do lots on maths, Thursday is a big biology afternoon and English I chip away on continually. My weekends are focused on assignments and study and so on. You see how it goes? Realise what takes up the most of your time and allocate set minutes, hours or days to it.

5. Give your brain a break.

Double your time. Work more effectively. Make one minute turn into two. How, I hear you ask? Work less. What?! Your brain is going to work more effectively if you break it up. Give yourself rests (only short ones) and let your brain have a breather. For me this looks like a small snack and a glass of water partway through my weekend study. Or maybe it’s 10 star jumps after each difficult maths question. Break up your time, mix up your subjects and ultimately double your productivity.

I hope these five essential time management strategies can help you get a better grip of your time, ultimately affecting your whole life. To summarise, make a to do list, prioritise, don’t procrastinate, plan out your week and effectively use your time. So, get to it. Go rock your week!

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