As the school year approaches, your teens may begin to feel anxious about the load they will be taking on this fall. Teaching them time management skills is a great way to arm them not just for the school year but for the rest of their lives.
In this article, we will share 10 of our favorite time management tips for teens but don’t be surprised if you learn something too.
10 Time Management Tips For Teens
1. Wake up early
Wake up early to get a head start on the day. We know, this is a hard one to convince your teenager of. But we promise, if you can get them on board with this, everything else is easy. One way to do this is to help them see the value of using the early hours to practice the things they love. Mornings are a great time to get in a workout before school, practice guitar, or even sit quietly reading a book.
This is actually the tip teens tell us they really liked the most. Probably because they were surprised by how effective it was. One teen told us his trick was to get up 5 minutes early every day until he got to a time that felt right for him.
One of the reasons people love the iStratus app so much is that they have their task lists right on their phones but best of all they can prioritize the things that need to happen.
Learning to make a to-do list and prioritize your tasks is an important part of maintaining good mental health. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by our list that we forget there are truly some times we can simply move to another day.
3. Time matters
Set time limits for each task and stick to them. This one seems like magic. We have had dozens of teenagers describe it that way.
“It used to take me hours to do a single assignment in history. But when I started setting a one-hour limit I was able to get the entire assignment done in that time.”
What’s the secret? When there is a limit you are much less likely to let other things distract you. One reason it takes teens so long to do an assignment is usually a distraction like their phone or a game being played in the other room.
4. Avoid burnout
Take breaks in between tasks to avoid burnout. Nobody expects you to sit at a desk for hours at a time. We encourage students to take time between assignments to get a snack or take an easy walk. These breaks will allow you to come back refreshed and ready for the next task. But let us remind you of tip #3. Time matters. Make sure you set a limit for your break as well.
Learning to delegate tasks to others is a lifelong skill. We teach this one on a regular basis to adults. Delegate, automate, or eliminate. Learning to do this with your task list can save you hours each week.
6. No is a powerful word
Learn to say “no” when necessary. Sometimes this is for a volunteer opportunity or a favor someone is asking but sometimes it is for something that seems really fun. But consider the consequences. If you take the time right now to blow off this task, how much more stressed will you be tomorrow. Saying no today could mean the difference between being overwhelmed and being done!
7. Avoid procrastination at all costs
The problem with procrastination is that new tasks are added to your list every day. If you leave them, you won’t come back to the task you left behind yesterday. You will come back to that one and plus two more. This is one more reason using a task manager can be so helpful. Being able to see the tasks and feeling the pleasure of marking one more thing off your list can give you a huge feeling of relief. Getting things off your plate today is an important step to managing your time and in the end, it is an important step in managing your mental health.
8. Track your commitments
Keep a calendar or planner to track your commitments. iStratus is a powerful tool for the student in your life. You can keep track of upcoming exams and projects and be ahead of the game with one simple app. Knowing that is coming is part of the battle when it comes to managing your time. You can also be sure to schedule your social time. Social time is important too.
9. Simplify your schedule as much as possible
One of the easiest ways to simplify your schedule is to batch activities. Knowing that you are going to work on Spanish, Chemistry, and Geometry on Mondays, spend time with friends on Tuesday and work on History, English, and art on Wednesdays adds some calm to your life.
10. Don’t forget the fun
Make time for relaxation and fun–it’s important! We believe in fun so much we encourage you to add it to your calendar. If you know you have something fun to look forward to, it is much easier to make it through the more daunting tasks.