We all have 24 hours in a day. How we manage those hours is what makes one person more productive than another.
We live in an over-worked, over-booked, and over-achieving culture, which creates a hectic and busy day.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your day:
1.) Use analog clocks.
Digital clocks only show time in the present. Analog clocks help create time awareness by seeing time move, which can improve the understanding of how long things take. I highly recommend putting analog clocks in every room, especially the bathroom.
Any screen will fall under the category of a distraction (i.e. phone, computer, TV). These devices are the biggest culprit eating up our precious time during the day. When you need to get a job done in a timely manner, I suggest turning off all screens for 30-60 minutes. Use a timer to keep you focused on the task at hand. When the time is up, you can give yourself a five-minute break and check your phone, grab a snack, or send an email. Then, turn off all the devices, set the timer, and get back to work again. You will get more done in these small blocks of uninterrupted time rather than trying to entertain those distractions with a repeated start and stop rotation for hours. I have found this to be a primary reason teens stay up later than necessary doing homework.
3.) Use your planner/calendar.
Using a planner or calendar for assignments and appointments is an essential skill that begins in school and continues through life. I suggest using your planner to schedule after-school activities such as music lessons, games, scout meetings, etc. Using a planner for more than just assignments can help map out your plans for homework, extra-curricular activities, and free time.
4) Learn to say no.
We may want to do it all, but it’s not in our best interest to do so. If we say ‘yes’ to everything it may be at the expense of something else such as our health, other commitments, or the quality of our work. Oftentimes, we say ‘yes’ because we are caught off guard and don’t know how to say ‘no.’ Have a prepared general response ready so you can comfortably decline from invitations or responsibilities that are not right for you at this time.
5.) Self Care.
Typically, this is not on the radar for most teens. According to a Brown University study, teens need nine hours of sleep a night, which can positively impact their grades. Following the above listed suggestions can help you plan your day accordingly, which in turn, will provide you with the time to get an adequate night’s sleep. In addition to sleep, a diet packed with protein, less sugar, and lots of water will give you the energy needed to get through your day.