How am I possibly going to find all the time for this?

Now that school’s in full swing, most of us are probably feeling swamped with all the activities that come with school. There’s tons of things competing for our attention. Classes, football, volleyball, cross country, cheer, band, choir, FFA, Art Club, family, and places of worship–just to name a few. For those high school juniors and seniors out there, worrying about career choices and post-secondary plans are another big stressor. With more and more responsibility that piles on, the less amount of time we seem to have.

Like most of us, I have been struggling with time management lately. Just the other night, I was thinking about all the things on my To-Do list wondering: “How am I possibly going to find all the time for this?” To help relieve some stress I decided to conduct my routine check of my Twitter feed. As I was scrolling through all the tweets, I came across a helpful quote from Florence Kennedy: “Don’t agonize, organize.”

Though I have no relation to Florence Kennedy (or the former president for that matter), I found this quote very inspiring. Rather than spending all this time worrying about how I was to complete items on my To-Do list, I could be spending that time setting a schedule and prioritizing. To help those of you who may be struggling like I was last week, here’s a list of four essential time management tips:

  1. Use a calendar and keep it up to date: This is the first step to taking control of our time. By keeping a calendar, agenda, or journal of some sort, we can remember important dates and deadlines. Also, be sure to check your calendar. Obviously there’s no point in keeping one unless you check it regularly. Personally, I like to use Google Calendar since I always have my smartphone with me. Plus, I can program it to set reminders for deadlines that are approaching. What kind of time organizer will you use?
  2. Don’t just mark events on your calendar, use it to set habits! This was a helpful tip that I received from a friend. Not only is it important to keep track of events on your calendar, but it is equally important to set aside time to study, practice for CDEs, or other events. When we set specific times to finish our homework, for instance, we hold ourselves accountable and avoid procrastination. What is something that you need to set aside time for?
  3. Eliminate distractions! It’s one thing to set aside time to work on a project, it’s a completely new task to try to follow through with that! Sometimes we get distracted and don’t get the best use of our time. For me, a big distraction is my smartphone. Beforelong, I’ll find myself checking Snapchat and Twitter rather than writing a paper! To solve this issue, Isilence my phone and place it out of sight until my work is finished. How can you avoid distractions during work?
  4. Reward yourself! If we were to work one hundred percent of the time, we would miss out on the things that really matter in life. Once you get your tasks completed, take a deep breath and relax. This could be through hanging out with friends, spending time with your family, doing your favorite hobby, or binge-watching Netflix. How will you reward yourself?

Time management can be tricky, and overwhelming. With these tips, time management is a lot less stressful and you’ll find more time to do the things you enjoy.

Living to serve,

John Kennedy
State Vice President