If you follow the time management techniques you find on this website, you will be well on your way to achieving the success in school you have dreamed of and well-poised to tackle whatever challenges you have set for yourself once you graduate. These techniques work, and anyone who follows them faithfully will find getting through school much easier than trying to do so without a systematic plan. However, we are all human, and from time to time sticking to a routine can start to get old. Whether you call it boredom or discouragement, at some point you may be tempted to give up instead of sticking with your system.
That is a natural reaction, and many people will face it at some point in their school career. But it does not have to happen to you. The reason it happens is simple, and the way to prevent it from happening is also simple. The reason people get bored or discouraged with their goal setting and time management system is because they get bogged down in the details of their everyday lives. Every day is mapped out, with regular chunks of the day set aside for studying and other vital pursuits. After a few weeks, you can feel like you are stuck in a rut. However, you are not; you are doing what it takes to achieve your dreams, despite what may feel like a rut after several weeks. This is one reason it is important to set aside sufficient time for socializing and other fun activities.
In order to avoid this temptation to chuck it all, it is necessary to remind yourself from time to time why you are doing all the hard work necessary to achieve your goals. For most students, those goals will include the college, university, or graduate school you hope to attend or the career you hope to embark on after graduating. That is your ultimate goal, and it is easy for you to lose sight of it in the day-to-day routine of school life. It is important, then, to find ways of bringing it from the back of your mind to the front. There are numerous ways of doing this. Some students like to bookmark the homepage of the school they want to attend and visit the site once a week or so just to stay motivated. Others print out a photo of the school and put it in a prominent place on their desk. Career-oriented students can visit forums where people already working in the career post messages. Even if you choose not to register for one of these types of forums, just reading about the lives of people who are already doing what you hope to do can be inspiring. Clip out photos and articles from newspapers and magazines about your dream school or career, and keep them in a prominent place. Whenever you are feeling discouraged or in a rut, spend a few minutes viewing these inspirational articles, photos, and websites. A surefire method of keeping your nose to the grindstone is keeping your eyes on the prize.
Understand That Your Education Must Take Top Priority
You will find a number of easy, useful, and highly effective time management tips on this website, and if you follow them they will have a huge impact on your efforts to achieve academic success. However, they are not the be all and end all of time management for high school and college students, and, more importantly, they are all premised on the assumption that doing well in school is your number one priority. If that is the case, implementing these time management tips will be easy and pleasant. If it is not the case, then odds are you will not bother with using many of them, and eventually you will slack off on the techniques you are actually using. If you are going to manage your time well for academic success, you must understand that school is your top priority, and everything else is a distant second.
This is not to say that school is your only priority. It is not, not by a long shot. We all need to socialize and have fun, and many of us need to work while we are in school. We need balance in our lives, and some measure of spontaneity and flexibility. We have incorporated these needs in the time management tips you will find here, and if you follow them faithfully you will find that you have plenty of time for work, socializing, relaxing, and just plain having fun. There is no need to turn into a hermit with no social life. You most certainly can have a balanced life while in school, but you must always make certain that school comes first. This is much easier if you start the school year or semester off by filling out your schedules and planners with this priority in mind.
You will also need to keep it in mind throughout the rest of the semester or school year. Things change, life happens, and there will be times when you will have to change your schedules and planners and adapt to a new situation. On top of that, you will constantly be faced with decisions to make throughout the school year. You will have invitations and opportunities for all sorts of events and activities coming your way at all times. That is just how it is when you are in school; this is an even bigger issue if you are in college, where there is no end to things to do. Many of them will interest you, and at times it can be tough to say no. You must always ask yourself, “Will this interfere with or hamper my goal of academic success?” If the answer is yes, then you must say no. When you make your education your top priority, saying no will not be all that difficult.
Do Not Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
“Do not bite off more than you can chew” is an old saying, but there is a reason it is been around forever-it is excellent advice. There is no quicker route to discouragement and feeling overwhelmed than taking on more obligations and responsibilities than you have time to accomplish. And it is quite easy to do. At the start of a new semester or school year, you are raring to go, and you probably have a lot of good, even lofty intentions. For instance, you might plan to take a huge course load, join the swim team, run for sorority president, take on extra credit projects, work a part time job, volunteer with a local non-profit organization, etc. It sounds great on paper, and you know it will be a challenge to manage all these obligations, but you are sure you are up to it. Then, a month or so down the road, you become overwhelmed and fall behind in your studies, and you are not giving your best to any of your responsibilities.
Do not let this happen to you. When making plans for the semester or school year, it is best to play it safe and err on the side of caution. In other words, it is far better to do several things extremely well than to do a lot bunch of things at less than your best. There is no shame in knowing your limits and what you are capable of. While it is good to challenge yourself, it has to be done within reason. Overextending yourself can lead to several outcomes, and none of them are good: feeling like a failure, being frazzled, suffering the resentment of others who were counting on you, and being disappointed with yourself for letting other people down.
So learn to say no. Do not let anyone try to talk you into something you know you simply do not have time for, and do not let them lay a guilt trip on you for declining. It is great to help others when you can, but your main goal must always be doing your very best at school, not pleasing everyone. It is also imperative to remember that you should never compare yourself with another person. We have all heard those stories of people who take on a double course load, pursue three majors, and graduate in two years. Well, the people who can do that are few and far between, and they have strengths that most of us do not. They also have weaknesses that most of us do not have, and you can bet they did not have much of a life for those two years. Do not compare yourself to others, do not take on more obligations than you can handle, and learn to politely but firmly say no.