Browsing Tag:

time management

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Goals, Mental Health, School, Stress, Tips

    Are You Managing Your Time? Or Is Your Time Managing You?

    Staying organized and keeping your schedule up to date is a tricky skill to master. It takes a lot of trial and error, in addition to finding what works for you personally. Without knowing how to properly manage your time, it becomes really easy to fall behind on your assignments and responsibilities. Thus, giving the potential for stress and anxiety. A big part of time management is the ability to prioritize and know when to ask for help. Prioritizing different aspects of your life that require your time is essential to be able to contribute your best effort in each area. Assigning priority can be difficult when it comes to things like personal life or hobbies.

    How do you really know how much time is appropriate to use on certain activities? Remember, trial and error is okay. In a larger sense, prioritizing is about assigning meaning and importance to the things that matter and that you need to accomplish in your life. When thinking about priority and time, you must consider things like deadlines and value. For example, say you have a 100 point final research paper due tomorrow that you’ve been working on for several weeks, that might take priority to finish first over something small like finishing up your BFF’s birthday gift. Finding out what is important to you as a person, and what’s worth your time, will help you make prioritizing an easier step. Keep reading for some extra tips and tricks to ensure you will stay on track and be organized! 

    Tip 1: A Killer Planner

    A good solid planner is critical. There are endless shapes, sizes, colors, and layouts to choose from. Find which works for you! Some people do better seeing their month to month planned out, and some people do better working week to week. Some planners even offer both, it’s up to you. When you think about size, think about how often you want to use it, and how many places you want to be able to take it. Do you have a large bag, where size wouldn’t matter? Or do you need a pocket-sized portable planner? Think about these things when you pick one out. Have fun with it! TJ Maxx and Marshalls are great spots to find discounted fun and effective planners! 

    Tip 2: Highlighters and Post-It Notes

    Using highlighters and Post-It Notes can help catch your eye for reminders, and allow for yourself to leave a visual cue. Similar to the planner, you will find endless colors shapes and sizes. Some people prefer bright neon colors, some respond better to more mellow colors. Sharpie has a great selection of colored highlighters! Post-It Notes have a wide size and color variety. Maybe Post-It tabs work better for you, to serve as a reminder to flip to a certain page or maybe full-sized ones to leave on the mirror to remember things in the morning! These few supplies can go far in your organizing world! 

    Tip 3: Making Errands Fun

    Errands can drag. Spending extended time getting small yet necessary tasks done can be unmotivating and difficult to bring yourself to do. There are a few things you can do to make the time pass and get a little enjoyment. Try bringing a friend along! A lot of times you can find a friend that needs to get some similar stuff done, and the company always makes time go by! Next, bring your headphones! Going grocery shopping? Plug in and focus on that list! Bringing a pair of headphones to the store can make the time go by and give you the choice of what you want to listen to! Finally, don’t feel guilty to reward yourself. If you’re driving around to a bunch of different stores, check out the clearance rack, find yourself a little trinket! Or if you’ve been doing chores and homework all day, make yourself a snack and turn on your favorite show. Taking small breaks is so important to maintaining a productive day. 

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, School

    How to Balance Work, School, and a Social Life

    Sometimes things happen, and you’re left with an extra burden or two. Maybe that means you have to pick up an extracurricular activity to boost your scholarship resume, or maybe you need money now and have to get a job. Either way, adding more things to your schedule is never easy.

    You’re young and have your whole life ahead of you, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have things to worry about right now.

    Being young gives you the extra energy to take care of business, but it also brings along puberty, peer pressures, and the impending doom of what you want to be when you grow up.

    I know first hand how stressful life can be. In high school, I was a part of my school’s theater program, I participated in our school’s show choir and  regular choir, and I had two jobs. I also didn’t want to have to say no to my friends when they invited me out.

    I had to learn to delegate my circumstances ahead of time so that I was never left making hard choices too late.

    My week looked something like:

    • Monday- School 7:30am-3:15pm; Spend time with friends 3:45pm-6pm; work 6:30pm-9pm; sleep 9:30pm-6am
    • Tuesday- School 7:30am-3:15pm; Show Choir Practice 3:30pm-5:30pm; Homework/Study 6pm-7:30pm; Free time 7:30pm-9:30pm; sleep 9:30pm-6am
    • Wednesday- School 7:30am-3:15pm; Spend time with friends 3:45pm-5pm; work 5:30pm-9pm; Sleep 9:30pm-6am
    • Thursday- School 7:30am-3:15pm; Show Choir practice 3:30pm-5:30pm; work 6:30pm-9pm; Homework/Study 9:30pm-11pm; Sleep 11pm-6am
    • Friday- School 7:30am-3:15; Play practice 3:30pm-5:30pm; Spend time with friends 6:30pm-12am; sleep 12:30am-6am
    • Saturday- Work 8am-9pm; sleep 10pm-8am
    • Sunday- Church 10am-12pm; lunch with friends 12:30pm-2pm; Homework/study 2:30pm-5pm; free time 5pm-9:30pm; sleep 9:30pm-6am

    The best advice I can give if you are a very busy bee

    Give yourself time to breathe.

    You need fifteen minutes for relaxation every now and then, if not more time. I get that projects and exams are due at certain times, but try to take breaks between studying. I like to watch fifteen minutes of TV or get a snack in-between homework assignments. It helps me mellow out and focus better on my work.

    Try planning your week out in advance.

    There may be some curve balls in there, but the more time you allot for specific tasks, the more time you will have for yourself and for your social life. If you feel like you are saying no to almost all your friends’ invitations, try allotting time for them every other week if you can’t afford more time.

    The connections you make will aid in shaping you as a person. Find friends that take things as seriously as you do. They are more likely to understand your circumstances. Do not let other kids bully you into thinking that you are boring or overworking yourself. Do things at your own pace and how you want to do them. Different study techniques work for different people.

    Here’s another article with tips on how to use your time wisely during the school year, or to just manage your time better in general.

  • School

    Tips For A Stress-Free Semester

    Tips for Studying!

    Tips and Pointers for a Stress-Free Spring Semester

    By Uzma Issa, GirlSpring Springboarder

    It’s that time of the year again!

    It’s the time people enjoyed the winter break, it’s a new year, and school comes creeping from around the corner. People finished their midterm exams and the second semester is about to start. I don’t know about you, but I struggled with the first semester, one main issue is the problem of time management. Everyone procrastinates on assignments, putting it off until the last minute. So how can we improve our time management skills for the new year?

    I’ve had the problem of procrastinating, not wanting to do work in the moment, and pushing off assignments to finish later.

    This causes problems because I end up pushing too many assignments to finish later not giving me enough time to finish. I’ll end up staying up late or doing my homework the morning it is due.

    I have gotten better at completing assignments on time and this is how:

    1. Look at all the homework you have and evaluate how much time it will take and the difficulty of it.

    2. Create a schedule for yourself.

    3. In the schedule, vary the difficulty of assignments so you don’t have to do 2 hard or time-consuming assignments back-to-back.

    4. Include breaks to eat, use the bathroom, or leisure.

    5. Try to include a bedtime. So if you end up not being able to finish your homework in time, you cannot stay up late. Sleep is vital to our health.

    6. Stick to the schedule. If you finish something faster than you anticipated, then you may do other things or get a head start on your other assignments.

    One thing to keep in mind is that everyone needs sleep.

    As kids or teenagers, our brains are still developing; they need sleep to function properly the next day. If one goes to sleep extremely late in the night trying to finish homework for a class the next day, that person most probably will not be able to stay alert and retain the information taught in class because of their fatigue. Nationwide Children’s claims that on average, teenagers get around 7 hours of sleep, but need about 9 hours of sleep.

    Here are a few ways you can get the sleep you need:

    1. Maintain a regular sleep schedule, sleep and wake up at around the same time every day.

    2. Try not to oversleep on the weekends. It may seem beneficial, but it will be harder to get back into your sleep schedule for the weekdays.

    3. Take short, early afternoon naps. They are quick but will energize you to do work later on.

    4. Limit screen time before bed.

    5. Try to minimize screens or Bluetooth devices in your bedroom.

    6. Cut out caffeine.

    An additional note to realize is that our phones are huge distractions.

    We may not realize it, but many people use their phones more than they realize. Many people probably know this, but on the new iPhone update, there is a feature in Settings where you can track your screen time, notifications, pick-ups, and more. There is also an option to keep limits on apps you use a lot. So, I recommend setting a time limit on your phone so you can concentrate on other goals and be less distracted. Also, set a bedtime on your phone, so you don’t use your phone after a certain time, allowing you to get better sleep. Some people use their phone as a stress reliever, but it’s not the best option.

    People should partake in different stress-relieving activities such as drawing, coloring, knitting, creating something, cooking, or exercising that helps them take their mind off of stressful ideas.

    During breaks, you take from assignments, or after a stressful day, you should take some time out for yourself to do something you enjoy doing. Self-care is an important part of life and you should not spend the whole day overworking yourself but to take time out to take care of yourself. If you have lots of assignments to do or work to catch up on, do not try to do everything all at once, non-stop. Take breaks to energize yourself and do something you enjoy – then work some more.

    Overall, these are a few things that might be helpful for the second semester of this school year, or life in the future.

    I know some of these tips helped me and I am still trying to improve my time management. Good luck to everyone in school and I hope you found this article helpful!

  • Stress

    Six Ways to Avoid Stress This Semester

    Six Ways to Avoid Stress This Semester

    1. Make good use of your planner

    Schools typically issue a planner to their students at the beginning of the school year, but there are tons of cute and affordable planner options if you would like to have one more custom to your needs. It’s been proven that writing things down helps you remember them, and often times seeing everything you have to do written out together can help you visualize how much time you have to spend working on different projects throughout the week. I personally have 4 different places to write things down: a pocket-sized daily planner with hourly slots to help plan out busy days (TJ Maxx), a dry-erase calendar (Amazon.com), an un-dated weekly planner that stands up on my desk (also TJ Maxx) and a weekly to-do list notepad that I use for non-school and work related tasks (TJ Maxx as well). This way, if I think I’m forgetting a deadline, I probably have it written down in at least one place.

     

    Shop planners here:

    https://www.amazon.com/Time-Management-Manual-Planner-millimeters/dp/B07CWG2W8Y?keywords=planners&qid=1536629515&sr=8-3&ref=sr_1_3

     

    https://www.target.com/p/2018-19-academic-smoky-planner-8-5-x-11-ashley-g/-/A-53718426?preselect=53334116#lnk=sametab

     

    https://tjmaxx.tjx.com/store/jump/product/Jaguar-Organization-Kit/1000364623?colorId=NS1155377&pos=1:20&Ntt=planner

     

    1. Plan for big deadlines ahead of time

    Do you have a paper due the Monday after a weekend lacrosse tournament? Or a group project the same week as a final exam? As soon as you know big due dates, work schedules, sporting events, and family plans, it helps to write them down in one place so that you don’t surprise yourself at the last minute when you realize you have to finish writing out an essay in the car on the way home from a visit to grandma’s. Maybe use one of those cute planners you’ve bought? Just an idea.

     

    1. Give yourself plenty of time

    As someone who is the kween of procrastination, I have to finish my assignments as far ahead of time as I can manage so that I’m not scrambling to scrape them together fifteen minutes before class starts. In high school, I would take a nap immediately after school and not even touch my backpack until 6:00 am before school the next day. I would have to set five consecutive alarms every 15 minutes starting at 5:00 am in order to get myself out of bed and get my backpack out of my car where it had been since I left school the day before. (But at least I got that hour and a half nap in, right?) I’ve found it a lot easier on the body and brain to knock things out while you’ve got time, even if it means going right to the library after class. Even if your brain conks out every ten minutes or you end up spending too much time scrolling through Instagram, at least you’ve gotten started.

     

    1. Have a good balance

    Don’t get me wrong, school is important. But this doesn’t mean you have to spend every Friday and Saturday night studying. It’s just as unhealthy to isolate yourself from you’re friends because you’re worried about making an A on every assignment as it is to neglect your schoolwork. Exercise is also super important to feel good and be healthy, whether that’s going outside and walking the dog every day or participating in sports. In my experience, it’s always been best to listen to the body and do what feels right. If you spend every moment that you’re with your friends worrying about when you’re going to finish your math homework, it’s alright to decline to hang out every so often. If you’re late to soccer practice every day because you don’t get out of work until fifteen minutes before it starts, consider taking a few hours out of your work schedule. If you’re not sure whether to cut down on something that’s taking up a big chunk of your time, try to focus on how you feel during and after that activity. Is it worth it for you? Would you be happier doing something else? Keep in mind, you can do anything but not everything.

     

    1. Go to class

    It sounds easy enough, but even at your least attentive, you’ll retain more than you would if you weren’t there. The more time you miss, the more time you spend catching up. Sitting through one more presentation may seem impossible, but you’re truly just setting yourself up for more stress in the future. While you’re there, try to take the best notes you can. Even if you’re completely zoned out, at least you’ll have some key words and phrases written down that you can work out later. Focusing for so many hours is difficult, but half the battle is simply showing up.

     

    1. Make sure it’s not more than stress

    Since childhood, my panic, agitation, and constant fatigue were attributed to “stress.” It wasn’t until my freshman year of college when I went to my doctor and told him I thought I might have an anxiety disorder. Three years later, I can’t imagine functioning without the treatment I started receiving and I will always wonder if middle and high school would have been a bit more bearable if I had been diagnosed earlier.

     

    If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated the majority of the time to a point where it affects your day to day life, it may be something more than just a busy schedule. Schools provide guidance counselors as a resource for students, and that resource is meant to be utilized. It can be extremely difficult to confront mental illnesses like anxiety or depression, but reaching out and asking for help from a counselor or family physician is much easier than continuing to struggle every day.