“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.” If you’re not sure what Shakespeare meant by that portentious verse, you’re probably managing your time well. Keep up the good work with our 12 Days of Time Management for Teens:
You Can Have It All
The modern college-bound high school student shares the plight of the 21st century workforce: much more to do and less time to do it. Seriously, the productivity of your average teenager, at least in terms of information processing and creation, puts most generations of humanity to shame.
However, the crush of academic, extracurricular, and social commitments can often feel too much to bear. Some students are adept at juggling competing priorities, whereas others feel their only choice is to cut certain activities out of their lives. All too often, I’ve seen high schoolers abandon the sports or clubs that mean the most to them in order to focus more rigorously on academics. Sounds awful, right?
Yes, productivity begins with prioritization. But anyone with enough discipline can truly have it all. The secret to success lies not in the number of hours we work, but how we spend those hours.
Most of us feel extremely busy when we’re just involved in busywork. The most accomplished athletes, academics, or artists outperform everyone else by tackling the toughest tasks first with a will to produce exceptional results. This is basically how business works as well: if you don’t bring a great product to market, you can’t sell it.
Take stock of all the activities you care about and then consider what each one requires you to produce. School demands, among other things, papers, projects, and correct answers on scheduled and unscheduled tests. Focus like a laser on whatever high quality work meets those demands and you’ll have room for the rest in your life. Waste your time just thinking about starting to prepare to work and you’ll never know what it feels like to have it all.
The 12 Days of Time Management for Teens is inspired by and draws liberally from Etienne Garbugli’s excellent Slideshare presentation, 26 Time Management Hacks I Wish I’d Known at 20. Obviously, we think this advice is valuable even for students younger than 20!