Let’s be honest: most of our productivity issues can be linked to mismanagement of time. If you want to do your best in school, sports, tests, art, or anything else, you need to manage your scarce seconds, minutes, hours, and days like a boss. Take some tips from our 12 Days of Time Management for Teens:
Work your Flow
Our previous recommendation to plan your days as if you’ll need more time to accomplish each task assumes average productivity. In fact, a smart schedule allows for occasional substandard performances, sanity breaks, and general lollygagging. But every once in while, lightning strikes and suddenly our best work emerges effortlessly… and quickly.
Imagine work, meaning everything you are responsible for in a given day, as a river. We float downstream at our usual pace, speeding up and slowing down depending on what currents we catch. Sometimes all we can do is tread water and wait for the next wave. But finding your flow state turns your raft into a rocket.
Unless you work at it, you cannot force flow. Nor can you count on finding that elusive zone exactly when you need it. If, however, you do find yourself in that magical flow state, take as much advantage of the moment as you can. Banking excellent work when you can makes room in your schedule for the inevitable bad day or two down the road.
And if you really want to supercharge your productivity, practice finding your flow by allowing yourself to be fully absorbed in complex and worthy tasks.
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!