Using time effectively for studying
The time management skills emphasized in this article provide high school students with recommendations for improving their work schedule. The recommendations are flexible and are meant to help students achieve short as well as long term time management goals.
Being more efficient
- Plan for school and work the night before. What needs to be packed for school the next day and what outstanding homework or assignments that will need to be completed after school.
- Prioritize work. Make a list of all work, assignments and exams that are due in order of priority and attach the list to the schedule described below. Check or cross off each one as you complete them. Add to the list as you go along – this will become your master list.
- Make achievable goals. All goals should be SMART goals:
- S = specific (e.g. “I will start on my English assignment this afternoon and complete the first 3 paragraphs today”)
- M = measurable (e.g. “My 3 paragraphs should be at least one page long”)
- A = achievable
- R = realistic
- T = timely
- The specific goal of completing 3 paragraphs of the English assignment must be attainable, realistic and timely.
- Do not procrastinate. It is very tempting to delay starting work. Most of us are procrastinators. One suggestion that could help is to tackle the worst item on your list. When you complete the work, reward yourself.
Making the schedule
Time management skills include the ability to make a flexible schedule – one that allows a student some room to do a “catch up” session if the student falls behind in planned work. A schedule for high school students should include:
- sporting and other activity commitments
- weekend commitments
- time to relax and unwind
- time for studying and working
- time for catch up studies or assignments.
High school students usually need to spend anywhere between one to three hours on homework and assignments during school days and the weekends.
Write this schedule down on a small note card and attach the master homework and assignment list to the card. Carry the card with you in your pocket or bag all the time and update the master homework and assignment list if necessary.
The schedule should look something like this:
7:00 am to 4:00 pm: school (including time taken to prepare for school, travelling time and so on)
4:00 to 5:00 pm: sports
5:00 to 6:00 pm: free time
6:00 to 7:00 pm: study time period 1 (reserved for work which has been prioritized by you in your master list)
7:00 to 7:30 pm: dinner
7:30 to 8:30 pm: study time period 2
8:30 to 9:30 pm: free time
9:30 pm: sleep
This schedule provides 2 hours of study time and time for bed at a reasonable hour – 9.30 pm. High school students may need more or less study time depending on their school and whether exams are looming or otherwise.
- Teen Study Skills: Memorizing for High School Exams
- Teen Study Skills Checklist for High School Students
- Tips for Improving Concentration for High School Students
- Improving Note Taking Skills for High School Students
- Time Management Skills for High School Students