Time Management: Work and Academics

Sara Teigen

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During high school students are faced with daily pressures within school and at home: keeping up grades, preparing for college, facing social hierarchy, maintaining platonic and romantic relationships, and staying on top of physical and mental health. So when society also expects these over stressed teens to also get jobs we need to ask ourselves if it’s worth the pressure? We all want to “treat ourselves” but gaining the funds for such treats is hard and time consuming. Having a part-time job in high school offers many opportunities for learning real life skills such as time management, customer service, and being the manager of your own funds. According to a blog from Room 241,

“Going from school to extracurricular activities and then to a job means having to do homework late at night, or, in some cases, working ahead during the weekends to ensure everything is complete for the coming week”

(http://education.cu-portland.edu)Work ethic is a big contributor in if working a part-time job would work for yourself personally. Are you someone that gets overly stressed when it comes to procrastination or do you continuously push assignments to the last minute in order to pursue more exciting and personal endeavors. If you connect to the latter statement then maybe starting with smaller instances of time management that doesn’t require a commitment to an employer. In order to make your life more organized and prepared for the real world maybe consider the following tips from the Australian Professional Skills Institute (APSI):

Eliminate Distractions

Look at your life and thin about commonalities that tend to distract you from more academic focuses. Is it friends? Social media? Anything that pulls you away from schoolwork should be looked at with a microscope, then ask yourself: is this a good use of my time? What could I be doing right now to better myself? It is true that you need to remember to relax and give yourself a break now and again but more so as a reward for a job well done.

 

Focus!

Finding a “mental flow” within work that you may not deem entirely enjoyable is definitely a muscle that requires continual flexing. However, you can ease yourself into work with easier and more menial tasks to encourage yourself into doing more intense work. Also, finding your flow is easier to get in the habit if you set aside plenty of time for yourself to get the job done at your own pace (not one that is motivated by anxiety).

Utilize a Calendar

When your teacher gives you an assignment, who else hears the date and watches that information fly out the window? Same here! However this can be countered by the use of a calendar or organizational planner. Here you can write down assignments, short and long-term, in order to commit these commitments to memory. Then it is easier to manager your time and complete tasks/study in more manageable blocks.

Combine organization skills/tips

Checklists and calendars are very helpful but there are different websites and apps that can assist students in studying and academic assistance. Quizlet allows you to create, combine, and share study guides for you and your friends to use. It also makes studying seem less daunting as you can set up custom study plans and goals. Slader is an application that shows a walk through of different textbook problems. Just scan your textbook’s bar code and boom! Answers and assistance is now at your fingertips. These are only two of many academic apps and platforms that can assist in your mental journey.

Treat yourself gurl

Hard work is empowering but your mental state is also very important in maintaining all of these tips. Do not forget to take breaks and treat yourself with friendship time every once in a while. You could even combine relationships and academics by forming casual study groups with some of your closest friends. Then you can get work ethic tips from the people you trust and vibe with the most.

Get tons of rest

In order to keep the machine that is your body healthy and strong you need to be getting adequate rest every night. I am one to understand all nighter study sessions that leave you drained the night before, however you can limit these kinds of nights by stretching out the amount of studying needed to be done over a longer time period. You can study and review in little bursts along with your other homework in order to make the night before study session less intense.

 

Back to the topic of working whilst still in high school, it is possible but it is definitely a large time commitment that not everyone is up to. However, it is worth it as you are learning valuable skills and building up your resume before college and other big real world events. If you yourself are considering getting a job or switching to a new job ask yourself how much time you have to spend working. Be careful not to stretch yourself too thin and communicate this with possible employers and let them know how much time you can responsibly give to their company. If it doesn’t work out as you already have too much on your plate or logically you cannot see yourself making that commitment then flex these different real world skills within your social groups and within academic circles. Keep on doing what you’re doing SVHS and don’t forget to develop your skills.