High school is an exciting time for teenagers, but it doesn’t come without potential stressors and a few learning curves.
Classes, meeting and forming relationships with new friends, playing sports, engaging in clubs and other extracurricular activities, and preparing for college or chosen paths after graduation are all sources of joy and accomplishment. However, the momentum of activity and the rigor of study can also be challenging for students to navigate and they may feel overwhelmed in their studies or find it difficult to find focus and calm in the day-to-day.
Here are four tips to help high schoolers find focus and calm with time management.
1. Do a time audit.
Sit down with your high schooler to help them determine how much time they must devote to each of their activities. A few questions that may help include:
- Beyond classes and studying, what other things do they want to make time for each day?
- Do they have sports practices or club meetings daily or weekly?
- Do they have time to spend with friends outside of classes or with extracurriculars?
Identify how much time they need and when and create a list of responsibilities, including time for socializing and relaxation.
2. Schedule time in a calendar for responsibilities and rest.
With a list of responsibilities in hand, it’s time to get out your calendars. Grab a monthly and weekly calendar or a combined planner and begin mapping out your student’s time with them.
- Start with anything set in stone in advance (i.e class projects, practices, games, etc).
- If their daily routine will stay mostly the same, identify how much time they need for daily studying and homework assignments. Help your child identify blocks of time each day to complete and put them in writing.
- Be sure to prioritize downtime as well! Mapping out their time will also allow them to see gaps in their schedule where they can meet up with friends, engage in movement they love, or take a TV break. Socialization and relaxation are so important for the health of our teenagers (and all of us) during this busy time in their young lives.
- Use the spaces in your teen’s schedule for them to be intentional about holding space to decompress and reset between their next task or activity.
3. Put it into action.
With your teen’s schedule lined up, help them stay on task and focused on their studies and responsibilities so that they can continue to make time for fun and relaxation, without guilt!
4. Be flexible.
Remember that there will be times when planning doesn’t work out exactly as you or your teen may have hoped. That’s okay and expected! As your teenager moves throughout the school year, they will learn how long certain types of assignments take and how much they need to study for certain subjects. Adjust your schedules with this new information and they will continue to refine their time management skills for more calm and focus that they will carry with them through high school, and beyond.
High school can be a positive and difficult experience for teens, all at the same time! Learning to manage their time and making adjustments and improving their methods will make it easier. And always remember, help your teen find time in their day for the things that make them happy. Finding balance will make the ups and downs easier to navigate and promote a more enjoyable education experience.