Studies have shown that the teenage brain is wired to prioritize short-term rewards over long-term goals. That’s why it can be challenging to balance school, hobbies, and social life. But don’t worry, we are here to help!
We have gathered 11 time management tips specifically for teenagers. These tips are all designed to help you manage your time effectively while still having fun. So, let’s get started on our journey to better time management for teenagers!
11 Time Management for Teenagers: Tips You Don’t Want to Miss
1. Calendars and Lists
Calendars and lists can help you figure out what you need to do and when you should do it. I like to keep a calendar for my bigger events and lists for my smaller to-do list.
If something has a definitive date that it’s due, put it on the calendar and the list to make sure to do it.
As each task is accomplished, be sure to mark it off. It can be satisfying to see your list crossed off at the end of the day!
Fun fact – Research has shown that jotting down your tasks before bedtime can help clear your mind and reduce bedtime worries, leading to a better night’s sleep.
Too much on your plate can make time management go out the window. Even the most time-efficient people can fail when they have too much to do in a day.
If you’re concerned about the amount of time, you have to get everything done, look at your list, and figure out which things are essential to complete and which can be pushed to a later date.
Consider the following task list below:
- Finish geometry homework
- Pick up your little sister
- Pack lunch for tomorrow
- Write history paper
- Cleaning your room
If I only have 3 hours to complete each of these tasks to get to bed on time, I will not be able to get them all done.
It is important to recognize that to get good grades, stay healthy and ensure my sister is safe, I must complete each of the top 4 tasks.
Cleaning my room can be pushed to the next day’s to-do list.
If you’re overloaded with too much to do, prioritize things that will directly impact health and wellbeing, as well as school and jobs, while pushing things that can wait until a later time.
3. Set Alarms and Reminders
Time management skills for teenagers can be simplified by setting alarms and reminders on phones or tablets.
Alarms can help you get out of bed, but they can also help you to remember many things. Already in my student years, I understood how important time management is.
Somehow I “invented” this amazing idea – using an alarm clock to remember things. And from that point, I used an alarm to remember pretty much everything from assignments I needed to do to sports with my friends.
I like to use them to create a reminder a day or two before something is due so that I can plan. This is one of the most useful time management tips for teenagers, as they consistently have cell phones around them.
4. Turn off Distractions
The latest popular TikTok videos are much preferable to boring history assignments!
However, it is important to realize that the long-term benefits of completing homework assignments are much more important than the latest Addison Rae drama.
Turning off electronics when you complete work is an excellent way to become more efficient and will help you have more time at the end of the night with nothing to do but binge on YouTube.
I like to set limits for myself during the day and require a certain number of tasks to be completed before I can pull out my phone for the night.
By doing this, I become more efficient in my tasks, completing them faster with higher quality work.
5. Leave Some Time to Rest… All of us need it
Although it’s important to be efficient in completing your work, it is also important to give your brain time to rest. Taking breaks is an important component of efficient time management skills.
Time management skills for teenagers rely heavily on the work-rest balance. If the brain works hard all the time, it can easily burn out.
Although teens need a lot of sleep, teenagers tend to be too good for themselves and take massive breaks. Set limits for yourself when you take breaks.
When I take breaks, I like to set the alarm on my phone to have an ideal time to return to work. I typically set 5-10 minutes of rest between tasks to be the most productive.
You can scroll social media during this time, but I suggest avoiding it as this makes people less likely to want to begin their work again.
6. Save Time by Setting a Routine
A consistent daily routine is important for time management for teenagers.
Actually… It is important for everybody!
With a premade schedule, specific times for school, work, homework, and rest can all be built-in.
A typical schedule for a teen should be equally balanced with work, play and rest. This is important not only for your physical health but for your mental health as well.
Sports are a great way for you to not only exercise your body but give your brain a break as well. Many sports teams have practices directly after school. Physical exercise can help provide the break your brain needs, increasing your time management skills and fine-tuning your schedule.
Any teenager who sets up a good routine will improve their grades and job performance and help them get more sleep at night.
7. Follow Directions the First Time
Time management for teenage individuals hinges closely on the ability to follow directions first. This helps you avoid mistakes, saving you time in the long run.
When I write, I frequently find myself spurting out anything that comes to mind without following rules for organization and structure.
Then, once I’ve realized what I’ve done, I have to go back and correct my mistakes. In the end, this takes me twice as long as if I had just followed the correct rules for writing in the first place.
8. Work Smarter, not Harder
Working smarter will save you loads of time and effort.
However, by following various time management practices, your brain will learn to be more efficient, making you work smarter instead of harder.
When completing tasks, it is also important to think about what will be most time-efficient.
If you have to pick up your little sister from soccer practice and make a trip to the store for milk, completing both of these tasks on the same trip will save you from having to leave this house twice.
If you have to clean the bathroom and your bedroom, do them both simultaneously, rather than doing one, putting away the cleaning materials, and leaving the other for later.
9. Make a Plan and Stick to it
When thinking about how to structure your day, make a firm plan and stick to it as much as possible.
Don’t let distractions such as friends wanting to go to a movie get in the way of completing more important tasks such as finishing your homework.
I constantly have a plan going in my head and through lists on paper.
Although sometimes the plan can be upset, it is important to stick to it as closely as possible.
This leads to effective time management for teenagers, as it minimizes distractions and increases efficiency.
10. Set goals, Your Current Path
Setting goals at the beginning of the day or week can help your plan go smoothly. Sometimes, tasks are too big to be completed in one day. Set smaller goals that will help you reach your end goal.
As they say – one step at a time!
When I write, I like to set smaller goals for myself that help me reach a bigger end goal. If I want to write a 5,000-word paper in less than 24 hours, I set goals such as:
- Finish planning my structure in 1 hour
- Write the paper in 12 hours
- Proofread before completion
Setting goals can help large tasks be more manageable. When thinking about effective time management for teenage individuals, it is important to remember that balancing school, work, sports, social activities, and other extracurricular can be overwhelming.
Setting goals can help you be more successful at balancing these things, and you will feel less stress if you do so.
11. Self-Evaluate, be True to Yourself
At the end of each day or week, it is important to self-evaluate how you did. Look back at how well you used strategies and see if there is anything you need to change before the next day.
Did you get too easily distracted during homework time?
You may need to consider more scheduled breaks or further removing yourself from those distractions.
Did you run out of time and not make it to be on time?
Consider pre-planning or prioritizing which tasks are most important.
The Bottom Line
Time management can be difficult for anyone, but often it is particularly difficult for teenagers. Between finding a balance between school, social activities, and work and avoiding the constant distractions of technology, time management today is more complicated than ever.
In school, poor time management skills may lead to bad grades. At work, you might miss meetings and deadlines. And trust me, you don’t want to miss any deadlines!
However, with the proper practices added to your daily routine, you will develop efficient time management skills and all of your other life aspects.
If you’re struggling with completing daily tasks on time, consider trying these things mentioned above. Not all of them are going to look or feel useful to you. However, I’m sure that at least one of the tips will greatly help you!