11 Time Management Tips for Teenagers: Getting This Right Now can Change Your Future

Written by Domantas Vanagas

November 2, 2021

If you’ve ever had a job, go to school, cooked a meal, or done any type of chores around the house, then you’ve had to deal with time management. Sound like you?

I’m guessing that it does.

Time management is using your time in an efficient manner to get things done. For example, if you have 8 items on a list and only 2 hours to do those, good time management skills will help you understand your capabilities. All of these tips should be used by teachers to show an example. Don’t you think?

Many important life skills are related to time management, like getting to school or work on time and completing work before deadlines. 

teen learning with a clock besides

 

Bad time management skills can lead down a dark path. Here are some time management tips for teenagers you can use in your everyday routine to help you save time:

 

1. Make 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 ensure its completion.

As each task is accomplished, be sure to mark it off. It can be satisfying to see your list all crossed off at the end of the day!

Fun fact – calendars and lists will not only help you stay organized but keep you from getting overwhelmed.

 

2. Prioritize

Having 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.

feet with different colored arrows infront

 

If you’re concerned about the amount of time you have to get everything done, take a 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 in order to get to bed on time, I’m not going to be able to get them all done.

It is important to recognize that in order to get good grades, stay healthy and make sure my sister is safe, I need to complete each of the top 4 tasks.

Cleaning my room, however, is able to be pushed until the next day.

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

With modern technology, we have access to many time management tools right at our fingertips. Time management skills for teens can be made simplified by setting alarms and reminders on phones or tablets.

setting off an alarm

 

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 is time management. I knew that I needed to be a bit more punctual, so I started to think. 

Somehow I “invented” this amazing idea – using an alarm clock to remember things. And from that point, I have used an alarm to remember to complete an assignment, meet up with my friends, email teachers, or when I was supposed to go to bed.

I like to use them to create a reminder a day or two before something is due so that I can plan ahead. This is one of the most functional time management tips for teens, as they consistently have a cell phone around them.

 

4. Turn off Distractions

Television, cell phones, iPads, and laptops are all common distractions for teenagers. The latest popular TikTok videos are much more preferable to boring history assignments!

hand holding a phone with apps

 

It is important to realize, however, that the long-term benefits of completing homework assignments and using good time management skills 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, leading them to be completed 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.

laying on a bed resting after studying

 

Time management skills for teens rely heavily on a work-rest balance. If the brain works hard all the time, it can easily burn out.

It’s important, however, teenagers tend to be a bit too good for themselves and take massive breaks. Set limits for yourself when you take breaks.

When I take breaks, I like to set an alarm on my phone so that I have a definitive time to go back to work. To be the most productive I typically set 5-10 minutes of rest time.

During this time, you can scroll social media but I would suggest avoiding it as this makes people less likely to want to begin my work again.

 

6. Save Time by Setting a Routine

Having a consistent daily routine is important for time management for tweens and teens.

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 actually help provide the break your brain needs, increasing your time management skills and fine-tuning your schedule.

Any teenager who would set up a good routine will not only improve his grades and job performance but also help him get more sleep at night.

 

7. Follow Directions the First Time

Time management for teenage individuals hinges closely on the ability to follow directions the first time. This helps you to avoid mistakes, ultimately 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. Time management tips for teens often sound hard and strenuous.

woman holding a lightbulb and pointing to her head

 

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 at the same time, rather than doing one, putting away the cleaning materials, and leaving the other for later.

 

9. Make a Plan and Stick to it

When you’re thinking about how to structure your day in order to get everything done, 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 or making it to your job on time.

I constantly have a plan going, both 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 any teenager, 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
  • Give me a short break
  • 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.

Don’t worry!

Setting goals can help you to be more successful at balancing each of these things and you are going to 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.

young asian teen looking into herself in a mirror

 

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 with school, social activities, and work and avoiding the constant distractions of technology, time management today is complicated than it ever has been.

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 not only develop efficient time management skills, but also 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 is going to greatly help you!

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