Anonymous asked in Education & ReferencePrimary & Secondary Education · 1 decade ago

How can I stay on top of things?

I've recently started my last year of school - year 11 - where I will continue to study for my GCSE exams in May. However, the workload this year is a lot bigger meaning and have lots of homework and coursework to do every night as well as having to spend my dinner times and after school catching up with work near its deadline and for extra revision classes. It is especially hard because I am in the top class at school and want to continue to do a levels and then go to medical school so there is a lot of pressure on me to do well in everything I do. I am currently studying for 13 different GCSE courses and sat 3 final exams last year getting two A*s and an A. On top of all this I do a hairdressing course at college part time which was organized by the school. When I started the course last year I was not told of the amount of work and pressure this course would involve as I have to go to college for 6 hours a week all out of school time. On a friday I finish school earlier on and go to college from 1 till 4 and on a thursday after a hard day at school I have to go to college straight away until 7 o clock. If I had known it was going to be so challenging and potentially dangerous towards my grades in other subjects I would not have signed onto the course and now I am not allowed to quit. I also have to find time for the trivial stuff like chores, making my dinner and even showering and at the moment I am having a tough time staying on top of everything. I never have anytime to relax anymore and I'm constantly tired from staying up till 3 am finishing my homework and then having to get up again at 6 am. At times I cant even fit lunch into my schedule as I'm too busy trying to catch up with my school work. Does anyone have any tips that can help me to get a bit more organized? - I'm struggling!

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    What are you using so far for time management tools? There are various things you can buy that are basically day-to-day notebooks, such as the Franklin-Covey Day Planner, DayTimer, and a variety of on-line tools. Even Microsoft Outlook has task planning built into it.

    The trick is to work in both short-term and long-term planning. First of all, lay out your stable schedule on a sheet of paper. List out all of your commitments, when you have to be engaged in a certain activity. This includes classesShade in those time blocks; you can't do anything else in those periods.

    Include the travel time, but shade in only those transits where you can't do reading or other preparation while you ride. For instance, walking to school or driving yourself to college would be shaded in: you can't read then.

    Also shade in time to eat meals and take care of other physical needs, such as sleep (do *not* shortchange the sleep: this will bite you hard before you realize it).

    The open slots are what you have for the daily tasks: chores and homework. Judge how much time you need to spend on each, and schedule that on your chart. If you can, pencil in particular areas, such as "Science reading" or "wash dishes / floss cat".

    That gives you your daily template of activity. That lives on one side of your folder (most day planners fold in half, like a small notebook. in fact, a notebook can work pretty well). On the other side, you keep a list of your tasks, one page per day. Short-term ones, the urgent ones, go on top, in priority order (a combination of urgency and importance). The longer-term ones go on the bottom, usually in urgency order. make sure that you plan out your short-term tasks to include early steps of those long-term jobs.

    Whenever you get a new large job (such as a term paper), break it down into small tasks (initial research, write thesis paragraph, etc.). Slip those specific tasks into your daily planning pages where you need to start them.

    The last thing you do each day is to look ahead and make sure the next day's list is in order. Anything left over, you move to the next day's list. If you get done a little early, you can peek ahead and pick out something to start.

    You begin each day with a short review of the day's list, making sure it's still in order, and getting a general picture of the day's flow.

    With all that planning done, you now can focus on *one* thing at a time. you don't have to worry about forgetting something, because you know it's farther down the list somewhere appropriate. If someone changes a due date on you, you don't have to sweat your entire life at once; you know where to look to see what other things are in the affected period.

    As you finish each task, check it off on the day's list. This not only lets you keep track, but it also gives you a small reward for each task finished.

    In the long run, the overhead of planning is quickly returned as more work time, since your process is now easy to add to and easy to tweak. If a friend asks you to go to a ball game or a movie, you can easily check your schedule to see whether you have the time.

    As you can probably guess, I've used various forms of this system for a long time. I had to plan out the first term of my junior year of college this way, since I was taking a full course load, working 43 hours a week, and volunteering seven hours a week. I had two hours of unscheduled time on Sunday, which I usually used to get a little ahead on reading or grab a little more sleep.

    If you want other resources, try a web search for "time management".

    Finally, you *will* need to schedule time for a well-rounded life. Include time for your own physical and spiritual upkeep: some form of exercise, as well as some "down" time for church, meditation, or recreational reading. Otherwise, your scholastic performance will slowly degrade.


    Finally, there's the problem of overload. If you do not have time for the current commitments, the obvious solution is that you have to reduce the time spent somehow: either slack off on a few things, or drop something entirely.

    So I'll address the immediate issue: what actually happens if you

    (1) Simply quit giving any time to the hairdressing class?

    (2) Approach your parents about your situation, asking to be relieved of some or all of your chores?

    (3) Don't study for some (say 5) of your exams right now?

    (4) Slack off on your class homework?

    How does each of these affect your goals for the school year and your medical career? These are the things you'll need to discuss with someone (probably a "stake-holder", someone who gets the fruits of your work, such as a teacher or parents) to get relief from the load.

    I know that this is perhaps the most important task for you right now; I put it last because the above work shows that you really *do* have a time problem: you've planned your time well, you're using it according

  • 1 decade ago

    Always try to finish all classwork in class so then you can start homework in the time left. You may even have to cut down on a social life. Maybe spend a couple of weekends in once in a while? If everything really gets too much, have a word with your form tutor or subject teacher.

    Good luck :)

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