the BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO MASTERING Time Management by meg flanagan

"Better three hours too soon than a minute too late." - WILLIAM Shakespeare

There are only twenty-four hours in a day to accomplish what seems like ENDLESS homework, chores, and stuff you actually want to do. As a student, you may be wondering, "how the heck am I going to finish all of this and still have time to sleep?!"

GOOD NEWS- you were born with the power of time management skills. You might not realize it, but your brain is built to manage and accomplish everything you need to do. Now, you must learn to master these mental skills and practice the art of time management. Generally, a person can practice time management by listing, prioritizing, and organizing what he or she needs to do. This process is broken up into eight steps; however, it will take some practice to become a true master of time management.

I know you're ready so let's begin!


WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO NEED: pencil, weekly planner, notebook, stopwatch, parent/guardian, teacher

Grab yourself a pencil and paper. Sit for about fifteen minutes and write down anything and everything you want to accomplish that day or week. To get started, look at what your homework assignments are for the week. Then, look at practices, clubs, appointments, or after-school activities you have that week. Continue by writing down the chores you have to do, when you're eating dinner, when you go to sleep, and other fun/random activities you want to do. This list should be long and random; make sure to get all of your ideas down on paper so you don't forget anything!

step 2: categorize- task, goal, or project

Looking at your super long list may be overwhelming, but you have the power to accomplish ALL of it! Look at your list and label each "thing to do" as a task, goal, or project.

Task: a specific, small, and manageable act that needs to get done.

Goal: something that you want to accomplish that takes continuous effort.

Project: something that requires many different steps to achieve.

Once you've labeled everything on your paper as either a task, goal, or project. Begin to break down the goals and projects into smaller tasks. For example, if you have a goal to finish your book for English class by Friday, decide how many pages you have to read a day to accomplish this goal. Remember to break these down into small, specific, and manageable tasks!

step 3: attacking TASKS

Now, look at all the tasks you need to accomplish and decide the best way to attack them. Do this by writing down the steps you need to take to get each task done. For example, if you have to do one page of math homework a night the steps might be: 1. grab a pencil and paper the chapter notes 4.start the ten problems. If you have to practice the clarinet the steps might be: sheet music 2.listen to the song 3.practice until you learn the first four meters. Once you've broken each task into steps, then estimate how much time you need to finish these tasks.


WHOA- that's a lot of tasks, but luckily you have the whole week to get everything done. To figure out where to begin, choose which tasks need to get done first. To choose, look at homework deadlines and required practices/after school activities. It's up to you to choose WHAT needs to get done and WHEN it gets done.

Don't forget about giving yourself time to eat, relax, and sleep. You're a busy person and you can't do everything you want to do if you don't have time to relax and refresh. Self-care is just as important as homework (and it's usually more fun). As you're thinking of what and when things need to get done, fill out your planner and write each task on the day and time you will do it.

step 5: self-contract

As a student, it's important to be proud of your work. Look at that list, you do a lot! Take ownership of your work by filling out the self-contract sheet. This sheet is a promise with yourself that you will accomplish everything in your planner. You also have the option of rewarding yourself for all of your hard work with something of your choice. If you think you might have trouble sticking to this contract, show your teacher or parents and see if they think you've planned out your week right. They've been doing this a LONG time and are a good resource.

Link to Self Contract:

step 6: backup plan

Be OK with having a backup plan. Sometimes life can throw things your way and you have to take each day as it comes. Make sure you know how you prioritized your tasks to know what's super important to get done at seven o'clock on Monday night and what can get done Tuesday after soccer practice.

step 7: GAME TIME

You've reached the time to do your homework; now, it's time to grab your stopwatch. Ask a parent or sibling to time with the stopwatch you as you work on your tasks. This will show you how much time you actually need to finish your tasks and help you better manage your time next week.

While you're working, try out different study spaces around your house or school. See what works and what doesn't. Try to work in spots where there are the least amount of distractions. Avoiding distractions is tough, but it's super important to stay on-task if you want to accomplish your tasks for the day. Sitting, standing, the library, the backyard; you'd be surprised of how/what/where could be your best study space.

REMEMBER: this is not a race; you signed a contract where you promised you'd accomplish your tasks well. Don't rush through them to get a fast time, you want to take ownership of well-done work.

step 8: YOU DID IT!!!

CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE REACHED THE FINAL STEP! YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED YOUR TASKS! After well-thought out planning, you were able to finish everything you wanted and needed to do, that's something to be proud of! Now relax and do what you want to do with your time!

Works Cited:


Created with images by Skitterphoto - "alarm clock time" • chrgerhart - "united kingdom clock clock tower" • aitoff - "superman lego superhero" • qnrshop - "LEGO Wonder Woman DC Comics Minifigurine" • qnrshop - "LEGO Batman Classic DC Comics Minifigurine" • spierzchala - "Bad day to be a superhero. #Minifigure #legography #lego #nexus5 #bwvsco #bw_vsco #bw #bnw #vsco #vsco_spotlight #vsco_hub #topvsco #vscocam" • Gavin Loynes - "Supes GOOD... (bloody goody two shoes)." • qnrshop - "LEGO Thor Minifigurine" • qnrshop - "LEGO Hulk Minifigurine" • qnrshop - "LEGO Black Widow Minifigurine" • Kent Productions - "Welcome to the Team" • Kent Productions - "Delivery in a Flash" • zaneology - "Review: 'Lego Batman 2' ~ A Superhero Block Party" • Falashad - "Another day in downtown lego Gotham/Calgary" • zaneology - "Review: 'Lego Batman 2' ~ A Superhero Block Party"

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