School can get super stressful and overwhelming if you don’t know the best way to manage the amount of work you have to do. In fact, a lot of the time when we have too much work, we stress so much about it that we end up not doing it at all, which is pretty counter-productive. To help tackle that increasing workload, we’ve put together some tips for you.
Get a planner/create a timetable
Note down all the different things you need to do and when you want to get them done by. You don’t need to be over-specific and plan each hour, and you don’t want to be unrealistic and give yourself an impossible amount of work to do each day. People who do this end up giving up on their timetable because they fall behind early on. Your timetable should be a gentle reminder of what you should be doing and when. I’d recommend a weekly timetable where you write what you want to achieve each day, but you get to organise the time within each day however you want and base it on how you feel. Don’t fancy starting with Maths? Cool, we’ll start with some Geography instead.
Prioritising your work is about being wise and doing the most important or urgent things first to get them out the way. There’s a really cool table that you can draw every day/week when planning what needs to be done.
It looks like this:
Buy birthday outfit
The green box is your high priority work that needs to be done ASAP, the orange boxes are in between and have a bit more flexibility, and your red box is low-priority that you do at the end when you have more time.
Track your time
Throughout your day, monitor how you’re spending your time and look at when you’re most productive, and when you’re most sleepy or distracted. With this information, you can make sure you get the stuff in your green box done when you’re most productive, and then take a break, have a power nap or start your orange/red box stuff when you’re least productive. This way, you’re using your time most effectively.
It’s so easy to reply to that one text message, and then just real quick check that snapchat notification, and then send a quick tweet about how you hate revision, and then watch a youtube video to motivate you and suddenly it’s a few hours later and you’re watching an elephant give birth and you’re wondering why it’s so dark outside.
Gain some perspective
It’s easy to lose sight of why you’re doing all of this and just give up. In these moments, take a step back, forget the work and remind yourself of your end goal. Why did you pick these subjects you study? What grades do you want to get? How will working hard now help get you where you want to be in 5 years? This should help recharge you by giving you a sense of purpose, and you can now power through quadratic equations and plant biology.
Take care of yourself
Whilst all of this is great practical advice, at the end of the day, your mental health and wellbeing is the most important thing. Make sure you’re sleeping early and sleeping enough, exercise for at least 20 minutes during the day, take plenty of breaks, eat well, start saying no when people ask you to do more things and ask for help from your parents, siblings, friends or teachers. You might feel like you just don’t have the time for any of this, but if you make time for them, you’ll feel so much better and you’ll end up doing more work and also feel great doing it.