I’ve always heard from others, whether it be for academic or social purposes, how your ability to manage your time wisely is crucial in your high school years. All of the adults around me, from teachers to adults to college students, have said that the ability to manage time well is what sets people apart.
Teachers and elders have thoroughly lectured me about how I won’t be able to live up to my fullest potential and how I won’t be able to achieve all of my life goals if I didn’t learn to manage my time wisely. They talked about how I would feel severely encumbered in high school by the substantial weight of the burden of AP tests, SATs, college applications, community service, etc.
A majority of students may be able to relate to this, as they’ve heard to manage time wisely over and over again. And, we students know that this saying is true, but no matter how much we want to follow it, many of us often have a hard time actually managing our time wisely.
I, as a student going into 9th grade next year, understand that I must make a greater effort than I’ve ever put in before to manage my time well and learn which task I must prioritize, but it is definitely easier said than done. I ask myself multiple times, “How exactly am I supposed to know which tasks I must put before the others?” After all, aren’t tasks on our schedule because they are important things that we need to get done?
Although this may be true, after reading an article by Dave Anderson, Technology Director at Amazon, I realized that it’s not about trying to fit in every single task into a single day. If we do that, we will run out of fuel very quickly and won’t find the motivation to continue this tiring cycle every single day.
Rather, the key to managing time well all relies on two simple questions: How much is it going to hurt me if I cut this task from my schedule? And, is this task really going to help me achieve my long-term goals?
Whenever we are torn between two tasks and which one to complete first, Anderson claims that asking yourself these questions will help you in the long run, both with your future and with your health. By learning how to prioritize tasks and manage your time well, you will be able to determine which tasks you can afford to omit from your daily schedule and which ones you must complete as soon as possible.
Additionally, managing your time well and learning to determine the importance of tasks will help you keep yourself healthy. As humans, we can’t not sleep, eat, or socialize with others; we must keep a balanced lifestyle between our needs and our tasks. Even if you could squeeze two more tasks into your schedule before going to sleep, is it worth it? Although sacrificing 30 minutes of sleep may not seem large at first, it will continue to build up as you find yourself sleeping later and later and socializing less and less.
In the end, it’s not about how many tasks you are able to finish; it’s about how many of the important and necessary ones you managed to complete. We must learn to figure out which tasks are really important and will allow us to achieve all of our life goals in order to find a balance between our tasks and the things that we, as humans, need to live.
Sabrina Mo, Grade 8
Portola Middle School