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How Can Students Improve Their Time Management Skills?

By Geremy Garcia and Eva Mandelbaum

What is the one thing that is impossible to have more of, no matter how much we need it? Time. Unless you know how to properly manage it and make the most of your time, it's extremely common to find yourself frustrated with your lack of productivity, ultimately blaming a lack of time. 

The truth is, regardless of how quickly days seem to fly by and how fast seconds and minutes tick past, we are all given the same 24-hour days, but it is up to you to decide how you spend and manage your time. Although simply managing your time sounds easy, procrastination can be a hurdle, making time management more difficult than it appears.

According to, recent studies show that over 85% of high school students admit to procrastinating on school assignments. Now, you may ask, what is procrastination? Well, procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something. In other words, saving something you need to do until the last minute. If you too have fallen victim to a rabbit hole of TikToks or cleaning your room instead of doing homework, you are most certainly not alone. Along with procrastination comes another common struggle: balancing schoolwork with clubs and extracurricular activities. 

Extracurricular activities are imperative: they are a way to get involved in your school community and can be a great place to socialize and make friends. Although important, extracurriculars can become overwhelming. Juggling activities with an increasing workload as the year progresses is a common struggle among high school students. There are many ways to balance school and extracurricular activities without falling victim to procrastination, though.  

One way to balance activities and school is to make sure not to overwhelm yourself and to prioritize your studies. It’s also important to remember that balance is key. For example, if you have sports practice right after school but it’s a de-stresser for you, it is important to allow yourself to sacrifice a few hours of studying for de-stressing, but it's equally important to make sure you have enough time for homework too. 

Another way to balance everything going on in your busy high school life is to plan out everything. From deadlines to when you plan to study, setting interim deadlines for yourself can be very helpful as well. Once you plan everything, the next step is to get things done without procrastinating.

Something you could do to prevent this inefficient method of using your time wisely is setting deadlines. Deadlines are what help motivate you to complete something, like an assignment for example, on time; This is because it summons something inside of you, a deep and scary thing. Can you guess what it is? It is the Panic Monster! 

According to the TedTalk with Tim Urban, who describes himself as, “a master procrastinator," the Panic Monster is not a real monster, but an imaginary monster who awakens inside of you and tells you about the consequences about not turning in that big assignment of yours on time. You can think of it as a motivator that encourages you to keep working and try to get that assignment on time. If you do not have this scary feeling or urge to work on the assignment, it is sad to say but the Panic Monster has failed you. 

So now, what are the effects of being a so called “master procrastinator?" Well for one, you may be more stressed about turning in assignments on time, since you let them pile up until it is time to hand them in. Another effect that could happen to you is that you feel sadder than usual, because you save all your work until the last minute, and you feel like you have got nothing to do. One last effect that could happen is that you start blaming others for not having enough time to do the assignment. This is a negative way to release your stress, and not ideal for making new friends, so replace that negative energy with positive energy. You could instead take the time you are not using correctly to do something efficient. 

To conclude, you should not save assignments, or things, to do at the last minute, because you will feel more stressed and anxious. Instead, you should make a plan, a calendar, or even a schedule, that will help you organize yourself in completing the things you have to do on time in a healthy and happy manner. 

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