Here are some steps that have worked for us and that you can take to manage your time more effectively. It’s extremely important to keep track of all your assignments—this will give you an idea of what you’ll be facing both short-term and long-term. After you’ve organized your tasks, prioritize them: which ones are harder? Easier? Which ones are due tomorrow? These questions will help you proceed to decide the order in which you will complete your work. Generally, we like to tackle the harder assignments first so that if we need a break, we can complete an easy assignment and then return to the more difficult one. And even though you should work on the assignments due immediately, make sure to start chipping away at the long term assignments in order to avoid having to complete it all in one night … and staying up until 4 a.m. while you’re at it.
How to procrastinate:
Even with all the cons, when procrastination is controlled, it can definitely be useful—after all, people can’t work without small pauses to give their minds a break. The best ways to procrastinate? Exercise is an option—you can stay healthy and get refreshed. But if you aren’t into moving around and prefer to be a couch potato, we recommend entertaining yourself with a couple Buzzfeed quizzes—“Do you have what it takes to be an action hero?” “Which Pokémon on Ash’s team would you actually be?” Check out what’s going on with your friends on Facebook. Browse Instagram. Outside of media, you can take science to the kitchen—bake something! Work against the forces of entropy and clean your room! Pick up that instrument you haven’t touched in ages and play around, or if you prefer just chilling, listen to some music! There are so many great things to do while procrastinating—there just isn’t enough time to try them all…because eventually you need to get back to work.
Whether you’re an athlete, a performer, or a dedicated club member, it’s not unlikely that on any regular school night, you’ll find yourself scrolling through the deep ends of Facebook or watching another episode of a show you know you shouldn’t still be watching with a hefty textbook and blank piece of homework in front of you. If this is you, try using apps and browser extensions such as Cold Turkey and StayFocused. You may find these tools helpful in controlling the amount of time you spend on websites unrelated to school.
Do not let the intimidation of the high school homework load persuade you to drop other activities that you enjoy. If you follow the tips above, you will be all set … even with extra activities! Extracurriculars actually help with time management as they force people to be efficient, providing less time for procrastination.
One of the most important online resources for students is the parent and student portal, PowerSchool. Crucial to finding out your latest test grade or the number of absences you have left to spare in a marking period, PowerSchool is a powerful tool that you’ll probably find yourself relying on throughout the school year. But remember: teachers can see how many times you’ve logged onto your account, so you might not want to be that one student who has checked 100 times in a month.
You might find Facebook to be a useful resource; over the years, many Facebook groups (such as class pages and PHS Days) have been created in order to keep students updated about school happenings. Many clubs have started their own pages as well, allowing you to keep up on their individual events. In addition, if you’ve forgotten an assignment or if you have no idea how to start studying for a test, you can create a Facebook group for everyone with the same teacher or taking the same subject, where students can communicate easily with one another. Alternatively, hit up a new friend on chat with your question. With all these new classmates, it’s unlikely that you will have every single one of their numbers by the end of the first day, so try to connect with as many classmates as you can in the first few months. Just be careful when you log on to do something school-related … You don’t want to waste an hour (or two!) of precious time.
The Learning Commons’ online subscriptions:
The Learning Commons at PHS subscribes to many useful tools and sites that the whole student body can use. A few of the subscriptions include the New York Times and the Oxford English Dictionary. We encourage you to give one of the many tools that can be found via the Media Center a try before the end of freshman year. You’ll be surprised at how helpful they will be! (You can pick up a list of the subscriptions at the front desk of the library.)
The Learning Commons provides students with computers, iPads, and books for research and assignments. If you need to use a textbook during the day to study or start your homework, the library has textbooks for most of the school’s classes, along with standardized test workbooks. The Ideas Center provides tutoring for students to get extra help in any subject with a peer tutor or a Princeton University student. And last but not least, you can always schedule meetings with your teachers for more help or practice.