With teens juggling multiple classes, subjects, and assignments, keeping track of all their responsibilities can be a daunting task! Check out these priority management hacks to help high school students get more organized.
1. Prioritize. The act of prioritizing is easier said than done – in the most basic sense, prioritization requires assigning degrees of importance to each of your tasks in order to determine which responsibilities are the most pressing. But how does one actually do this effectively? At Tutor Doctor, we recommend students develop a system to separate their assignments into different categories. Using our X-Skills program, students learn to label their assignments as either alpha or beta tasks to start narrowing things down. Once you have a general idea of what the most time-sensitive items are, you can start planning!
2. Make an agenda. Prioritizing your tasks will only get you so far – you also have to remember when each item needs your attention! Without some sort of scheduling tool, it’s nearly impossible to keep track – an all too common line from students is “I knew it was important, but I thought it was due tomorrow.” Whether you use a traditional paper agenda or an electronic planner, make sure you have a system that you are comfortable using on a daily basis. Keep in mind that your agenda should be easily accessible at all times, and for this reason, many students prefer to stick with traditional paper planners. Check out Tutor Doctor’s tips for creating an agenda that works for you!
3. Color code. At Tutor Doctor, we’re a huge fan of color coding! We recommend assigning every class or subject its own unique color. For example, if algebra class is orange, you would use orange dividers, orange folders, and orange pens or highlighters on your agenda. It sounds silly, but this system is incredibly useful as it provides an instantly recognizable visual cue for assignments. In this case, a sea of orange in your planner would tell you that math is going to be your main focus this week without even having to look at the individual assignments!
4. Set reminders. If you are the type of student who is comfortable using your phone for reminders, this can be a great option to help avoid procrastination. Many students choose to use traditional planners as described above, and then set calendar reminders on their phone, laptop, or tablet for the most high-priority tasks.
5. Separate materials. Students often have trouble prioritizing because their school materials are jumbled together and disorganized. Whether you’re attending school in-person or through virtual classrooms, we highly encourage coming up with a system to organize your materials. For students who physically attend school, we recommend preparing your materials the night before. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for students to complete an assignment only to accidentally leave it at home! If you’re participating in virtual learning, organizing your materials is still an excellent idea – try to avoid leaving books and schoolwork strewn around your home. By having a dedicated space for your academic materials, it becomes much easier to keep your priorities in order!