Time management is a key life skill. Sure, research has tied time management skills to solid study routines, higher quality learning, and greater academic success. But after graduation, these skills also promote greater job satisfaction, better health, lower stress, and higher quality of life.
Online high school can be a fantastic opportunity for students to develop critical time management skills early on. It tends to offer students more flexibility and more control over their daily schedules. Here are three time management tactics to start building your skills now.
1. Set Realistic Goals For Yourself
Now, you may read this and think, “I already know I should be doing this.” And you’d be right. Most students know that time management and goal-setting are good skills but simply don’t know where to start. This is what you can do:
Identify Your Main Goal: Let’s say you’re assigned a project for a class. Your main goal would be to note when that project is due and to complete the project by that due date. If you have a test coming up, your main goal would be to fully prepare for the test’s material by the test date. Simple.
Break Down Your Main Goal Into Manageable Mini-Goals: Making manageable mini-goals keeps you focused and your stress lower. We’re going to take our main goal to complete our project on time and break that into smaller action steps:
- Pick a topic.
- Read about what experts have said about that topic.
- Decide how you’re going to execute your project.
- Examples: video, PowerPoint, physical model, etc.
- Evenly spread out your mini-goals until the due date.
This is just a basic starter list. You can always break goals into even smaller tasks. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure how to break up a bigger task, start a conversation with your teacher about where you can begin.
2. Track Your Progress
People tend to find motivation and encouragement when they’re able to see their personal progress. Making a checklist is one of the easiest ways to track your progress.
Once you’ve decided on some manageable mini-goals, write them down as a checklist. Check off your goals as you accomplish them to build a sense of momentum and confidence. You can even set up rewards for yourself alongside goals on your checklist. You could reward yourself with some extra videogame time, or a favorite meal, or extra time with friends.
Think of how you can take activities that could distract you from work and use them as rewards to motivate you toward your goals.
3. Ask For Accountability
One of your greatest resources is the people in your life who are excited about your success. No matter how many tips you know, it’s hard to practice them when you’re feeling down or having a hard week.
One study found that the number one predictor of people achieving a goal wasn’t making a goal, or telling themselves that they would do it, or even making a plan for how to do it. The number one predictor of goal achievement was “having a specific accountability appointment with someone you’ve committed to.”
So reach out to your teachers. Talk to your parents. Text one of your friends who knows how to get things done. Find people who are willing to meet with you, problem-solve with you, and cheer you on when the weeks get hard.
How Sora Helps Students With Time Management
At Sora, we recognize that flexible scheduling alone doesn’t teach you how to manage your time well. That’s why we’ve provided our students with ongoing support systems to help keep them on track.
Our counselors meet with our students regularly. They go beyond checking academic progress. If a student is falling behind, our counselors ask about the “why” behind the situation. They provide practical, ongoing coaching to help our students develop the skills they need to achieve their goals.
As we’ve listened to our students, most of them light up as they share how Sora has helped them with their time management skills. This has given them confidence as they look forward to college because they already know how to own their schedules.
Interested In Learning More?
If you’d like to learn more about our innovative high school program, click here to speak with our admissions team.