Visualizing Your Time
How to stay afloat and balance school, work, and extracurriculars.
You've reached a crossroads: a new school year, a new season, and a new point in time where you'll be taking on increased responsibilities. Part of these responsibilities will include looking ahead to post-secondary options for you to pursue.
Balancing a job, academic studies, and extracurricular activities can be tricky, but honing your multitasking skills before you venture out to university will greatly benefit you in the future. When you do decide to make the leap to university, you'll need to balance these three aspects, in addition to many others.
One of the most important things you can do is plan ahead. Start by creating a calendar, whether digital or written, and add all of your tests, presentations, and assignments to it. Think about how long it may take you to complete some of these tasks, and consider adding a "start date" as well, so that you know when you should begin working. From there, you can add other important dates that you may need to work around — holidays, shifts at work, sports practices, games, etc. Being able to visualize hectic times of year will go a long way toward helping you balance numerous responsibilities at once.
Being disciplined with your time outside of school is also crucial to managing the balancing act that is life. Whether you're into athletics, the arts, or any other hobby in between, extracurriculars are a great outlet to develop and express your talents — but they can be time consuming as well. Take a look at the week ahead, and factor in which early mornings or late evenings you may have to work, or when you'll be tied up with other commitments. Then, look at your free time and divide it up into segments of two or three hours at a time, where you can focus on completing school work. It's important to have time to yourself as well to relax and have fun, and being proactive in setting a schedule or routine will help you to maximize that.
Being able to develop and improve your time management skills before you set foot in university will be a huge help to you, as you'll already have a system in place to make sure that you can comfortably balance all of your obligations, and maximize your experiences — both in and out of the classroom.