Plan your time.  Right?  Write down a schedule. 6 a.m. up, dress, breakfast.  7 a.m. leave for school.  Etc.  Right?  Wrong!!!!

All you will do is become frustrated.  Either you will run around being unfriendly, feeling frantic, and feeling under pressure, or you will give up when you fall behind.  Nothing is worse than to look at your schedule at the end of the day and find out nothing worked.

Here's a better way

Take a sheet of paper and scribble down where your time goes.  7 a.m. Alarm went off. 7:45 Got out of bed.  Dressed, no time for breakfast, missed ride to school.  Hitch ride with Mom.  8:45 Late to school, tardy.  In trouble with teacher for interrupting class.  Etc.

Get the picture?  It doesn't have to be fancy.  A sheet of notebook paper you can fold up and stick in your pocket will work fine.  Do one each day for a week.  Then sit down with them and see what really happened.

Don't be too detailed.  Just every so often ask yourself what you have been doing the past few minutes and make a note.  You will learn some things.

What really happens

For example, do you always sleep through the alarm?  How many mornings are you late? As you look over what really happened, you can begin to see where you can make some changes.

Be creative

In high school, I found I could not make myself study right after school, but around 9 p.m. every night I was ready to settle down and hit the books.  At that time it was worth it to me to miss a little sleep in order to do some other stuff and still keep my grades up.

In college I had to hide my alarm clock so I couldn't reach over and turn it off without being awake. 

Until you are out of high school, your day is structured for you in most cases.  In other words, you are to be at school by 8:15 a.m. and you are dismissed at 3:30 p.m.  However, how you use your time before and after school is a place where you have choices.  Check to see how much free time you have during the day while at school.  What do you do with that time?

Work smarter, not harder

The first step is always to find out where your time really goes.  This week concentrate on keeping a time diary on a sheet of notebook paper each day.  At the end of the week, lay them out before you and see what you notice.  You will probably already have some ideas
how to make it better.

January 16, 2001
(C) 2001, Don Mize

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