With the vigorous demands of academics, the commitment to extracurricular activities and the pull of social media tugging at everybody’s attention, time management becomes a crucial part of the “school experience”. 

The Unfortunate Importance of Time Management

Time management is quintessential to any discussion related to commitments because –unfortunately, one cannot be in two places at the same time. Meticulous measures must be taken to ensure there are no clashes between meetings, revision for exams, extracurriculars, social obligations and sleep. Not to mention the physical and mental demands of keeping track of everything mentioned above. 

There have also been extensive findings that state time management skills are related to higher levels of academic success*.

Poor time management is plagued with procrastination, overcommitment and an overload of distractions. It is often characterised by task aversion due to a lack of organisational skills. (Reference Fig 1.1)

Fig 1.1

The vicious cycles of procrastination and task aversion include: 

  1. Priorities not set out properly or acknowledged
  2. Distractions available
  3. Procrastination and task aversion

Strategies for Effective Time Management and Finding What Works

  1. Short-term planning

Short-term planning, also known as short-range planning, centres itself on the day-to-day tasks that contribute to a long-term goal. For example, it could be setting out the number of events in a day and placing tasks in a prioritised order. This forecasts the number of emails that need to be written, exercises to be completed for maths or the homework due the next day. 

  1. Long-term planning

Long-term planning looks at the long-range objectives, often focusing more on disciplined routines that have been followed over time. Looking at the long-term helps with visualising how much work needs to be done over months and how much time needs to be devoted to a single subject. This can help in the long run. 

The Mental Health Talk

Time management not only leads to higher academic performance but also relates to lower levels of stress. Most —if not all— students are extremely familiar with the mental impacts of the exam season. 

Witnessing friends go out on the weekends or go to events and concerts will inevitably make you feel left out of the social loop, however not studying will make you feel guilty. The way to counteract this is to plan ahead to account for a stacked social and academic calendar. 

In conclusion…

As students, we have heard parents and teachers preach the benefits of time management and it’s time we realise the benefits. 

Further Resources and Support 

*Article sources: https://core.ac.uk/reader/234693030 

Further tips for time management: https://jamesclear.com/time-management-tips 

Feeling overwhelmed? Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP).

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email [email protected] or online chat.


Written by Amelia Hu, edited by Aaron Huang

Header image by Amelia Hu

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