Time Management for Teens

(and some tips for parents of teens too!)

Picture of an alarm clock with items around it, including globe, calculator, stack of books, diploma, light bulb.
Time management and strong work habits can be challenging for many teenagers to master during a typical school year. As we all know, this has been a very atypical school year, with the challenge of virtual learning and the added challenges that come along with that, including social isolation, increased difficulties with mental illnesses, added socioeconomic struggles, among others. All of these things can impact a teen's ability to focus on the task at hand. So, what are some ways that you can increase your positive time management skills?
"Time Management Tips" including Set Goals Correctly, Prioritize Wisely, Set a Time Limit, Take Breaks Between Tasks, Organize Yourself, Remove Non-Essential Tasks and Plan Ahead

The Ultimate Distraction!

What is your biggest distraction? For many of us, adults included, it is our cell phone. It can be especially important to set that distraction aside while you need to focus most during the day, whether that is during class or when you need to get a test or an especially important assignment or project completed. Ideally, it is best to put the phone in another room where it cannot tempt you. If that is not something you can do, or that you prefer to do, at least put your phone on some type of "Do Not Disturb" mode.
"Time Management Tips for Learners" by Bridget Sole including Set Long-Term Goals, Write To-Do Lists, Prioritize, Budget Your Time, Find a Dedicated Space & Time and Don't be Afraid To Say NO!
Time Management Tips for High School Students
10 Apps & Extensions for School & Productivity all students need! 🖥
How a student changed her study habits by setting goals and managing time | Yana Savitsky | TEDxLFHS

Planning and Organizing is Key!

One of the most effective ways to ensure that you are managing your time well is to plan and organize well. These are learned skills that take practice, practice and then, often more practice. Planning, whether planning out your week or planning out how you are going to complete a task, will help you to most effectively manage your time and complete any give task. Further, ensuring that you are organized is important for a number of reasons. Organization helps us to be sure that we know where we should be at any given moment, know what assignments we should be completing, know how to efficiently complete tasks, etc. However, what organizational tool works for one person may not work for another. Finding which organizational tool is going to work for you can a matter of trial and error until you find the tool that is most effective. Below are some examples of organizational tools that you can try:
A graphic that says "Organize" in bright yellow, with words around it in white that reference organization such as "planner, agenda, work finish, daily goals, to do list, tasks, motivate, emails", etc.

The Next Steps...Putting It Into Practice!

Now that you've learned several useful time management and organizational skills, the next step is to start to find what works for you and begin to put them into practice. If you feel you need added support learning to manage your time, or putting these tips you've learned here into practice, please don't hesitate to reach out to the school counseling staff at your school. We are here to help!
A graphic with words on pieces of paper hanging from clothespins that say "We Can Help".
Created by Michelle Wilson, LCSW, Prince William County Schools School Social Worker