person writing in planner

School, extracurriculars, part-time jobs… with many students having jam-packed schedules, time management skills are essential in ensuring they get the most out of their education. After all, what good are all of those activities if you can’t seem to keep up and are constantly losing track of due dates for important assignments? 

It’s incredibly easy for a student to lose track of time while juggling responsibilities in various parts of their life. That’s why Piqosity has put together this list of helpful time management tips for students!

Utilize a Planning System

Routinely using a planning system, like a calendar or planner, can help you keep track of important assignments, manage the workload for multiple classes, and remember important academic or extracurricular dates.

For example, if you’re assigned an essay due in three weeks, using a planner can help you see where you have time between other assignments and after-school commitments to gradually work on the essay and have it complete on time.

How to Stay Organized with a Planner

However, keeping a planner can also seem overwhelming. This is especially true when you have several assignments due at once, causing your to-do list to become lengthy and stressful to start on. To prevent this from happening, here are a few helpful tips for keeping an organized planner: 

  • Color code your classes. This way, you can automatically see that the assignment marked in red refers to math while the green assignment is your upcoming science project due date, for example. 
  • Write down due dates right away. Doing this will ensure that you don’t forget when the assignment in question is due.
  • Include non-school responsibilities in your planner. Whether it’s a doctor’s appointment, after-school club meeting, or a part-time job, you should mark all time commitments in your planner. This will show you the days when you may not have as much time to devote to your work, so you can see which other days you have available to study.

This time management worksheet from Upper Iowa University can help students who are struggling with time management skills find out where they have extra hours and where they may need to tweak a few routines!

Moreover, if you’re trying to reduce paper waste, have a tablet that you regularly use, or just prefer to work online, Digital planners could be the way to go for you! 

Break Up Your Work

Essays and projects usually require more consideration and time management than your typical, short homework assignment. Consequently, creating a timeline to complete these assignments requires a bit more planning than those shorter assignments. 

Instead of fretting over the size of an assignment, consider breaking it up over the time you have until it’s due. Let’s illustrate this using the example of an essay due in three weeks. You can break up this assignment into one week increments:

  • Week one can consist of research for your topic and getting your sources together and organized. 
  • Week two can be dedicated to writing, compiling all of your research into a first draft. 
  • Week three then wouldn’t feel nearly as scary as you approach the upcoming due date because all you’d have left is to fine-tune your rough draft before turning it in.

Keep in mind that this method works best when you plan as far ahead as possible. That’s why we stress the importance of writing down assignments immediately! Parents and teachers: reinforce this method, as it is an excellent tool to help a teenager struggling in high school.

Set Assignment Priorities

One of the most important aspects of time management is effective prioritization. Assignments that are due earlier, carry a greater weight in your overall grade, or take longer to complete should be prioritized over shorter assignments that are due later or have a smaller impact on your grade. 

Know When to Step Back

As much as we want to get done with our work as soon as possible, remember that it’s necessary to take a break from time to time. 

With that said, it’s important to approach taking breaks cautiously—if you aren’t careful, those breaks can quickly morph into procrastination. Instead of taking constant or un-planned breaks while doing your work, consider using a break as a reward for getting an assignment or a component of a project finished.

Another way to take effective breaks while working is to set various alarms. For example, this could be setting an alarm to go off after every 45 minutes of work that allows you to take a 15-minute break before returning to your work.  

Follow Your Inspiration

With bigger and more creative assignments like science projects or English essays, you may encounter moments in which you want to pour all of your creative and intellectual energy into them. Don’t ignore that inspiration and motivation; in fact, you should take advantage of it!

It has been proven time and again that when a person is passionate about what they’re working on, the quality of the work is much higher than if they felt forced. Try to prioritize what you want to do!

Time Management and Test-Taking

Having good time management skills when it comes to test taking is important before and during the test in question. Whether it’s a unit test in history class or the SAT, planning ahead and making the most of your time will ensure you succeed when it comes to test day.

To help better prepare yourself and make the most of the time you have on test day, consider using these test-taking timing tips:

  • Sign up for entrance exams early. Dates for the ACT, SAT, and ISEE tend to fill up rather quickly. To secure your spot, make sure you get in as soon as possible. Make sure to write down your designated day in your planner/calendar so you don’t forget when to show up!
  • Allocate time for studying. In the weeks leading up to the test, make sure you spend adequate time preparing for what could be on the test. Set specific test prep sessions in your planner, and you can study with a friend to motivate you!
  • Take practice tests. If you take practice tests in preparation for an exam, especially standardized tests, you’ll know what to expect. Time yourself during the practice tests to get a feeling for the time you have for the real test.

Improve Your Time Management Skills With Piqosity

Developing good time management skills will save you stress throughout your academic career and beyond. Being able to stay on track to complete assignments in time and manage your priorities will help you manage assignments, work, hobbies, and other responsibilities throughout your life. If you want more practice material to empower your studying and help you stay on-time, Piqosity is here to help!

Our courses and practice tests are great resources for refining time management skills for students! 

Piqosity Virtual Tutor (PVT) will automatically create an optimized study plan for you based on your goal score and deadline! 

Additionally, practice tests on Piqosity give students access to an adjustable timer that tracks how long a student has left on a test, within a section of a test, and how long they’re spending on each question in the test. 

Whether you need subject-specific help or test prep, Piqosity has it covered! Along with our SAT, ACT, and ISEE test prep courses, each packed with test-specific practice, we also offer full-length online Math and ELA courses.

The best part? You can try out all of Piqosity’s features with our free community account. When you’re ready to upgrade, Piqosity’s year-long accounts start at only $89. Plus, get a 10% off coupon just by signing up for our mailing list!