Yochi Hobson, '23
I’m sure we all know those late homework nights that seem never-ending. You know, that distressing feeling when you check your phone just to see that it’s 11:00 P.M., yet you still have to write an essay and annotate 20 pages of Mansfield Park? Repeated nights of this stress start to take a toll on your mental health, beginning to arouse feelings of panic and fatigue. Unfortunately, it can be very easy to fall into this trap because we have to juggle school work and extracurricular activities, like sports, that take up a lot of our time. At times, it may seem impossible to go to school and sports practice, do homework, eat dinner, shower, and still get to sleep at a reasonable time, but I’m here to let you in on a little secret—it’s actually not. The key is time-management. This may seem like an obvious answer, but think about it. Do you really manage your time well, or do you let hours of scrolling mindlessly through your phone creep into your day? With time management, you can complete all of your activities while preserving your mental health.
Although it may seem difficult to implement in daily life, the main concept of time management itself is quite simple: organization. An example of organization is consistently using your planner to write down homework assignments. Our planners should not just sit in the corner of your room looking pretty; they can actually help you. I suggest highlighting which homework assignments you need to complete each night, as well as writing check boxes next to each assignment. For those of you that like to use color for notetaking, color-coding your planner by classes can help you to be even more organized! Another method is to download a calendar app on your phone, like TimeTree, to keep track of due dates and ensure that you aren’t blindsighted by deadlines. This will allow you to stay on top of your many responsibilities, instead of forgetting about them and being forced to complete them at the last minute. Additionally, developing a schedule for everyday activities like eating or showering will help you to cut down on time spent completing them—for example, allotting 30-40 minutes for dinner, one or two 30-minute breaks, 10 minutes for showers, and 5 minutes for dental hygiene. By setting a time limit on each activity, you prevent yourself from wasting your precious time.
Personally, I use all 3 of these methods because I have a pretty busy sports schedule. I am currently doing gymnastics outside of school for NCS’ Independent Project Program to fulfill my sports credit, and my practices are each 4 hours long and occur 3 times a week. On days that I have practice, I get home at about 9:30pm, and then I have to eat, do homework, and get ready for bed. It may seem like juggling countless hours of gymnastics, school, and my other extracurriculars would be nearly impossible, but thanks to the time management methods that I have developed, I can manage it all and still get to bed by 11:00pm on gym nights. I’ve found that my mental health has benefited from being organized, despite having a hectic schedule. I rarely feel stressed or anxious about getting everything done, contributing to my peace of mind and overall happiness.
To preserve the well-being of your beautiful minds, I urge you all to take it upon yourselves to organize your time in a way that promotes harmony between your obligations and your mental health. As someone who has a lot of athletic and educational commitments, take it from me that relieving stress translates into a much more pleasant and peaceful quality of life. However, if you ever find yourself slipping up on time management, don’t fret. Just remember the tips in this article and you’ll be set!