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Time-Savers




by Katrina Cassel

Who couldn’t use some tips on saving time?

Mike, scowling, sat on the edge of his bed. He had a 200-page biography to read for a report due the next day. He could hear his best friends playing basketball in the driveway next door. “Why did I wait until the last minute to read this book?” he grumbled.
Jordan rummaged through his duffel bag. “I know my uniform is in here,” he said, “I’ve got to have it for the game tonight!” Jordan pulled his uniform from the bottom of the bag. It was crumpled and dirty. “Mom,” he called, “can you wash this uniform? I need it for the game tonight.”
“Sorry, I’m on my way to an appointment. You’ll have to wash it yourself or wear it the way it is.”
“But I’ve never washed my own clothes,” Jordan whined.
“It’s kind of late to think of that,” his mom responded.
Have you ever faced similar situations? a homework assignment left until the last minute? a project to do overnight? a hectic search for clothes and books? Learning to manage your time saves you from stress and extra work. Here are steps you can take to improve your time management.
• Make a list. Write down everything you need to accomplish—school assignments, household responsibilities, half-finished projects, and so on. Putting everything on one list helps you focus on what you need to get done.
• Determine your priorities. What’s the most important item on your list? Work on that task until you’ve completed it, then cross it off the list. What’s your next priority item? Keep working this way until you’ve crossed off every item on your list. Then reward yourself for your accomplishments.
• Buy a calendar. On your new calendar write down when all your assignments, projects, and papers are due. Write down sports events, church events, and other special events. Doing this will help you stay on top of your due dates and activities.
• Make a schedule. Write the days of the week across the top of a piece of paper, and write the hours down the side. Fill it in first with absolutes—school, part-time jobs, quiet time with God, church, and other commitments. Second, schedule extra-curricular activities, such as club meetings, sports events, and other inflexible commitments. Third, schedule flexible activities—piano practice, household jobs, and homework. Fourth, use the remaining time on your schedule to work on upcoming school projects, studying for tests, hobbies, and youth group activities.
• Be realistic. It’s unreasonable to expect to write a report in a half hour or to study four hours straight. Test your attention span, then schedule what you have to do within reasonable blocks of time.
• Keep up. On a daily basis keep up with assignments, projects, and jobs. Don’t wait until the weekend to clean your room, study your Sabbath school lesson, or study for Monday"s test. Work on these things a little each day.
• Start big projects early. Choose a topic for your term paper as soon as it’s assigned, then gather materials. This helps you avoid searching for materials at the last minute or staying up late the night before it’s due.
• Organize your stuff. Any project, including daily homework, runs more smoothly if you give it some forethought and gather everything you need before starting it.
• Plan time for fun. Schedule quality activities for yourself and time with your friends. Trying to go full speed without a break causes burnout, and your work suffers.
Do what you can to put these time-saving steps into practice. Ask God to help you manage your time better, too, and see how much you get done!
Bio:
Katrina Cassel, M.Ed., lives with her husband, five of their children, and an assortment of pets in the Florida panhandle.





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