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(Photo by Anjali Narayanan)

(Photo by Anjali Narayanan)

By Anjali Narayanan, Barrington

As the autumn roll around, school starts and reminds us that we in fact have things to do, people to meet, places to be, and too little time to fit in all these things and people and places. When I became a member of the Mash Insider staff and school picked up, I realized that I, in fact, need to listen to my mother and become slightly better at time management. Over the past few weeks, I have figured out the best way to accomplish this.

Choose your activities wisely.
Being from a more fortunate district, you see kids who put so much stock into being exactly what someone else wants them to be. It is way too common to see a kid doing debate because colleges love extracurriculars like that on their transcript. A girl on the volleyball team just because her mother was the star player during her glory days. When you choose to stay after school everyday until five or later, make sure it’s for something you love and something you are willing to manage your time for.

Have a Specific Workplace
When I took psychology last year, the teacher spoke about association which psychologydictionary.org defines as “A type of connection between ideas, behaviors, events, objects, or feelings on a conscious or unconscious level.” Essentially our minds create associations such as bed is equal to sleep and school means work. If you work on your bed, you tend to get tired more easily. Creating a place to work, like a desk or even a kitchen table and sticking to doing homework and other projects will eventually trick your subconscious into thinking “Okay, this is work time.”

A Planner Actually Helps
I know, teenagers usually fall into two categories: those who can properly use a planner and those who can not. If I am being honest, I fall into the latter. I was very disorganized and I could not find the structure to continually use a planner. Then I realized a planner could be as simple as using the “Notes” app on my Iphone, typing in a document on the computer, sending a text to myself, or even writing a little note at the top of my notes for the day. The important part was that after I was finished with my work, I would write down everything I had said I needed to be done and begin crossing stuff off. It came to the point where crossing stuff off was really satisfying.

Make it Pretty
Again, two there are two categories of people. There are those who care about organizing their supplies and those who keep their homework in a crumpled up lump beneath their lunchbox. Making it pretty is not advice to organize, but make your work something more than just black and white text that will slowly blur into the dull background. As shocking as it sounds, I started doing my math homework first when I put Harry Potter stickers on the cover.

Find Time to Relax…Completely
For workaholics, this is hard. Oh, so unbelievably hard. I could not even watch T.V. without doing at least playing a video game on my phone or sketching something. This is probably the most important thing because people forget that they need to fully relax. Take 10 minutes, lie down, and listen to music. Go play basketball in the driveway. Do something that is so comfortable that you tune out everything that you could be worrying about. It will make you happier, truly, and a step further, it will make you more productive when you adapt the “Work Hard, Play Hard” mentality.

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