What do I Need to do Today?

Tips on effective time management and a more organized life


With seven classes, extracurricular activities, friends, and perhaps even a job, attempting to juggle everything happening in your life can prove to be a challenge. The key to getting everything done on time, and with quality, is time management. Being able to manage your time effectively will help you stay organized and be successful in school.

The first step of effective time management is simply being aware of what it is you need to do. Junior Jacob Rashty says, “In order to effectively manage my time, I use an agenda to write down assignments and dates of events.” By using an agenda to keep track of homework and events going on in your everyday life, you will have everything you need to do written down in one place so you will be able to organize what you need to do in order. This tip goes along with one of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit three is “put first things first” which means knowing what’s most important and making that your first priority. This will make it easier for you to accomplish finishing all of your assignments at a timely fashion, while allowing you some leisure time.

With all your assignments laid out, you can approximate how much time you have to do other non-academic activities. Junior Jasmine Morigney explains, “Always plan ahead. Know what you have to do for school vs. how much time you have free on that day.” Academics should come first, but you need to allow yourself time to breathe and enjoy life. This is similar to Covey’s first habit to “be proactive” which means making good decisions and being responsible for what you do and the consequences that will follow for those actions. If you plan ahead and take responsibility for your academics, then you will have free time to do what you want.

Along with planning ahead, intend to do your homework as soon as possible. “Start your homework right when you get home, so you have more free time later,” says senior, Claudia Kassouf. If you do your homework right away, you can spend the rest of your day hanging with friends, spending time with your family, or practicing your hobbies. Also doing your homework on Friday night instead of procrastinating on Sunday night will allow you to enjoy your weekend without the constant worry in the back of your mind that you need to finish your homework for Monday.

Covey’s second habit is “begin with the end in mind.” By establishing your short-term and long-term goals, you can use your time to work toward those goals. His fourth habit is “think win-win” which means you should create good relationships where both parties gain something and will value and respect each other. The fifth habit is “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Keeping an open mind and allowing yourself to be influenced by the good relationships you have created with habit four will benefit you and you will be more wise and educated and after you will be able to influence others positively as well. Habit six is “synergize.” When working in a group, figure out the strengths of each person and through positive teamwork achieve the goal utilizing everyone’s strengths.

Lastly, Covey’s seventh habit is “sharpen the saw”. This means creating good habits and taking responsibility for your own life. By establishing these good habits, not only will you have better time management and become more successful in your academic life but also be less stressed and have more time for your personal life.