DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m going into my senior year of high school, and I’m scared about all the stuff on my plate. On top of college applications, I’m enrolled in five A.P. courses, doing two internships and am an officer of four clubs. It’s a lot. In years past, I've been really bad about procrastinating and getting my work done in an efficient manner. What are your best tips for organizing my schedule and time? -- Time Management Tips
DEAR TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS: Wow, you have truly overloaded your schedule. If you must keep all of these high-priority duties, you will need to create a detailed schedule and promise yourself you will follow it. I believe in mapping out a weekly and daily schedule. In this way, you can look at the longer view and get a sense of the rhythm of the work that needs to be completed over the course of seven days, along with a daily check-in that allows you to keep track of immediate deadlines.
You can create this schedule wherever you have a calendar. I have two versions of my calendar. On my smartphone, I input my appointments and deadlines. You can also include classes with times and room numbers or zoom addresses, as applicable.
I also have a daily to-do list that is itemized by project. Under each heading, I list all of the pertinent duties and functions and check them off as they are completed. To ensure that everything is accounted for, I break down the tasks into manageable steps. No big project lives as one to-do item. Instead, the individual tasks that I determine will help me reach the goal are itemized and then checked off. This daily list must also include mental and physical health items, such as eating, exercising, drinking water and visiting with friends and family. All of it is important. If you write it all down, you will get it all done. The trick is to make a habit of keeping your list.