Finding the time

Hacks for students to manage their time


photo by Melissa Donovan

Junior Olivia Ott works on her Physics homework that she was assigned the period before during lunch. She planned to work ahead on her assignment because she has multiple other assignments to do and lacrosse practice after school.

Melissa Donovan, Assistant Editor

Picture this: it is the night before the due date, you have only done a third of the assignment, there is going to be long night ahead of you and you already know that you will be exhausted the next day. You see some of your friends are enjoying their night while you, you are knee deep in homework. You think to yourself: “If only I would have done this earlier,” or “If only I had organized this better.”

If this has ever been you, here a few tips provided by your classmates that will help you in the future.


This is pretty universal. Get an early start on your work so that you can feel out the assignment and asses how much time you think it will take you to complete it. Typically when you first get home from school the information is still fresh in your head and you are more focused and awake than you would be later on.

For students who come home from school tired and overwhelmed, other students have recommended a power nap to reenergize, and then get started on the work.

“I take a nap when I get home first and then I will start on my homework,” senior Sabik Azad said. “I had to start doing this because otherwise, I would never get anything done or sleep.”

After relaxing, students like juniors Lauren Muse and Morgan Caudill plan to begin the assignment the night that they are assigned. Muse ensures to prioritize assignments according to classes that have upcoming tests or quizzes.

Caudill works on assignments one-by-one and will take a half hour break in between them. She makes it a mission to start homework, especially when assigned over the weekend, early.

“I always try to get at least one to three assignments done on Friday because it makes me feel a lot less stressed and overwhelmed over the weekend,” Caudill said. “Then I will usually take Saturday off and continue working on Sunday morning.”


Once assigned work from teachers, one of the most fulfilling strategies is to write down all of the tasks, whether it is homework or tests to study for.

“[Making a checklist] helps with free time because either I can get the work out of the way or have free time to do whatever until I planned for the work,” senior Jordan Snoap said. “It is so satisfying to see things get crossed off the list one by one.”

This technique helps to compile all of the assignments into one organized list where you can put down due dates for yourself or, like Snoap, find what works best for you with this technique.

“I like to set dates for myself and set frequent reminders and highlight it [on the list] for things that I think are more important than others, like college applications or a big project,” Snoap said. “For other things, I will mostly cross them out or just set a short phrased reminder.”


Adding to the hours of homework awaiting you, join clubs, honor societies, or sports in or outside of school. As crazy as it may sound, having more on your plate makes you more organized because there is less time to mess around and procrastinate.

According to, “The more [time] you [have to] work, the less effective and productive you are going to become over both short and long term.” In other words, the more time you spend on a task, the more time there is available to waste.

“I get home from school, go to work at 3 p.m., come home at 10 p.m. and then sleep from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.. Then I wake up and do my homework or study in the morning,” senior Sina Imani said. “I hate wasting my time, when I am not busy, I feel like any downtime I have is just going to nothing.”

The Huffington Post said that this rule allows procrastinators to try and fight their temptation of sitting and watching another episode on Netflix, for just 15 minutes. They wrote, “We can all do something for just 15 minutes. But, what you’ll come to find is that after the 15 minutes are up, you’ll keep going.”

To do this, get up and get ready to do the work, find a phone or stopwatch to set to 15 minutes, and get working. More than likely, that Physics homework that you were dreading will be done in the allotted time because you get so caught up in the task and find it hard to quit since you found your groove into it.


Another obvious tip, that works but could be challenging. Students, like junior Olivia Ott have shown that they can complete their work in a fraction of the time that they would if they were near their phones because they would get distracted by text messages, or Snapchats or Instagram notifications.

“I have had a lot of late nights [for example, sometimes] when I am taking Psychology notes, [sometimes] I spend too much time on my phone, causing me to stay up later than needed,” Ott said. “I have to listen to music or else I fall asleep, and I try to avoid [social media] because that is what I waste a lot of my time on.”

She sets goals for herself while working on assignments so that she can get her dose of social media.

“I usually say once I finish a shorter assignment or a section of a larger [assignment] I will check my phone,” Ott said.


Through all of these tips, remember: you will get through it and although it may seem like there is no time to sleep, hang out with friends or watch movies, you are not alone.

“Nothing in life or school is as serious as it seems at first so just do what you can every time and everything will work out,” Imani said.