Thursday, August 27, 2009

Starting the School Year off Right - Part #3

Manage time effectively!

We tell our students to set up a weekly schedule for themselves. They should plug in all their extra curricular activities and commitments on a daily basis (for all 7 days of the week) and then schedule time (in half hour blocks) to work on their homework. They should also make sure they build in time to eat and take care of personal hygiene and some down time to relax every day. Often when students go through this exercise they realize they have more free time than they think. If they are diligent about sticking to their schedule then they will avoid procrastination and time wasting activities that lead them to feel stressed and overwhelmed. One tool that many of our students find to be valuable is a timer. An inexpensive timer can be purchased at any supermarket or drug store. We tell the student to set their timer to 30 minutes and then get to work on their homework (one subject at a time – tackling the hardest one first). When the time goes off they can take a break and spend 30 minutes doing something they want to do. They key is that they must be disciplined enough to go back to their homework after the 30 minutes are up for another 30 minute homework block. Many students find that by splitting up their homework into 30-minute blocks and interspersing it with free time they are able to be more focused and productive. Homework becomes less of drudgery when it is not tackled for hours at a time with no break. They key is to be disciplined enough to stick to the 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off cycles.

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