Guide to Life
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Guide to Life

How to Manage a Busy Schedule

By: Kylie Hoff

If you’re anything like me, then you’re a busy person. A lot of teenagers have busy schedules, between sports, clubs, and classes. It can be hard to make time for yourself, or even to find time to get everything done. It can get overwhelming and stressful to manage all of these things at once, so here’s ten tips on how to manage a busy schedule.

Tip One: Use a Calendar

Tip number one is to use a calendar. You may already have one, or if you’re like me, then you have three of them (one on my wall, one to carry around, and one on my phone). However, you really don’t need three of them. The calendar on your phone is one of the best ways to use a calendar, because it’s small, digital, and you always have it with you. You can even share calendars with your friends or family members. My family shares our calendars, so we can all know each others schedules. Digital calendars are also convenient, because unlike a paper calendar, you don’t have to write things down or erase things or move things when plans change. You can simply type it into your phone. You can set notifications at certain times before events too.

Tip Two: Don’t Overcommit

Tip two is not overcommit yourself. It seems like you may have to join 2 sports, 3 clubs, and take 4 advanced classes, but you don’t. This is something that I’ve had to learn for myself. I was going to take 5 advanced classes, work 2 jobs, be in debate, Student Council, and yearbook, and run cross country this year, but I quickly realized that I wouldn’t actually enjoy doing all of that. Instead, I took 4 advanced classes, work 2 jobs, and joined Student Council and yearbook. Although I’m still very busy, my workload is much more manageable. If you find yourself with too many commitments, you may want to rethink your priorities and opt out of doing things you may not enjoy.

Tip Three: Make a Plan

Tip three is to plan out your week. Even though you have a calendar with your events in it, you still have things to do like homework and chores. I use my notes app on my phone every Sunday night to plan out what I’m going to do every day of the week. Alternatively, you could use a planner or just a piece of paper. When I plan my week out, I even mark down when I’m going to shower and workout. You don’t have to be that in-depth, but you should include things like chores, activities, sports, meetings, work, and homework.

Tip Four: Prioritize

Tip four is to prioritize. It’s important to figure out what takes priority within your tasks. For me, it chores, then homework, then friends. Certain classwork is more important than other, like yearbook is less important than math. Make a list of the things you need to do and prioritize. Things like homework and chores are more important than going out with friends, but sleep is more important than a math assignment.

Tip Five: Self Care

Tip five is to take care of yourself. One of these is to take time for yourself. I know you’re busy, but if you keep going, going, going, then you’ll end up losing the motivation and drive to get things done. Whether it be taking a 30 minute bath or watching a tv episode, a little break between tasks can boost your energy and your overall happiness. Just don’t abuse the breaks, because you won’t get anything done. Another way to take care of yourself is to workout and eat healthy. Working out, even for 15–30 minutes a day, can improve your energy and mental health. This is because when you exercise, your brain releases endorphins that make you feel better, and because working out delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. Working out also prevents brain degeneration and improves your cognition.

Tip Six: Find Support

Tip six is to have a support system. My freshman year, I was at a school where I didn’t know anybody and I had a really busy workload. I was always stressed and didn’t make many friends so I had nobody to turn to. This year, I’m at a different school with my friends and even though my workload is even harder, I’m handling it much better than last year. I’m not saying to have a million friends, I’m just saying to have people to talk to. Have a close friend to relax with, have a teacher to give advice, or even confide in your parents (they’ve been through this before). If you need a break, invite a friend to do something or go out with your parents.

Tip Seven: Stay Realistic

Tip seven is to be realistic. There is only so much you can do in a day, week, or month. I used to always think I could do more than I actually could in one day. I’d plan to workout, go to a meeting, and do three homework assignments. But doing that and still having time to eat, take a break, shower, and sleep is unrealistic. If you plan too much and don’t get it all done, it will stress you out even more. Figure out how much time each task will realistically as you plan out your schedule, so you don’t cram too much into one day.

Tip Eight: Set Goals

Tip eight is to set goals. Goals can be something fun to work for and something rewarding to meet. It can be any type of goal, such as something mental, physical, social, or academic. Examples might be getting at least an 85% on a math test or running a mile in 7 minutes. Try and make your goal something that already relates to something in your schedule though, so it doesn’t become more work.

Tip Nine: Eliminate Distractions

Tip nine is to eliminate distractions. Distractions are one of the main reasons you aren’t productive. When you’re doing homework, turn off your phone and move it out of arm’s reach. Make sure you aren’t watching tv while doing a task that requires a lot of attention and keep music at a low volume so you can think.

Tip Ten: Have a Routine

Tip ten is to have a routine. Although a routine may be hard to adhere to sometimes, a general routine is helpful to have. Set a bedtime for yourself, set the days you know you have club activities, set the days you’ll shower, and set the times you’ll workout (or have free time). Then set times you’ll do homework and hang out with friends. This creates a base schedule for you to follow but also allows you to remain flexible incase something pops up.


Although having a loaded schedule can be hard, it can still be manageable. By planning out your time, staying happy and healthy, and prioritizing, you’ll find that you won’t feel so overwhelmed or stressed. These tips and tricks will help you keep your obligations and commitments in check, and help you still feel like a normal human being.

“6 Tips for Balancing a Busy Schedule | Snagajob.” ,

Editor, The Muse. “45 Productivity Tips for Extremely Busy People.” , The Muse, 22 Oct. 2013,

Iskold, Alex. “7 Tips for Managing Your Schedule Like a Pro.” , Entrepreneur, 29 Mar. 2015,

Steber, Carolyn. “6 Surprising Benefits Of Working Out.” , Bustle, 17 Dec. 2018,

Taylor, Christopher. “How to Manage a Busy Schedule As a Student.” , WikiHow, 31 Jan. 2019,

“To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester.” , Odyssey, 10 July 2018,



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