Time Management for Athletes
With spring sports in full swing and AP exams just around the corner, spring can feel like a never-ending sprint! It's easy (and completely normal!) to feel overwhelmed, AND you can take active steps to mitigate your stress! Read more about time management and how you can reclaim your time below!
Why is time management important?
Time management is essential because it allows you to take on more opportunities and complete work in a well-organized manner. Time management helps balance school, social activities, and sports. Athletes have less time to manage more responsibilities, so that these techniques can be handy. Time management provides you more energy in the long term because the effort is spent in increments of time rather than long periods.
Procrastinating’s effect on mental health
Time spent stressing on assignments leads to increased anxiety levels and self-sabotage. Procrastination often manifests itself as a struggle to address emotions rather than failure to time manage accordingly. Procrastination is often associated with negative connotations or seen as a trait of laziness, which is false. Perfectionists are often procrastinators. Although procrastination can be a product of anxiety, it also produces anxiety. It Can lead to shame, low self-esteem, anxiety, and distress. The ability to recognize/address emotions can help relieve associated stress.
Cramming isn’t effective
Cramming material may seem like a viable option, but this a harmful habit to pick up. It can help you recognize the curriculum
and become familiar with it, but it doesn't help you effectively learn.
For example, cramming a particular subject can cause your brain to overwork, which can cause future mental blocks while recalling information.
Cramming has been proven to reduce exam scores compared to information studied over a longer period. Long-term effects of cramming include poor sleep habits, fatigue, irritability, and a poor diet.
As a junior, I know this may seem impossible not to do. Please stay tuned for the time management techniques; they really do help!
Time Management Techniques:
Here are a few practical techniques to help you allocate your time better
Make a list of activities ranging from most important to least important. Complete those activities in that order.
Set time goals before you complete an assignment
Predict how long a specific activity will take you. After you complete the task, recognize the difference between your prediction and how long the assignment took to complete.
It also helps to set specific times for your tasks, such as completing psychology homework at 3:30, working on math at 6:00, etc.
2. Work in time increments
Working in time increments allows your brain to regroup after a period of studying. Time increments also help you complete work at a more efficient rate.
For example, try working for 30 minutes, taking a 5-minute break, and then working again for 30 minutes, followed by a 15-minute break.
Studies have shown that, on average, our brains can only stay focused for about half an hour, so these mini-breaks allow our brains to regroup.
3. Record deadlines
It may seem simple, but it's crucial for time management. In order to achieve our goals, we must be aware of them.
You can use a calendar, journal, website, or app to record your assignments.
4. Get rid of any distractions
- Hide your phone while completing work and utilize do not disturb
- isolate yourself from family members and friends
- study in a comfortable, quiet environment
- do not listen to music (unless it is classical)
- in this space include water and a snack
5. Ask a friend or family to reflect on your schedule
We often underestimate the time needed to complete an assignment and overestimate the tasks we can achieve in one day. A review can help you create a more realistic schedule
6. Create Reflection periods at the end of the day
Reflection periods allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses, record times when you were most or least productive, and record challenges and obstacles you faced. It also keeps you aware of emotions associated with work so you can better take care of yourself.
Time management skills are essential to learn because they allow for better and more effective results. Managing your time can lead to better relationships, reduced stress, and more time to take on opportunities.
Time management skills take time to learn, and that's ok! What matters is that you keep going every day and are continuously finding ways to improve. Good luck to everyone!