Prioritizing Your Workload

Being a high school student is no easy task. The amount of homework and due dates we are expected to accomplish while participating in extracurricular activities, sports, clubs, working a job, and having a social life can be overwhelming. In a world where stress is normalized, it’s impossible to not feel like you’re either not doing enough and falling behind or drowning in uncompleted tasks and over-scheduled days. Marlee Jones (12) describes her experience with the stresses of life as a student.

“It’s tough being a high school student, especially with all the AP classes I’m taking and all the extracurriculars I’m doing. I’m a busy person. It stresses me out sometimes, but I feel like I’m able to manage it to complete everything to the best of my ability,” Jones said.

When you’ve got a billion things you need to get done, you can become overwhelmed and unmotivated just stressing over all your uncompleted tasks. It feels hard to find a place to start. It may seem silly, however, the easiest way to start is to make a to-do list. Write down everything you need to get done, either on a sticky note or your phone’s notes app. Your workload might feel more manageable and less overwhelming if your tasks are written down. It’s one less thing you’ve got to keep track of in your head. Jase Will (11) explains how important finding a balance is for him.

“It’s difficult finding a healthy balance between getting the right amount of work done, but also allowing myself to have time to take a break and do some of the stuff I enjoy. It’s tough, but not as tough as long as you are attentive to how much you are putting on your plate. You can’t let yourself get too lazy, but you also have to give yourself a break so you don’t get burned out,” Will said.

Learning to manage your time, energy, and attention is also essential. Every day you’re making choices on how to spend time on these three things. Think of it like a bank account, why spend all your money on things you don’t want? It makes more sense to save your energy for something that will benefit you. Before you do something, think to yourself, is this helping me? Think about how you’re spending your time. Think about whether or not something is worth your energy. Think about what’s taking your attention away from the things you need to do. Set time aside to do each necessary task, stop scrolling on your phone, turn off the TV, and focus. However, don’t get so caught up in being productive that you forget to take time for yourself. After all, your well-being should always be prioritized.

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