How to Manage Your Time Well In Middle School


This is a picture of Olga’s schedule.

Melina Bekiares and Genevieve Gladd

Are you having trouble focusing or managing your time wisely? I get it. Time is sometimes hard to keep track of, especially when you have activities outside of school. Here are some tips on how to manage your time a bit better.

Do you enjoy listening to music? Music can actually help you study, especially if it is classical or instrumental. It might not be your favorite genre of music, but it can actually help your brain process information better than it does in silence, by separating it into smaller segments. 

If you are trying to do something and are having trouble staying on task, leave all distractions in another room. Turn your phone off and place it in a different room so you aren’t tempted to look at it every few minutes. By turning your phone off and putting it on silent mode, you won’t know if you get any notifications. Also, turn downtime on, so you can only have an hour or 30 minutes on your phone. 

Sleep can also affect your attention span. If you don’t get enough sleep, (8 hours or less), you could be constantly distracted by little things. Things like this, such as stress, ADHD, some medications, anxiety, or depression, can all cause this. It may seem unexplainable, but you’re not alone.

The average 12-year-old can focus for 24-36 minutes, according to Brain Balance Centers. ( Things that can help with this are taking a break, or taking all electronics out of the room. If you are doing work on your Chromebook, then try taking a 10-minute break every hour, electronically free. For example, you could drink water, do exercises, or just lie on your bed and listen to music.

You might not want to take breaks when you are trying to finish something, but by taking breaks you do something you enjoy, then you are more relaxed when you are back to doing whatever you were trying to finish. Setting a timer is a great way to know exactly when you should take a break. 

Don’t wait till the last minute. Planning ahead exactly when you want to finish something is better than waiting until the last minute because you can plan out how long you want to work for each day. Get into a routine of doing something at certain times each day, and plan out for how long you will work for. 

According to Olga Bekiares, a freshman at Salem, and former West Student with all A’s and a 4.0 GPA currently, says “I prioritize what needs to get done first. If I have a homework assignment,  I get that done first, instead of doing something else.” Olga states. “When I was in middle school, I used to write a strict schedule, down to the minute, and I had to stick to that and not get distracted.” “I make my schedule the day before so I’m preplanning my time usage, and I actually know what I’m doing.” 

This is a picture of Olga’s schedule.

In other words, what she is trying to say is that you should write a to-do list. Write down all the things you want to accomplish that day and when you’ve finished that task, cross it off or put a checkmark next to it. After you’ve finished the task, reward yourself with a piece of candy or something else. This way, you are organized, and your schedule will make you actually want to finish your tasks and you can get them done faster.

“It was hard to focus, I sometimes get distracted and look at my phone, but when I actually stop to think about what I’m doing and look at the time, I know I need to get back to work because I have other homework assignments to do or an activity,” Olga says. “If I pass the time limit for that assignment on my schedule, then I add on another chunk of time, and take away some time for the things I want to do, like talking with my friends.” 

However, this may not work for everyone, as everyone is a different person and has different ways of doing things. If you really struggle with time management, I suggest talking to your teachers or school counselor about what you can do. Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your work. Also, don’t rush things, or spend too much time on one assignment-Remember, always put in your best effort, but don’t make things a big deal just because you want to be proud of yourself or show off. 

This is a picture of Olga’s weekend schedule that is more complicatedly formatted.

Time management is an important skill throughout life, and it is best to learn it while you’re young. Like most things, time management does not come naturally to you, you have to learn how to do it well. Middle schoolers tend to procrastinate about their work and can’t control it. Whatever the case is, you control yourself and your own thoughts and actions.

I hope this article has made you think about some things, and hopefully, you will make some changes in your life if you have not already!