"When am I supposed to do that? I have no time!"

Think of how many times you've said those words, when, in fact, we are given the same 24 hours a day as everyone else: farmers, artists, and world leaders. The difference is how we choose to use those hours. And with what quarantine has done to all of us, I think we have learned that we always have time; we just don't know how to use it! So, I’ll talk to you now about some tactics that helped me leave my procrastinating habits behind and actually start to get things done.

1. What Do You Need To Do?

Firstly, you want to make sure you have your days planned out beforehand so that you're not just going around wondering what to do next. Before going to bed, write down the next day's plan: if you'll be meeting up with someone, the hobbies you'll enjoy, the sports you'll play, and the chores you'll need to do. If it’s a school night, have your uniform ironed and your food ready so you'll be good to go the next morning.

The next day, try not to think of everything on your list at once, you'll be overwhelmed. Instead, just think of the task at hand, and how you'll get a break once you finish. Reward yourself; your brain often needs proof that you've achieved your goal after hard work. So, take a break or do something you enjoy (maybe treat yourself to a cookie).

person writing bucket list on book

2. Know Your Priorities

I once heard a story about a wise philosophy professor. The story goes that he stood before his students, filled an empty jar with large rocks, and asked if the jar was full. The students answered “yes”. Then, the professor got out some pebbles and put them in the jar and repeated his question, again the same answer was repeated. Lastly, he poured sand into the jar and for the last time asked the same question. However — this time — the jar was finally full.

The rocks in this story represent one’s life essentials: health, family, friends, and other relationships. The pebbles here represent what is not so essential yet still has importance. The sand represents the small things, things like material possessions or small tasks that don't affect you as much.

This story perfectly emphasizes the importance of prioritizing; it shows how if you do things in the correct order, you'll have time for almost everything.

In the process of filling the jar with rocks and pebbles, we tend to avoid the small tasks. By setting those aside, they keep building upon each other and adding stress to our daily lives. I, for example, am in charge of doing the dishes each night; at first, it was the greatest challenge for me. How did I cope with it? Well, I would set up a tall plastic chair so that my legs won't hurt, and would put my phone on the cupboard in front of me and keep up with FRIENDS.

closeup photo of ballpoint pen near camera

3. Get Some Sleep

Many teens deprive themselves of sleep in order to get more things done. Personally, I used to hack sleep; it worked for the first two days, but then, it just kept getting worse. I started to take 3 hour naps in the middle of the day and my attention at school kept deteriorating until I couldn't focus on anything. So, take it from me, try to have a consistent sleep cycle with an early start every day.

4. Allocate Time Wisely

When it's time for something, it is only time for that! Avoid any distractions that can make your mind wander in a different direction. The easiest way to do that is to switch off your phone. Studying when you avoid the world outside for an hour will help you achieve so much more in less time.

Think of the spare time you have in between almost everything, the bus ride to school, the time spent waiting for lunch, or even those 5 minutes before getting out of bed. You can use that time to do whatever you wish i.e. read, write, study, watch Netflix, or just think. It does save some time if your bus ride to school is, like mine, almost an hour long.

5. Take a Break

Have some "you time" and choose to do whatever you like, laying in your bed or playing your sport. Take this time to free yourself from the tension going on, and during that time, avoid thinking about anything that may upset you.Try to go out at least once or twice a week, just to give yourself a break from everything and enjoy the moment.This should fill your mindset with positivity and enough energy to keep the day going.

What about you?

What do you do to save time? How do you tackle time when you're too busy? Let us know in the comments!