8 Homework-Management Tricks for Busy High Schoolers
Welcome to my article on eight additional, advanced, and bonus high school homework tricks - one of many articles I’ve written about improving time management skills for busy high schoolers.
The point of this post is to include a few more advanced homework-management tips that might not deserve a whole article to themselves, but definitely deserve a mention.
Homework Tip #1: Get Good at Prioritizing
High school homework trick #1 is to develop your ability to juggle competing priorities wisely.
Each year in high school you’ll have higher and lower priorities, but as always, the central time management rule of “Know Yourself” applies and helps you sort things out.
If you first know your most important life priorities, you’ll have a much easier time establishing what’s IMPORTANT and what’s merely URGENT in high school.
If you don’t feel like you know exactly what you want to do yet, then at least know your strong and weak subjects, know your teachers, and establish these strong and weak points early in the year.
Then, as the year goes on, continually develop your ability to rank your assignments by priority in terms of which will have the biggest impact on the things you care about.
It’s all about your personal system of ranking important work vs busy work, complex projects vs simple ones, difficult goals vs easy ones, and important long-term dreams with urgent daily concerns.
By this way, this is just one MORE reason for daily productivity-journaling - to reflect on how you’re doing and whether or not you could do a better job.
With time, you’ll naturally figure out what goes where.
Homework Tip #2: Sometimes You’ll Be Late
My high school homework trick #2 is that sometimes you’re going to come up late.
It happens to all of us! And, it’s ok, but what are you going to do about it when it happens?
If you’re going to be late with an assignment, I’ve learned that it’s best to A) be HONEST and B) let people know as SOON as you’ll be late.
The worst they can say is, “No mercy, the original deadline and penalties still apply.”
See, you’re no worse off than before!
And if you’re lucky, they’ll find a way to bend the deadline for you.
Don’t spend a bunch of time weighing bad options or making up schemes if you’re already late on an important assignment.
You need every moment to catch up, so just suck it up, take the small penalties that may be involved, and let your teacher know right away with full honesty because they may be willing to help you or give advice.
After all, your teacher WANTS you to succeed in their class - I promise.
Treat them with honesty, and give them advance notice and you may be very surprised how well they may react to bent or broken deadlines.
By the way, this is one of many little moments where making friends with the teacher beforehand can really help out –
They’ll be more inclined to stretch the rules and deadlines on your behalf.
Homework Tip #3: Use Study Halls And Free Periods
My 3rd high school homework trick is to maximize the benefits of your study halls and free periods.
Never forget the impact a free period can have on your schedule.
This ESPECIALLY applies at the beginning of each school year when you’re signing up for classes.
It can be a really smart move NOT to over-cram your high school schedule, and instead leave ONE free period in there for flexibility and backup homework time.
On the OTHER hand, PLEASE do not fall for the age-old trap of thinking that hanging out with friends on campus is more important than school - otherwise known as “more free periods equals better.”
Colleges will NOTICE your slacking attitude and you’ll pay for the lazy approach to education LATER when you’re trying to get into your favorite college…
Please - make wise use of the majority of your study halls and free periods to get ahead on schoolwork.
Also - if any of your teachers have an off period at the same time, it’s the perfect time to get to know them a little better.
Check the faculty schedules, ask around and see if you can help out any of your favorite teachers or coaches while you’re on campus during your free periods.
This kind of stuff pays off in unexpected ways, from the previously-mentioned deadline extensions, to teacher recommendations for college and so on.
Homework Tip #4: Make Friends With Your Teachers
High school homework trick #4 is to make friends with as many teachers as possible.
Being friends with teachers plus gathering a great reputation as a dependable, personable, on-time student will win you MUCH greater chances at leniency when you REALLY need it.
I’m going to tell you a REALLY hush-hush secret - as someone who has spent 6 years as a full-time teacher:
Even though teachers KNOW when students are kind of “trying” to impress us in class, we still love it - because it reminds us of why we love to teach and makes us feel like we’re doing a good job.
And that’s something EVERYONE wants to feel when they’re at work!
So, as long as you don’t overdo it too much, it’s definitely a good thing to be an active and friendly participant in classes and to make friends with your teachers.
Homework Tip #5: Realize When It’s Time To Panic
My fifth high school homework trick is “Realize when it’s time to panic” (at least a little bit!)
This tip, while a bit more dramatic, definitely has the ring of truth to it.
There are some times in life when you just have to drop everything, shut the door to your work area, and not do anything fun until your important work is complete.
I say “panic” half-jokingly, because it’s never good to just freak out and freeze up like a deer in the headlights,
But what I mean is, if you’re getting that tight-chested, adrenaline-rush feeling of fear, anxiety and panic that you’re NOT doing something you should be doing…
…Then my honest, well-considered advice is get off your butt and do it!
Also, don’t tell yourself that it’s too late to start. It’s NEVER too late to make a difference.
Homework Tip #6: Master The Many Uses Of Flashcards
Homework trick #6 is to master your use of flashcards as a study tool.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…
No matter what technology we devise on our phones and personal computers, the process of making and drilling your own flashcards on key concepts is going to be the FASTEST way to study in virtually any class.
Until we can directly inject knowledge into our brains, I expect handmade flashcards to remain in the top three most effective speed-studying methods.
Homework Tip #7: Handwritten Notes Have Many Uses
High school homework trick #7 is that your own handwritten notes have a billion uses.
Taking notes on your classes and reading assignments will increase your memory, save time on your study sessions, improve your grades on tests and finals, minimize stress from pop quizzes, make you look good to teachers and win favors with fellow students.
Notes might SEEM to take more effort now than just passively following along, but you’ll save huge amounts of time later since you won’t have to review as much plus you’ll perform better, so it’s a two-for-one win and that’s what it’s all about.
Homework Tip #8: Review Time Management Methods
Speaking of notes, my eighth and final high school homework trick is…
Your perspective on this material will continually change as you grow up and go through more years of high school (and college).
Make sure to come back and review to make sure you’re not only staying on track, but also doing better and better each year.
What Are YOUR Secret High School Homework Tricks?
So, those are 8 of my top “quick tips” for homework, school, and time management in high school.
None of them will completely change your life on their own, but taken all together they make a large impact in a wide variety of situations.
What extra homework-management tricks do YOU think belong on this list?
I REALLY want to know your best suggestions for other high school homework tricks and tactics that could go with these eight tips.
Leave your ideas in the comments section below, and check out what other students have come up with!
When you’re ready, I’ll see you in the next article!
Make this year your most productive year ever! Get the complete Time Management for Teens Online Course or order the book on Amazon today.