By Emma Weinheimer
1. Get a good night’s sleep. I normally go to bed between 9:30 and 10:00 PM and wake up between 6:30 and 7:00 AM. This way, I get the 9 hours of sleep I need. If I don’t get enough sleep, I’m awfully sluggish and find myself not being able to concentrate the next day.
2. Eat something that will stick with you for breakfast. Sometimes your only option is cold cereal, but try to eat something substantial, like eggs, oatmeal, granola and yogurt, etc. I also drink milk with meals for protein.
3. If you have any games in your Start Menu on your computer, remove them from your list for two reasons: they obviously distract you from your work, and they can strain your eyes, making you tire more easily. Then open up other programs that will not distract you, such as a web browser or a web security program. This way, your Start Menu will be full and you won’t see the game that distracts you.
4. Fill a travel cup (one with a lid!) with water and bring it upstairs with you. If you keep yourself hydrated, you will be able to stay fresh and focused.
5. Download a desktop timer and work in one-and-a-half hour blocks. When the timer goes off, get up and take a ten to fifteen minute break. Just get up, go to the bathroom, get a snack, and walk around. If you get away from the computer for a little bit, you’ll be recharged and ready to go when you sit back down.
6. Use a daily planner and set up your day with specific goals. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I try to knock out as much of my subjects as I can and Thursday and Friday are my clean-up days. So on Monday, my schedule may look like “8:30 Start, Spanish Week 6; 10:30 snack break; 11:00 back to work; Math Week 6; 12:30 Lunch; 1:00 back to work, Spanish or Math; 2:30 break, wrap-ups.” If you have nice weather outside, GET OUTSIDE!!! Shoot some hoops, go for a quick walk, ride your bike around the block, do something outside to clear your head for a little bit.
7. Be realistic when you set your goals. I know that in your head you may think “I got this. I’m gonna get this, this, this, this, and this done in three hours!!” You may not necessarily be able to do all of that in reality. Set a goal you know that you can reach. This way, you won’t be disappointed at the end of the day, and if you get something extra done, you’ll feel even better!
8. Don’t feel like you have to work all day. If you get tired, stop and take a break, even if your hour and a half isn’t up yet. A word of caution: don’t get up every fifteen minutes. You’ll spend more time going up and down the stairs than doing work. However, if you absolutely need a break, take one! You’re homeschooled, so you can work whenever works for you. Again, you can go outside if it’s nice out.
10. I have a secret candy stash (with six younger siblings, I gotta keep it secret! *wink*). If I need a little pick-me-up, I just grab a piece of candy. However, I eat foods with protein for a snack as well, like vanilla Greek yogurt, half of a peanut butter sandwich, leftover pizza… just something that will stay with me a little longer.
11. School should be a priority. If you start to make other extracurricular things more important, then you’ll slip farther behind. I know this sounds like a huge task, but once you get yourself in a “work, then play” mindset, it comes so much more easily.
12. Make time for fun! It sounds like I’m contradicting myself here, but like I said, it’s “work, then play”. It’s a time to unwind and just decompress from the crazed life of the high-schooler.
13. Find some volunteering opportunity that interests you. You do need 100 hours of community service to graduate, but volunteering is something that will catch colleges’ eyes.
14. Unless you have a question that you need answers to ASAP, save Edmodo for after school. It can be very distracting if you’re trying to learn about evolution while you’re having a conversation with a classmate about superheroes. *wink*
15. In fact, save all social media/email for after school for the same reasons. Again, if you need an answer to something ASAP, then that is an exception. You know when you’re logging on to check something and when you’re logging on to mess around.
16. Keep a notepad handy and keep a running list of things to do. Cross ’em off as you go. You can also use the Sticky Note program that’s pre-installed on your computer. It all depends on preferences. Some people like to have reminders on your computer, some like to have reminders on something that you can physically write on.
17. Use different colors pens/pencils or highlighters for different types of notes; I use red for questions, green for vocabulary words, and black for definitions and everything else. I also highlight dates when studying for tests.
19. Consistency. Find a system for note-taking and stick with it. Find a schedule for working and stick with it. If you constantly jump around from this to that to something else, it’s going to be distracting and time-consuming.
20. Use “fun”, candy, social media, or anything else that will motivate you as rewards. Set a realistic goal and don’t allow yourself to do anything related to your reward until you have reached your goal. You will feel much more accomplished and the sweet taste of victory will be even more sweet.
A publication created by Calvert High School students for the Calvert School community.