At some point in your scholastic career, whether it be in junior high, high school, college, or beyond, you will run out of time to do everything. Some of you may have already encountered this problem, and know the balancing act that ensues: evaluating all of the studying, work, and related things that need to get done and then trying to get as much as possible done without your grades or sleep suffering. These situations are the stuff of committed students’ nightmares, but there are ways to control the damage, save your grade, and still get passable sleep before school the next day.
In order to do this, there are three questions that to ask yourself:
First, ask yourself what the context of the night’s work will be. Is your performance across your classes even, or is it widely varied? More simply, do you have the same grades in all of your classes, or is there a wide range? If it is the latter, then prioritize your work on whatever course you are doing the worst in. It might be tough, but it is much easier to improve a poor grade than to improve a good grade, so your time is much better spent on the class where you’re making a C, than on the class which you’re acing.
Second, ask which of the assignments you have to work on has the most effect on your grade? Focus on whichever part of your work accounts for the highest percentage of your overall grade. If you have a take-home test worth 25% of your course grade to balance with a homework valued at 1%, obviously you’d choose the test. While the decision isn’t always this easy, applying that same principle to smaller differences can be helpful too.
Finally, ask yourself which class has the most bearing on your future. What do you enjoy, and what do you see yourself doing in the future? While it is good to be well-rounded, a career is inherently a specialty. Eventually you will have to pick something you like, and focus mainly on that. When faced with a mountain of work, make sure to focus on that which is closest to the field in which you see yourself in the future.
Optimizing the way you do your work, is pivotal to making the most of the short time you have to complete it. Use these tips to help you work smarter, not harder, and get some sleep along the way. Good luck!
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