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How can I manage my time better so I can reach my goal of having a 4.0 this year while having extracurriculars and SAT preparations?

For context, I am taking 3 APs and an astronomy community college class. I am struggling the most with astronomy, physics, and math. I am also the Junior Officer for an aerospace organization at my school called Aerotech and I am a writer and editor for a club called ARRAS (Arts and Magazine Club). In addition to this, I am currently working on a research project and thinking of making a research club for my school and dabbling in music production (hopefully I can start producing music once I can effectively manage my time). In short, I have too much on my plate.

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Chittajit’s Answer

The issue at hand isn't time management, it's that you've got too many commitments. If your goal in taking on all these courses and extracurricular activities is to boost your chances of college admission, here's a straightforward strategy for you:

* Limit your activities, but excel in those you choose.
* Prioritize your grades, as they're a key factor in college admissions.
* Only take AP courses that align with your intended college major. Colleges appreciate depth in your field of interest.

Review your current obligations and start eliminating the less crucial ones, even if it means dropping an AP course. Demonstrating the ability to prioritize is a mark of maturity. The process of college admission can be confusing and unclear, and your peers are likely feeling the same pressure. It's easy to fall into the trap of overcommitting in an attempt to cover all bases.

Remember, you're on track to attend a college that suits you. Compile a balanced list of colleges to apply to, and make sure to visit them before making a decision.
Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Hanah
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Tom’s Answer

Keep this in mind: there are 24 hours in a day, and it's kind of crucial to sleep for just enough of them to recharge so that you have energy for what you NEED to do, and what you WANT to do. Then, you need to allow enough time to focus on YOU, as in relaxing and letting your mind wander a bit. If you can do that while enjoying your activities then more power to you, but if not, then it's time to lighten your load a bit.
The thing is, you can have as many hobbies as you can stand and focus on your passions a day or two during the week, but remaining engaged in so many things at once is going to burn you out eventually and leave you a neurotic mess long before you graduate. Balancing your workload, your hobbies, and your selected passions is tough, I've done it before and found myself on the wrong end of a nervous breakdown. Just maintaining a 4.0 is tough enough for a lot of people.

I suppose the one bit of advice I have that might hit home, hopefully, is this:

Find out what's most important. Once you have that in mind, then figure out how much energy you need to devote to it, cultivate what you believe will really help you move forward, and treat the rest of your interests accordingly, using what time you have to give to them. One thing that's certain, you won't likely be able to devote as much time to everything as you want. You're human, and that comes with a few limitations no matter who you talk to.

Find what you're passionate about, work from there, and let things fall as they may.
Thank you comment icon You rock! This advice is very helpful. Hanah
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Ricardo’s Answer

Understanding that you're juggling many tasks is a great first step. It's also important to keep your expectations in check to avoid disappointment when results don't meet your hopes. A handy way to organize your time is by using an electronic calendar with alerts. Each night, before you sleep, jot down what you aim to achieve the next day on your calendar. Review your daily schedule and assess its feasibility. If it appears doable, then you should be able to complete most, if not all, of your tasks. Make plans for the immediate, medium, and long term. Lastly, limit your social media usage as it's the biggest time-drainer ever encountered.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your response! I have tried to use electronic schedules but more often than not, I will not be able to follow the schedule I set up because it was unrealistic when I thought it was realistic. How do you know if a schedule is realistic or not? And what do you do if it is not? Thank you so much for the advice. Hanah
Thank you comment icon It's not realistic if the tasks are overlapping or if they would take longer than the time you assigned to them. Ricardo Islas
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Hanah
Thank you comment icon Over time, you will start to develop a better sense of what is realistic or not. You will start to learn how long certain tasks take you, and you can adjust your future plans accordingly. Leave gaps of time between activities to account for unexpected "overflow" (or just to take a bio break!) Holly Jackson
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Luz’s Answer

Balance. You have to prioritize some things over the other. When it comes to having a lot of things to do, I would suggest doing whatever is easy first and then doing the rest. Setting aside time for each activity. Making a schedule (color coded). You might want to consider taking some things off your plate if you feel like you do not have enough time to study.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Hanah
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Ron’s Answer

It's amazing how sometimes trying to do less leads to more results. It's very counter-intuitive because there is so much pressure to do more, to be the best, and constantly compare ourselves to everyone else, especially on social media. Everyone is posting their day 100 or their best days that they've edited to show up higher on the feed, when in reality we are living our day 1 and have ups and downs.

There will always be more that we can do or could have done differently. The hard part is tuning out all the noise and focusing on what is right for us at this current point in our lives.

I agree with choosing your most valuable priorities that align with your goals. You have plenty of time to keep getting into your additional interests over the course of you lifetime. And your goals will likely grow and change as you do. For now, it may be better to get more done on a few things then to get very little done on a lot of things.

There's the concept of iterative growth, where you might focus on starting smaller and building small wins, learning from the experience, and then growing into the next win.

To address your comment about realistic schedules/plans, it might be helpful to start building small consistent progress on few things and then add in a little bit more until you find a good point to balance point.

And keep in mind, not everyday will be the same productivity, some days will be more, some days will be less. I recommend having a little flexibility and look at it across a few days or a week. In projects we add in buffer time to account for things we can't plan for happening. So if you think it might take 2hrs, add an extra 30mins or an hour even to the plan so that you can comfortably get it done and not affect the next item.

And lastly, make sure to account for some down time to relax, connect with your family or friends, and let your brain recharge.

Hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for sharing your advice. I did need a reminder that I can't do everything at once and that what people say online does not reflect their lives. Again, thank you so much for your advice! Hanah
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Kevin’s Answer

I am sure this has been brought up but after the details which were mentioned mental health is a key component in being able to enjoy your accomplishments. From the sounds of it the idea of multitasking is being pushed into high gear. I would highly recommend meeting with an advisor and brainstorm. If Astrology, Physics, and Math are subjects of difficulty (and if any are part of your 3 AP classes) than you might discuss about moving to the Non-AP level. Lastly think about listening to music, meditation, or something to relax your brain. Make sure to take care of yourself and wishing you the best 👋👋🎉
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Emily’s Answer

Remember, the day only has 24 hours, so it's crucial to 1) prioritize self-care, like getting enough sleep and finding time for enjoyment, and 2) concentrate on activities that truly 'fill your cup'. It's okay not to excel at everything, but what are those key activities that spark your energy and enthusiasm?

When it comes to managing your time, it's a great idea to kick off each week by pinpointing the 2-3 main goals you want to achieve, rather than getting overwhelmed by a long list of tasks. Prioritizing will allow you to focus on areas that foster the most growth. You got this!
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