You have a huge project due tomorrow, your laundry bin is overflowing, the dog needs to be walked and your friends are begging you to go see a movie this weekend. There just never seems to be enough hours in a day, but setting up some type of routine (and sticking to it) will help alleviate the stress and allow you to prioritize.
First, write down everything that’s really important to you: family, school, friends, soccer practice, youth group…sleep. Then, ask God to help you organize this list in order of priority. Creating priorities helps produce guidelines for a solid routine, because once your priorities are established, everything else will fall into place
One week of solid routine is great, but studies show that it takes at least 28 days to make a habit (and only a few days to break it), so it’s important to stay strong and ask God for guidance. Consider adding the following in to your life to establish a successful routine:
A loud alarm clock (and no snooze button)
Every time you hit the snooze button you lose more time for accomplishing tasks on that long list. If you think you’re one of those people who just can’t live without the snooze button, put your alarm on the other side of your room. That way, you have to get up to turn it off.
Believe it or not, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gets your metabolism going, and actually allows for you to burn more calories all day long. If you can, try to maintain a good balance of protein and carbs. Good choices may include an egg-white sandwich, a bowl of oatmeal or some dry whole-wheat cereal with fresh fruit.
Only you know when you study best, whether it’s early morning before you catch the bus or right before you go to bed, so make sure you put some time aside everyday. Most importantly, make yourself a study space (that’s not your bed) so you can easily focus. If all your homework’s done, take that time to do something enlightening. Maybe read a good book or learn how to cook your favorite recipe.
Aside from soccer practice and cheerleading tryouts, find time to workout with friends or on your own. Start a biking group that meets once or twice a week, either in the morning or after school, and explore all your great neighborhood parks and trails. Exercise increases your energy and efficiency, so it takes less time to get more done!
Parents and siblings understand your busy schedule, because chances are, they have one too. Setting aside time to hang out with them (even if it’s only dinner) is a good thing. They want to know what’s going on in your life, and they’ll understand why you haven’t done your laundry yet if they actually know you have a huge project due tomorrow.
Whether you’re lazy on a Friday night watching “Blindside” or busily shopping at the mall, your friends are a must, so don’t deny them the time they deserve.
Because you’re the one who sets the routine, and the only one who can be applauded for its success. Set aside time to spend with yourself doing something that you’re really passionate about and success will follow.
Once your priorities are established, everything else will fall into place
Be sure to put limits on activities that are easy distractions. It’s fine to watch your favorite TV show, update your facebook page or relax by playing a game on your XBOX. But remember, every distraction that is not a part of your routine sets you behind schedule. Set limits to the amount of time you spend on these activities.
Ask God what He wants you to work on. By being receptive to God’s voice, He’s able to lead you in a direction that you may never even contemplate. You may find yourself working on a task that you deem important, but God may see that task as insignificant. God works in extraordinary ways through mundane and ordinary tasks, so let your routine be a way He can work through you.