Striking a Balance: 3 Time Management Tips for Student Athletes and Busy Learners

Striking a Balance: 3 Time Management Tips for Student Athletes and Busy Learners

by Ann Dolin

Illustration by M. Keany/AI

In "Striking a Balance: 3 Time Management Tips for Student Athletes and Busy Learners," published on February 20, 2024, by Ann Dolin, the challenges of managing academics, sports, and personal life are highlighted alongside practical solutions. This article, deriving insights from MindBalanceSPORT in McLean, VA, and Educational Connections, emphasizes the critical nature of time management for student athletes and others with demanding schedules.

Brenna Chirby, Psy.D., co-founder of MindBalanceSPORT, points out that elite athletes often excel in time management, yet still struggle with physical fatigue, lack of sleep, and stress about grades, underscoring the universal challenge of balancing multiple commitments. The article further explains how difficulties in managing time often relate to weak executive functioning skills, particularly noted in students with ADHD.

Educational Connections' Executive Function Program Manager, Kathi Gould, M.Ed., reveals that their approach involves helping students systemize and organize their academic and extracurricular responsibilities. This method aims to make organizational skills habitual, thereby conserving cognitive resources for curriculum engagement. The article offers three vital time management strategies to help student athletes and busy learners navigate their packed schedules more effectively:

  1. Prioritize Tasks and Plan Ahead for Assignments: Highlighting the importance of avoiding overwhelming workloads, the strategy of "calendaring" is recommended. By entering assignments and engagements into a digital calendar, students can visualize their week, prompting timely homework completion and proactive project initiation. Additionally, scheduling weekly leisure activities is encouraged to maintain motivation and endurance.

  2. Establish a Routine: Emphasizing the benefits of routine, the article suggests that structured schedules alleviate the stress of juggling sports and academics. Whether digital or traditional, finding a planning method that resonates with the student can foster a structured approach to tackling workloads. Identifying specific times for academic tasks, akin to sports practices, can demystify when and how schoolwork will be completed.

  3. Utilize Time Wisely: Beyond scheduling, efficient use of allocated time blocks is crucial. Recommendations include starting the day early with a nutritious breakfast and ensuring adequate sleep, as advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Creating a conducive study environment by minimizing distractions and exploring study group options can further enhance productivity.

These strategies are not just theoretical but are backed by the experiences of professionals working directly with student athletes and busy learners. By integrating these approaches into their daily routines, students can navigate their demanding schedules more effectively, striking a balance between their academic, athletic, and personal lives. This comprehensive approach to time management promises not only to mitigate the stress associated with busy schedules but also to improve overall well-being and academic performance.



Prepared with the assistance of AI software

OpenAI. (2024). ChatGPT (4) [Large language model].

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