Making Every Minute Count: Key Tips to Managing Your Time More Efficiently

Developing time management skills is a journey. Time Management is about accuracy, choices, and allocating the right time to our daily activities.  Some key questions to ask yourself are; (a) how do I manage my time effectively?  (b) What do I do? (c) When do I do it? and (d) How well do I do it?

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Prepare yourself first: Make a list of the tasks you need to accomplish.
  • Prioritize: Decide which tasks must be done first and work on completing them.
  • Balance your effort: Do today’s tasks. Concentrate on what is at hand; do not allow yourself to lose focus.
  • Determine when is most productive time of day and maximize these hours: Some people work better in the morning, and some are more focused in the evening.
  • Manage time in increments: Give yourself a time frame to complete a portion of a task or the entire task.
  • Keep track of your progress: Cross things off the list as they are completed.  You’ll feel more relieved and relaxed just by getting through the daily tasks, and it will give you a sense of accomplishment and spur motivation.
  • Avoid procrastination: Ignoring the task will not get it done. Win the mental battle by completing them on time.
  • Take a break: Clear your mind and refresh yourself to refocus.

– Martinet May, B.Sc.,

Educator, Kingston, Jamaica

Positioning High School Students for College Access & Success

Positioning high school students to gain college access should begin as early as their freshman year.  During these formative years of students’ high school career, teachers, parents, and counselors should ensure that they provide students with the guidance and information they need to make informed choices regarding (a) the courses they take, (b) the extracurricular activities they participate in, (c) their personal growth and development, and (d) their  level of involvement in their communities.  In addition, students should be provided with varied opportunities to visit college campuses and become familiar with the college environment.

In regards to course-taking decisions, the National Association for Admissions and Counseling (NACAC) suggests that the courses students take during high school play an integral role in positioning them to meet the admission criteria for all colleges that they are interested in attending.   With that said, a strong emphasis should therefore be placed on encouraging students to enroll in advanced level courses early in their high school career.  The rigor included in these courses provides students with the academic skills they need to excel in college and make their college application more competitive.

Equally important, is the need to place a strong emphasis on increasing those personal skills that position students to be successful namely: time management,  leadership development, and interpersonal communication.  Each of these skills can be enhanced when students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities and various community engagement efforts.

Today, colleges are seeking to admit students with well-rounded experiences and accomplishments. So let’s start positioning our students to gain college access and success by fostering their holistic development. The positive long-term implications for adopting this approach are enormous.


Archer-Banks, D. A. M. (2009, September).  Key Connections: The role of teachers and parents in college access among underrepresented urban youth. A paper presented at National College Access Network Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Archer-Banks, D. A. M., Dyer, T., & Negron-Reyes, D. (2011, November). The role of university/high school partnerships in enhancing college access among urban high school students.  Paper presented at the  Educational Strategies & Student Engagement Institute, St. Petersburg, Florida.

Radford, A.W. & Ilfill, N.(2016). Preparing Students For college: What high schools are doing and how their actions influence ninth graders’ college attitudes, aspirations, and plans.  Retrieved from–publications/Research/preparingstudents/



Begin Preparing for College Now

As it becomes more competitive and challenging to gain admission to colleges and universities, it’s never too early for students to begin preparing for this important milestone.  In fact, many experts recommend students should begin preparing for college as early as middle school (Archer-Banks, 2013; Wimberly & Noeth, 2013).  Here are some tips that middle and high school freshmen can use to get started on this exciting journey:

  • Think about college as an important part of your future.
  • Discuss your college-going thoughts and ideas with your family and school personnel.
  • Begin saving for college if you haven’t started already.
  • Start researching available college-going grants and scholarships. You can never have too much money for college.
  • Make the minutes count in each of your day. Many student fail to do well in college because they do not know how to prioritize their daily activities. Develop a habit of determining which 4-6 activities I need to complete each day to be on track for my goals.
  • Schedule consistent daily study time..
  • Begin exploring the course requirements for various college majors.
  • Take challenging classes in core academic subjects. Most colleges require four years of English, at least three years of social studies (history, civics, geography, economics, etc.), three years of mathematics, and three years of science, and many require two years of a foreign language. Round out your course load with classes in computer science and the arts.
  • Talk to your school counselor and other mentors about your postsecondary education options. Your counselor can answer questions about what classes to take in high school, how to sign up for standardized tests, and where to get money for college.
  • Do your best in school. If you are having difficulty, don’t give up—get help from a teacher, tutor, or mentor.
  • Become involved in school- or community-based activities that let you explore your interests and learn new skills and ideas.

Finally, remember that no matter what anyone says, you are equipped for success; therefore, DARE to take the bold step in defining your own future.

– Dr. Diane Archer-Banks


Archer-Banks, D.A.M., Parker, J.; Negron-Reyes, D., & Maye, M. (2015, April).  Augmented capital as a conduit for positioning low-income urban high school students to achieve postsecondary access and success.  A poster presented at the 2015 American Educational Research Association Conference, Chicago, Illinois.

Wimberly, G. L. & Noeth, R. J.(2013).  College readiness begins in middle school.  (ACT Report). Retrieved from