Junior and senior year can be pretty demanding when it comes to time management. College visits, applications, interviews, SATs, scholarship searchingoh yeah, and school. In addition to all of your regular commitments with school and youth group, there's the big responsibility of planning ahead for college. That responsibility takes patience, persistence and organization. But most of all, it takes the ability to get started instead of putting things off. What's your style? Are you a planner or are you still getting around to it?
1. You have an enormous research paper due in a couple of days. You:
a. Are ready to go. You finished it and printed it out last weekend.
b. Are waiting for your proofreaders to give you their feedback so you can put on the finishing touches.
c. Figure you'd better stop by the library after school today and get started on the research.
2. You've noticed lately that your tooth hurts whenever you eat something cold. How many times did you think, "I need a dentist appointment" before you actually asked your parents to call?
a. Onceand how annoying that your dentist didn't have any openings that same day. But you have tomorrow's first appointment.
b. A few times, and then you remembered to ask Mom to make an appointment.
c. Oh, well, you'll get to it as soon as the pain gets bad enough.
3. Your parents agreed to add you to their auto insurance policy if you'd pay your portion of the monthly bill. You:
a. Cough up the cash at the beginning of each month. Anything to keep your parents happyyou'd have to pay twice as much for your own policy!
b. Normally pay them within the first week of the monthunless you see something at the mall you just have to buy. Then, you pay them from your next paycheck.
c. Often seem to be playing catch-up and paying your parents two or three months' worth of payments at once.
4. When your friend loaned you the latest Third Day CD, she got it back:
a. Before she had a chance to miss it.
b. After you'd listened to it enough.
c. It took so long that she forgot she owned it.
5. You've been thinking for two weeks about inviting your lab partner to youth group. You're totally nervous about it, so you:
a. Take a deep breath and ask him as soon as the teacher finishes explaining the assignment.
b. Wait for a natural way to bring it up in conversation.
c. Keep putting it off until you feel less and less guilty about putting it off.
6. Your parents want you to get a job this summer. You figure you'll start looking:
a. During spring break. That way, you'll beat the mad rush of students hunting for employment.
b. Toward the end of the school year, maybe a couple of weeks before final exams.
c. A week after school is out. Why are your parents always in such a rush?
7. You know it's time to fill up the gas tank when:
a. The needle drops below the three-quarters point.
b. You see a cheap price on a gas station sign.
c. The red "empty" light has been on for a while.
8. When your youth pastor announces a ski trip in December, your name is:
a. First on the sign-up list.
b. Somewhere in the middle of the list.
c. On the waiting list, because you didn't sign up in time.
9. The day you spend most of your time thinking about is:
a. Tomorrow. You've got so much to do!
b. Today. It has more than enough to keep you busy.
c. Yesterday. Where did it go, anyway?
10. Your end-of-semester grades are, shall we say, not going to be posted on the fridge with a gold starand you're dreading telling your parents. You:
a. Tell them as soon as possible. You must get it over with.
b. Judge your parents' mood when you get home from school before breaking the bad news.
c. You think you'll let a few days pass and then maybe break the news.
11. Your guidance counselor recommended that you begin thinking about college scholarships your sophomore year of high school. You:
a. Beat her to it! You already started looking for scholarships during your freshman year.
b. Started a file where you tossed scholarship information you found. It's not everything you'll need, but it will definitely help you get started now that it's time to apply.
c. Thought she was insane. Three whole years before college?
12. On the night before your semester math exam, you are:
a. In bed earlier than usual. You've studied all you can and want to get a good night's rest.
b. Working a few practice problems because you didn't get to study as much as you wanted earlier, but you'll still get seven solid hours of sleep.
c. Watching your favorite TV programs. Hey, you can study on the bus ride to school.
13. Your best friend's birthday is tomorrow. You:
a. Saw the perfect card a month ago and can't wait to finally give it to your friend before first period.
b. Are planning to swing by the store after school today to pick up a small gift.
c. Think you'll have enough time in your second hour study hall tomorrow to make a card. Out of notebook paper.
14. How often do you pay late fees for DVD rentals?
a. Just once, when you trusted your brother to return a movie. You'll never make that mistake again!
b. Occasionally. It's hard to keep track of what's due when.
c. Enough to finance a Maui vacation for all the video store employees.
If you answered
mostly A's: The Long Ranger.
You look down the road and make plans based on what you see coming. That's great because you're always well-prepared, and people know they can count on you. You're quick to act when you see something that needs doing. Just don't forget to enjoy today while you're making plans for tomorrow. Forward planning is a great quality, but be sure not to act too hastily in your eagerness to get things done. Sometimes it's OK to put off decisions and give yourself enough time to think them through.
mostly B's: The Now-and-Later Kid.
You put things off once in a while (although you prefer to call it "prioritizing," not procrastinating). But it's generally not a problem because you manage to get things done more or less on time. It's OK to put off decisions or tasks because you want to make the right choice or do a thorough job. It's not OK if you're putting things off simply because they're unpleasant. Remember: Being on time or even a little early allows you to influence situations, but putting things off means you can only react to what's going on.
mostly C's: The Putter-Offer.
Have you noticed how often the word "later" pops into your mind and out of your mouth? Maybe you like the adrenaline rush of deadlines and last-minute decisions. That's not necessarily a bad thinga little pressure can be a great motivator. But if you leave everything to the last minute, you're bound to end up stressed, with a pile of unfinished projects and not enough time. Try an experiment this week: Think of one thing (big or small) you've been putting off for a long time, and do it. You might like the feeling of accomplishment enough to tackle another task!