Finding Balance

happy teen blowing bubblesTeens are among the busiest people in the world.  They have to balance school, work, extra-curricular activities, family, friends, and personal hobbies.  Things have gotten even crazier as many teens have both school friends and cyber friends.  They must maintain myspace, twitter, and facebook accounts also.  Here are a few tips for finding balance among the pull of the many different things pulling at a teenager’s time.

Prioritize

Prioritizing can be one of the most difficult things to do as a teenager.  Everything that a teenager does can sometimes seem like the most important thing in the world.  This is good.  It means that they are doing everything with passion.  At the same time, it can cause a teen to be burned out, frustrated, or simply bored.

A good way to figure out what activities are more important than others is to weigh them against each other.  When doing this, teens must look at past benefits, future benefits, and current benefits of each activity.  They must do the same for minuses.  Teens should also consider what they really enjoy doing as well.  For example, a teen that loves art but hates math might want to drop elective engineering courses, and focus on art courses.

Set Goals

One way to help stay focused on what is really important, teens should learn to set goals.  Setting goals can help develop self-discipline, which will come in handy no matter what the teen’s passions are.  When teens set goals, they should figure out specifically what is to be accomplished, establish a plan for accomplishing it, and setting a specific time by when it should be accomplished.

Here is an example:  If I wanted to learn to jump a five stair on a skateboard, then I would first specifically state that.  Then, I would establish a plan.  My plan would be a series of smaller goals.  First I would conquer a two stair, then a four stair, and finally the five stair.  I would figure out how much time each day I could dedicate to practicing.  Then I would place dates on each small goal, and a final date when I would land the five stair.  Then I would write it all down and put it somewhere where I could see it every day.

Take a deep breath

Often teens feel like that must do everything.  Take a deep breath, this isn’t true.  Teens do not have to everything everyone else is doing.  For example, something small would be to focus on one social network, instead of maintaining three or four accounts.  No one expects teens to play a sport, do student government, maintain a job, volunteer their time, get straight A’s and watch the full prime time television lineup all at the same time.  Weeding out a few activities through prioritization and goal setting is allowed.  In fact, it may even be healthy for teens to take kick back and relax.  Having time with no responsibilities will allow for rejuvenation, reflection, and self-development.

Teens are pulled in a million different directions.  Sometimes it may seem like they must do all of the million things to stay competitive in the future.  While it is important to be involved, this can be accomplished without having a nervous breakdown.  Teens just need to remember to prioritize, set specific goals, and take a deep breath.  High school is supposed to be fun, not stressful.