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Yeah sure, some classes might seem like they’d be more use to you as a nap time to catch up on sleep, but when you’re feeling like your time is being wasted – a lot of the time it’s got everything to do with how you are using that moment.

If you want to stop wasting your time, start by changing the way you think about it.

#1. What’s the point?

Take a look at why you’re there. Think of your classic time waste scenarios – waiting for the bus, sitting through boring classes and listening to people yap on about things that aren’t relevant to you. So why are you there at all? What’s the point? You’re at school because you need to be and because listening in class now means you can finish the homework quicker and get on with other things you enjoy. Because being in this class – although challenging – is helping you learn how to focus, how to apply yourself to tasks and helping you learn skills that will help you in life.

Patience is a life skill and you’re going to need it in the work place even in a job you love. So in big picture terms, you’re here because it is one of the steps to making sure you have a great future after school. When you can see the value, it’s not a waste any more.

#2. Stop procrastinating

Spending hours on Snapchat or scrolling through your feed is not fulfilling, or a good use of time. Do the work, then go do something you actually enjoy. That goes for adults too – everyone does it, but there’s no win in putting things off when you’re not doing anything worthwhile with the time anyway. Be clever with how you use your time. Focus, plan and stick to the deadlines you set – that way you’ll achieve more and still have more time to do fun things, see your mates or even get a part time job to save for travel. (Check out some more study tips.)

#3. Make it work for you

Think big picture and ask what you want from this. Knowing what you want is a great way to make sure you’re getting the most out of any situation. Rather than passively letting things unfold around you, see what’s going on and take any opportunity that arises to get more value for you. If it’s not working – decide if you want to stick it out, or you can talk to someone to get help or change things.

#4. Show some gratitude.

Finding something to be grateful for in your day can go a long way. Anything, big or small. Just recognising that your life has good things can help shift your mental energy from focusing on the negative. The negatives might still be there, but it won’t seem as bad when you’re coming from a positive state of mind. Seriously, go and appreciate the pants off that sandwich at lunch time, be grateful for the fact you have a desk and aren’t sitting on the floor, thank your lucky stars that the teacher is trying to give you the info that will help you pass the next exam and get a job in the future.

#5. Go find someone who cares.

Literally. There is always support and there are more people who care than you might think. Start with the people around you – your peers, your friends, teachers, family, community – find someone who share your interests or who you can learn from and spend time with them. Surrounding yourself with the people who share your interests and passions mean you have inspiration and support on-tap. These are the people who are also likely to celebrate what makes you you, help keep you focused and support you to go further in a field that interest and inspires you.

If you need help, want to talk, need advice or just want to vent to someone, remember – there is always someone to talk to. Having something on your mind can make it hard to concentrate and apply yourself too. It’s OK to ask a friend if they can listen, talk to a parent or trusted adult. If you don’t want to do that, talking to someone on a helpline or support text line can be a great way to find support and talk to someone with no judgement as well.

#6. Choose your own adventure.

If you genuinely feel like you’re not learning anything in that class, talk to the teacher. You may need extension work or catch up work to make the most of it – or it might just be that the class isn’t for you. Don’t suffer in silence, find your groove.

Your education is there to challenge you, support you and hep you succeed in the way you want to- to take on the world. Take the opportunities, ask for help, reach out and use everything that is in front of you.

small steps big change