The following tips are designed to help you reorganize and enjoy your student life without sacrificing study achievement or leisure time.
Importantly, effective planning does not mean abandoning one's hobbies and favorite pastimes and indulging in work and study. Personal relationships, friendships, and experiences are important for well-functioning time management. You have to set priorities!
But what if you can’t decide on your priorities? Below is an example called the Eisenhower Matrix. We'll explain it right away!
There is a value assigned to each axis, and the tasks can be categorized into 4 groups. On the x-axis is the task’s degree of importance and urgency lays on the y-axis. The tasks will fall into one of the quadrants and based on that, you will know what to do next. Prioritize what’s both important and urgent!
You can replace the values on the axes with value-cost or effort-impact to measure different things as well.
You can start your day by setting up your to-do list for the day. List out all the tasks that you need to do today - remember to apply the priority matrix. Do it in the form of a checklist so that you can check on one task, or cross out if you want to when you finish it.
By using a to-do list, you can not only set your daily goals, which motivates you to work harder, but you can also get an overview of how many things you have to do a day. From that, estimate if you have enough time to finish the tasks. For example, if you have many tasks but little time, you need to cut down on the tasks, focusing on the important and urgent ones. Keep doing that and you can train yourself with time management which will help you out a lot with your study and work in the future.
All the planning would be to no avail if you are not committed to your plans. When you procrastinate something you know you should be doing, that’s a sign of lack of discipline. It’s time you had to develop self-discipline.
Start strengthening your discipline by taking your to-do list seriously. You need to think about which tasks to put in the list and then execute them. Complete your daily tasks every day in a month to build up a habit. That way, you can stop all the unnecessary procrastination and become more efficient.
As the German author, Michael Ende, already described in his work Momo: One should always look at each step individually to reach the long term goal. But what does that mean for your studies?
In principle, linking your long-term goals to imminent tasks. The priorities you set to play an important role here: try to minimize the time spent on low priority things. In other words, you plan your short-term duties in small steps.
Even if it sounds banal, the best way to plan according to this principle is weekly planning. Take the time to set your goals for the next week at the beginning of a week. For example, plan to finish writing the homework tutorial on Tuesday. On Thursday you go to work and take care of your applications. Do not think today that you have to complete the applications in three weeks. Keep the long-term deadline in mind, but be sure to choose a time to write the application.
You are doing effectively if you invest only 20% in your work but achieve 80% of the results. How? By creating a healthy balance between what you can do and what you actually do - in economic jargon, an equilibrium between your production capacity and your actual production.
By putting realistic, small intermediate goals, you're proven to be more effective and faster. Thus, you reduce your workload without achieving lower performance.
Besides, it is important that you also have time for friends, hobbies, and family. Only a healthy, happy student can focus on important, complicated things at key moments.
Everyone has a specific biorhythm, which means that he/she reaches his/her peak in performance at certain times. Are you a night person or a day person?
Know when to work most concentrated and effectively, then plan the necessary tasks for this period. For example, if you are a morning person, get up early, write your thesis, and have fun in the evenings. Sounds logical, right? But if you're a night person - that means you're creative and focused when others go to bed - then perhaps you should reconsider a job as a waiter in the night bar.
EDUBAO suggests you categorize your work. Similar tasks can be in the same group so that you can finish them at once. For example, you can check and reply to all of your emails at the same time. This will help you work more efficiently and avoid getting distracted.
You can also learn time management professionally, for example in a course at the Volkshochschule (adult education center). But you should also inform yourself of your university. Often the universities and colleges offer special courses in self- or study management. The Studentenwerke (student services) may also provide you with information about such possibilities.
If you have any questions, don’t forget to drop us a message!