A merry party life, an alarm clock that only ever rings at lunchtime and twelve semesters or more under your belt: no, this is not the typical student life that young people lead today. The demands of studying are immense and often lead to excessive demands, which many students suffer from. If you feel the same way, let us tell you right away: You are not alone! Especially at the beginning of your studies, it is often not that easy to find a good rhythm and to get everything under one hat. And if you gradually find your way between the deadlines, you may still have the issue of financing your studies breathing down your neck. So, you need a lot of organizational talent and clear time management to keep you on track between lectures, homework, and your student job. These tips will help you to successfully complete your studies with less stress.
Time management deals with the question of what you use your time for every day and whether it is really invested wisely. We all have the same amount of time per day, even if it often seems to us that it flies by slower for one person and faster for another. Especially in hectic phases it is quite normal that you have a completely different sense of time than in calmer times. Stress arises in this context when you have more to do than the time allotment allows. However, we often spend many hours a day doing little that serves our goals: Checking social media channels, surfing the web, or just goofing off.
Time management will help you cut down on becoming a huge procrastinator during your studies, so you have more time for what matters most. After all, you want to enjoy your free time or meet friends in addition to working on your studies – without a guilty conscience, of course. And with a good schedule, you will not miss any more deadlines and will not stumble each time just before the deadline. After all, working one night shift after another during the exam period is not only unhealthy in the long run, but can also be easily avoided. If you practice good time management, you will be rewarded with less stress in your studies and more free time.
1. plan your weeks with a calendar
Do you regularly miss your deadlines, which is why everyone else is already annoyed? Then bring more structure into your life. A precise weekly planning is one of the most important habits for a structured, relaxed life. So, from now on, enter all your appointments in your calendar (e.g., as an app) and consider whether you should even plan ahead for some events. For example, if you have an appointment with a government agency, be sure to schedule extra time to gather all the documents you need. But a well-maintained calendar is not everything – you need to use it! Get a weekly overview of all upcoming calendar items in the next seven days.
2. organize your student life with a to-do list
Organization in your studies is everything! It is easy to plan your days with a to-do list. Always think in the morning about what you absolutely have to take care of for the day. The Eisenhower principle helps you to set clear priorities by putting important and urgent tasks at the top of your to-do list. By the way, you can find more inspiration on how to make your life more stress-free in the article Self-Organization in Studies.
3. prepare efficiently for exams
Who does not know this issue? The exam dates or deadlines for handing in a written paper have been known for ages, but the pressure is still too low for you to start. Just before the exam, time gets short, and the stress level rises immeasurably. Constant procrastination can become really exhausting. Therefore, it is better to prepare and structure your study or writing project well. For example, make a schedule for exams and homework. Determine what you must achieve and by when, so that you have enough time for everything. Also important: a pleasant learning environment, enough sleep and free time to compensate. Want more details? Click here for our study tips and the best study methods.
4. increase your productivity
What do you spend your whole day doing? Do you really have so many important appointments or are there all kinds of unnecessary time wasters? Let us be honest: Time seems to move at a different speed, especially when you’re on your cell phone, laptop or in front of the TV. A quick glance at the smartphone and 30 minutes have already passed. Try to identify these unnecessary and, above all, unconscious distractions and set yourself clear time limits for social media and the Internet. 5.
5. plan enough free time, because there is strength in rest
Free time is part of successful time management. Because you cannot spend your life only working and studying. After each exhausting phase, plan enough days where you do not have to follow any obligations. You will see that after this time it will be much easier for you to stick to your other plans and achieve set goals.
6. Useful break activities to stick to the schedule
When you need a break, choose a relaxing activity like a walk, a good book or cook yourself a healthy meal. In addition, you should refrain from multitasking. The brain is not capable of doing things at the same time. At most, it can learn to switch back and forth between two tasks more quickly. Before you suddenly start cooking, talking on the phone and writing to a friend during your break, you should focus on one thing to recharge your batteries for your upcoming plans.
7. check all possibilities for financing your studies
Money is often a big stress factor in studying and the reason why time is tight for many students. Check which options are available to you before you look for a time-consuming student job. For Austria, we clarify the topic of student financing in a separate article.
8. tangible goals for more self-motivation
When your schedule is overflowing with deadlines, it can be really debilitating. In such cases, the first important step is to realize it, and the second is to change it. Because sometimes it is necessary to consciously step on the brakes and shift down a gear. Tangible goals are essential for both: good time management and a more relaxed life. Because being overwhelmed often has to do with people simply demanding way too much of themselves or comparing themselves to others. Instead, celebrate small successes and milestones achieved. Allow yourself to go at your own pace and dare to say “no” when your schedule does not allow for more appointments. You will see that this will have a positive effect on your self-motivation.
If you are constantly under pressure, you should deal with the topic of time management and no longer postpone planning. You will see how much clear time planning will help you achieve your goals.