Do I have enough time? Will I remember everything?
Time management planning is one of the most important study skills for university students. Good time management supports the progress of studies, increases a sense of control, and well-being in studies.
University studies are independent and require self-direction from the student in study planning and scheduling. Sometimes this can feel challenging. However, time management skills can be developed!
Form a comprehensive understanding of your studies
First and foremost, it is good to take a moment to calmly examine your own situation and form a comprehensive understanding of your studies – create a map to guide your progress!
Compile a list of:
- the courses you are currently taking
- the courses that are about to start
- the assignments that need to be done and their deadlines
Before making a more detailed plan, it is appropriate to also consider what else is part of your everyday life? A student’s life rarely consists solely of studying.
- Are there any factors in everyday life that you recognize as clearly affecting your own study planning?
- What are your current resources for studying?
- Are the basic pillars in everyday life in order to support studying and implementing plans?
Prioritization is extremely important in time management planning. It means putting the tasks on the to-do list in order of importance. If there are a lot of tasks, the challenges of time management often arise from not knowing where to start. All tasks may seem equally important at the same time, making it difficult to take action. This often increases stress as well.
So, set the tasks in order of importance:
- Consider the urgency of the tasks. Which task needs to be completed first?
- Which tasks require time? What do you need (and want) to focus on specifically?
- Which tasks can be done quickly and don’t require as many resources?
- Which tasks can you safely leave for later?
- Are all tasks absolutely necessary to complete?
You can use Eisenhower’s matrix as a tool for prioritization, for example.
Use a calendar!
In planning your study time, a calendar is a student’s best friend! Consider what kind of calendar suits you best: do you prefer a paper calendar or is a mobile electronic calendar that you can carry with you better? Grid notebooks or schedule templates also work very well for scheduling!
Using a calendar:
- Helps with time management and organization
- Separates studying from free time
- Increases a sense of control and reduces stress by allowing you to anticipate things
- Helps grasp the entirety of your studies
- Serves as a memory aid, as all things can be found in one place
Active planning of study time is important. When you establish a functional routine for it, you also ensure that tasks progress as planned and maintain a sense of control.
Remember that the purpose of time management planning is to make your study routine easier. So, do not create a calendar with overly tight schedules for yourself.
Sometimes implementing plans doesn’t go as one would hope. Many university students struggle with the challenges of getting started, which makes it difficult to stay on schedule and progress in their studies. Procrastination, or postponing tasks, is a fairly typical phenomenon in studying. Procrastination is not laziness, but it can be recognized by repeatedly delaying the same task. Procrastination causes anxiety and raises our stress levels.
In studies, we often postpone things that seem too big, difficult, or hard to grasp. These can include preparing for exams or completing essay assignments. Sometimes even small things, like sending an email to a teacher, can seem incredibly daunting and difficult! It is important to recognize procrastination so that you can find effective solutions to overcome the challenges of getting started.
Try these ways to overcome the challenges of getting started:
- Break the task into small enough parts. It’s easier to tackle small pieces.
- Focus on one thing at a time. (Practice this yourself! It takes time, but it’s worth it!)
- Try a Study Retreat. Starting is often easier when it is done together!
- Take breaks during your work. Start with ten minutes and take a break. Setting achievable goals will motivate you to start! You can find tips for taking breaks in our resource bank.
- Remind yourself of motivators! What motivates you in your studies? Why do you study? What benefits do you gain from completing the task?
- Consider your environment. The environment has a significant impact on your work, so try studying on campus or in a café instead of at your desk.
- Ask for help if needed. It’s not worth struggling alone for too long. Ask a friend to study with you or, if necessary, contact counselling services. Let’s find solutions together!