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Time Management

There is no one, optimal form of self-organization that is perfect for everyone.

Over the course of our lives, we are confronted again and again with new situations, which all require new methods of time and process management. Management skills you developed at school when studying for tests and learning materials may no longer be suitable for your university classes and may not produce the same or the desired results. 

Trying to juggle studying and working at the same time will result in a need for different time management skills for each individual, and even family situations and living conditions can affect each person’s self-organization – to say nothing of unforeseeable events that can bring even the best-planned schedule crashing to the ground.

What we can summarize is what applies to all students: When requirements and conditions are constantly changing, it helps to, above all, maintain a certain degree of flexibility and to adapt your self-organization strategies to the current circumstances. Whatever is most effective for each individual student in their current phase of life or academics will differ. On his website about proven time management methods, Ivan Blatter puts it this way: The hat has to fit your head, not the other way around.  

If you are looking for specific instructions on self-organization and would like to try out some different, time-tested methods, we have put together a carefully selected collection in our First Aid Toolkit (on the Counselling@home page). In addition, you can also get in touch with our Student Counselling service for a personal consultation, which will give you the opportunity to reflect on the most suitable form of time management for you and your individual situation together with a counsellor. The following points will also play an initial role in the conversation: 

Practical tips:

  • As a first step, it can make sense to reflect on how you have organized your schedule so far. Were you satisfied with the process and the results? Can you think of starting points on how both could be optimized?

  • Comparisons can make you unsure of yourself. Exchanging ideas and experiences with fellow students on how they structure their everyday life can serve as an inspiration – but remember that successful strategies are usually individual and often not transferable. 

  • Time management itself also takes time. Trying out, assessing, and adapting methods is part of the process and, step by step, will eventually lead to the most suitable method for your current needs.

  • Persistence is a further requirement for many methods: Like the proverb says, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. 

  • It’s not only OK, it’s even recommended to be open to alternatives, mixing methods, and adapting them to suit your own situation. Maybe only individual, partial aspects of certain methods work for you; maybe you even need to develop them further to make them just right. Use your imagination: The sky’s the limit, as long as you pay careful attention to whether and how the results work for you. 

Sources (for German text):