Organization & planning
Establishing an efficient schedule and improving its organization
How do you organize yourself throughout the academic year to prevent your university studies from becoming synonymous with stress and overload? How can you create an effective study plan, taking into account your habits and the working methods you use? Here are some tips and tricks on how to improve your personal organization and work more efficiently.
Identify your personal work style
- In which way do you plan your tasks and appointments? Weekly, monthly, semi-annually or annually?
- What does your ideal work environment look like? In what kind of environment do you work in a focused and motivated manner? Set up a free workspace in a place that encourages you to learn. Regulate disruptions (noise, third party interference) and distractions (especially from social media, opting for airplane mode when learning).
- At what time of day do you feel productive, receptive, and focused? Identify these time slots and reserve them regularly for personal work (catching up on lecture notes, written work, studying).
- Determine your needs such as sleep, sports and leisure activities and include them in your organization.
How to save time and reduce stress?
- Having an overview of the week, month, semester, or even academic year will help you keep track of deadlines and exam sessions, as well as estimate time for lectures, time for personal work, and time available for jobs, internships, and free time.
- What does your timetable look like? Your schedule is based on your study plan for the semester and should give you an overview of your courses, class times, rooms, and due dates for assignments and the exam session. Be aware of overlapping courses, as you will need to make choices, guided by your interest in the subject if possible.
- The year planner gives you an overview of the periods in which you can study, take exams and plan your internships and vacations.
- The semester planner shows you which administrative deadlines you must not miss (enrollment at the university and exams).
- The monthly planner gives you a better overview of mid-term deadlines such as the submission of written work, group work or presentations.
- The weekly schedule allows you to optimize your organization, to plan your personal work in a regular way and to save time (by visualizing the free slots)
Establishing a schedule
The goal is to create an ideally weekly schedule based on your course curriculum and your non-academic pursuits (job, hobbies, appointments). From paper planners to apps, there are many different planning tools available.
- Which tasks should be on your weekly schedule?
- Your class schedule
- Your job/internship schedule
- Time slots for personal work
- Your hobbies
- Your important appointments
- How is personal working time assessed? Working time outside of attendance hours is often underestimated. If 1 ECTS credit equals approximately 25-30 hours of work (including class attendance time), self-study time accounts for between 30 minutes and 2 hours of self-study for 1 class hour. Self-study time slots should be available daily to revise and complete notes from class and to complete recommended reading and exercises.
- How do you set realistic goals? The point is to prioritize each of your courses and their deadlines to determine accurate and achievable goals that are on your schedule. These goals should be detailed, realistic, and should take into account your learning schedule and leisure activities.
- Learn to manage your time and consult time management soon.
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