The current change from face-to-face teaching to remote studying alters the daily study routines you are used to. This also means that you now may have a lot of time that you can spend relatively freely. What may have seemed like fun in the beginning is now a great challenge for many students. The following tips can support you in your self-management during the period of studying remotely:
Get an overview of the tasks ahead
- Make a list of tasks that you have to complete for your studies in the current semester.
- For complex and time-consuming tasks, make a detailed list that also includes all necessary intermediate steps. This gives you a more realistic and comprehensive overview.
- Schedule time for online courses that you attend as well as for periods of continuous studying for final exams: These also take time and are part of your tasks.
Prioritise your tasks
- Write down the submission deadlines for all your tasks.
- Specify and write down deadlines by which you want to complete intermediate steps and do the same for tasks that do not have an official submission deadline.
- Structure your work schedule based on the deadlines you specified. Plan backwards from the intended deadline to the present.
- It is always helpful to find a good balance between important and urgent matters. Consider what is absolutely necessary in what quality to achieve your goals. For further information, please see our “Simplify learning #3” article on time management.
Make realistic plans
- Pay particular attention to scheduling enough time for each step of a task. This results in realistic time estimates.
- In all work processes, we are regularly confronted with events that are hard to plan or that occur unexpectedly. Therefore, make sure to schedule enough buffer time and reserve about 30 percent of your working time as buffer.
- For making your schedule, it is helpful to plan backwards from the submission deadline to the present.
Evaluate the progress in achieving your objectives
- Check whether you were able to achieve your objective within the intended period.
- Record how long certain tasks took you. Adjust your schedule if you were considerably faster or slower than initially planned.
- Check whether you have also considered the necessary intermediate steps in your plan. If necessary, adjust your time schedule.
And finally: The purpose of a work schedule is not to strictly stick to it but to achieve your objectives. To ensure that work schedules do not become an end in themselves, it is important that you regularly evaluate the progress in achieving your objectives.