Of course, most of the time you do manage to get everything done in time and perhaps you’re even one of those people who performs best under pressure. But if you start doubting that you’re really taking the best course of action, you should consider making a change – and read on about time management...
In fact, with a little bit of planning it’s actually quite easy to complete all tasks calmly and confidently. Calmly, because you don’t have so much to do every day that you have to work yourself to the point of exhaustion. Confidently, because you will be in control of your own time and on top of your tasks instead of feeling panicked and rushed by deadlines.
This will also have positive side effects: You will live a healthier life, be more fun around friends and family – and, generally speaking, you will achieve better grades. We would like to present you with a few tools and methods to help you organize your time in the best possible way:
The Alpen method got its name because the first letters of the five steps spell out the word A – L – P – E – N. This method provides you with a basic principle to plan and structure your workload:
You should split larger projects – such as final papers – into individual stages so that you can review your progress. If you are unsure about how to split your workload into a logical sequence of steps, it often helps to put the cart before the horse: What is the final stage? Which step comes directly before that? Continue on in this fashion until you have worked your way back to the beginning.
Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower developed a decision matrix that will enable you to group all of your outstanding tasks by importance and urgency. Accordingly, tasks may be:
This way, you can put your jobs into some sort of order and adjust it using the Alpen method. You should also take the Pareto principle into account when putting your plan into action.
Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto came up with the so-called 80-20 rule over the course of his studies. When applied to time management, the principle states that 80% of your results come from 20% of the time you spend on them. The other 20% of your results takes four times as long. And the longer you keep working on it, the less you will improve the final result. Under no circumstances will this make the job perfect. There is no clearer argument against perfectionism.
This means you need to know when you have read and learned enough to be able to write the paper, because reading even more texts won’t provide you with new insights. Be honest with yourself when you have realized that your changes are no longer improving your work. Call it a day and move on to your next task.
It also really helps if you don’t let work pile up on you. Of course, there will always be exams at the end of the semester, but you can deal with your presentations in between. Spreading them throughout the semester means you will always have enough time to prepare and gradually make more time for leisure.
Read the 10 tips our founding partners at SAP recommend for a more intelligent, faster and more efficient working style.
You may already be familiar with the simplify philosophy. I find many of the program’s suggestions are really helpful. Andtime is the third level in the pyramid for an easier and uncomplicated life. Now all that’s left is to put it all into practice. Can you do it?
Are you trying to keep relaxed at university? We can give you advice on studying without stress.
Editor: Katja Mayer in collaboration with the Karrierebibel