Are you controlling your time, or is your time controlling you?
Marianne Bom & Rie Jerichow, Publicér
There is a lot that calls for your attention in your everyday life. The dentist, your study, your significant other, laundry, and friends. Sometimes it can be hard to prioritise. Here is a list of tools to plan your life so you get more free time.
When students cannot manage an exam, cannot do the courses they signed up for, or maybe just generally want to refine their study techniques, students show up at study guidance to get advice.
“And that is what we give them. The tips can be used by everyone, though – whether you are a first year student at university or working a job. Because you can always get better at working with yourself and your time,” says Lene Agger, who is study and well-being counsellor at Aalborg University.
Have a clear vision of your goals and values
Lene Agger points out that you generally have to have a clear vision of your priorities, and that it is never too late to get it.
“As a student, you can start by asking yourself: what are my goals and values? For instance, what do I want to achieve with this course or this semester? Once you know that, you have a better overview of where to put your time. But you also have to keep in mind that, in order to live life fully, you have to look at the big picture. You also have to remember the laundry, your friends, and the dentist visits – and don’t forget all the things that make you happy. There are a lot of elements, and there has to be space for all of them,” says Lene Agger.
Room for the unpredictable
In the study guidance, it is the general recommendation that study and work should not take up more than 60 percent of waking hours.
“There also has to be room for the unpredictable stuff. You may get sick and have to see a doctor, have a water pipe fixed, or help a friend. There also has to be room for the fun stuff, because that is where we get our energy so we can handle the hard periods. Right before an exam, there will naturally be some more stressful situations, where you have to prioritise differently, because you may have a lot to read up on in a short amount of time, but that will be doable if your daily life is generally more structured,” she says.
Get an overview with a weekly schedule
To get everything done, both in regards to education and spare time, it is important to plan, divide, and prioritise the different tasks over the course of a day and a week.
You can choose how detailed the planning should be: if, for instance, you want to time all details, put in coffee breaks and so on, or if you want the schedule to be more general. But it is important to also make time for the activities that lie outside the student life, like family, friends, transport, free time, network, and more.
Source: AAU Studievejledning
Regain the overview
If you do not get everything done that you have planned, it may feel like a defeat – like you are inadequate. That may sometimes be helped by asking yourself:
- Can it wait?
- Is it important?
- Can I get others to help me, or outsource some tasks?
Find an energy source
The energy to work and study has to come from somewhere. Try looking at your calendar for your coming week. When have you set time aside for three or more things that make you happy? Try finding things you can spend less time on in order to create time for the things that give you energy.
Get the right study technique
If you find that you cannot read the entire curriculum during the course, and feel pressured about your inadequacy, it might be a good idea to ask yourself:
- Does it make sense for me to read all of the curriculum thoroughly?
- Are there some subjects during this semester that I want to prioritise higher than others?
- When during the day do I read best?
- Do I read better if I sit with someone else?
- Can my co-students help me gain a better understanding of certain texts?
Get more inspiration here:
www.studieteknik.aau.dk or download AAU Student app (Feel Good).