Time management

Time management is self-management. This is because you can't manage time; it keeps on moving. What we can influence is our own behaviour, or how we use the time available to us.

The 10/90 rule

Making plans not only helps you study in a focused and goal-oriented way so that you can keep track of everything, it also saves you a lot of time.

The reason for this is the 10/90 rule, which states that by using the first 10 per cent of the time available to plan a task, you save 90 per cent when completing it. Using semester planning as an example, this means that although you invest more time in organisation and planning at the beginning, you can complete the actual task more efficiently thanks to your structured approach. You don't forget any deadlines, you keep track of everything and you can allocate your time cleverly.

The 10/90 rule

Measurement is knowledge

The first and most important step towards self-management is to be aware of your own habits and your approach to time. We can only control what we are conscious of. This is why it's worth taking notes on how you use the hours in your day. To do this you can either use a written weekly record or a smartphone app.

Worksheet: Keeping a diary of your week
E.g. the Timelogger app

The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity and time-management method that involves working in short and highly efficient intervals. Through this division into small steps, it's easier to get started and the apparently impossible task is divided into small, manageable segments. The short time span of 25 minutes forces you to focus. The break after each work interval also motivates you.

More on the Pomodoro Technique

Making a pie chart of your time

Which areas of your life do you invest the most time in? Are you satisfied with this division? Would you like to change anything? The purpose of this exercise is to use the time available to you in a meaningful and effective way and to identify free time and 'time wasters'.

Worksheet: Making a pie chart of your time

Making schedules

Schedules can be a very effective aid for organising, visualising and realistically planning the things you would like to do. This can help motivate you to use your time effectively. Another advantage is that schedules enable a clear division between work/study time and free time.

Worksheet: Planning your week

Breaks 101

Taking breaks is essential to preparing for the next phase of work. Learn about the basics of breaks here:
Worksheet: Breaks 101