How did you deal with your demons

Never start learning too late again: 10 tips for better time management during your studies!

by Tim Reichel

It's the same every semester: At the beginning you are full of motivation and optimism. You go resolutely to the first lecture, get all the relevant books and work on the most important content at home. This time you want to do better. You will not start your exam preparation too late again. You make a plan, don't postpone anything and stick with it - for a maximum of four weeks.

After that, the initial euphoria is gone. You fall back into old, unproductive patterns and turn your back on your studies for the time being. Perhaps you will visit one or the other university event, but extended learning units are becoming an exception. You push the upcoming exam phase out of your thoughts until reality has caught up with you: You are late again; one more time you didn't start studying in time.

That means lack of time, pressure and stress. In addition, an optimal test result is a long way off. However, you can take precautions to prevent this from developing. You can set the course for success early in the semester and head for a relaxed and successful exam phase. In this article, I'll show you how you can do this.


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Never start learning late again - these 10 tips will help you!

Well-balanced time management during your studies doesn't have to be complicated. It just takes a smart strategy and a handful of sturdy cornerstones to keep you going. The following ten tips will help you.


Tip # 1: Make a conscious decision!

Most students start studying too late because they don't know what they want. They have not made it clear what their priorities are and are therefore unable to use their time optimally. Instead of concentrating on their studies, they prefer to spend their time at the Playstation or go around the houses every evening.

There is basically nothing wrong with that, but such a division of time does not fit with ambitious study goals. Of course, everyone who enrolls for a degree wants to be successful. But good grades and the standard period of study have a price. And if you're not ready to pay that price, it would be stupid to speculate on the grand prize anyway. Make it clear to yourself what you want to achieve in your studies and make a conscious decision!

Reading tip: Better grades in your studies: Are you ready to pay the price?


Tip # 2: get an overview!

Modern courses of study are complex. It is hardly possible to concentrate on one or two important exams per semester. Your degree is likely to be structured in such a way that you have to do five to seven exams per semester. In addition, there are often block seminars, homework or internships that you have to deal with during the lecture period.

With this multitude of challenges, you must not lose track of things. You have to know all the obligations of your current semester at all times and know when you have to do what. Without this overview you get lost, set the wrong focus and almost automatically start learning too late. Therefore, create a plan with all deadlines, exam dates and other dates that are important to you.

Reading tip: How to quickly and easily create a study plan


Tip # 3: write down your goals!

After you know what is in store for you in your current semester, you go one step further and determine a specific goal for each challenge. Goals help you stay focused and motivated. Without a goal, you act chaotically and waste your time. But as soon as you have defined a goal, you can focus your concentration and energy. You get less distracted and you stick with it.

It is particularly important that you write down your goals - in the classic way on paper. This may seem like a small, insignificant step, but only written goals unleash their full driving force. So take something to write and start: Passing the Statistics I exam with a grade of 2.0. Or: housework on November 31. submit.

Reading tip: How you can use the 3-P rule to set motivating goals for your studies


Tip # 4: Plan your exam preparation from day one!

For many students, exam preparation begins shortly before the actual exams - both practically and mentally. These students only start studying a few weeks (or days!) Before the exam date. They prefer to watch Netflix beforehand and don't waste a single thought on their exams. But with this approach, a shortage of time is inevitable.

So make it clear to yourself: Your entire semester has only one goal: to prepare you for the exams. You have to be fully there from the first lecture. Even if the pressure is not noticeable at this early point in time. You have to remind yourself that you are in the preparation phase at any point during the semester. This mindset alone means that you do not neglect your learning activities.

Reading tip: second best time to start your exam preparation (and how to get started)


Tip # 5: create a study plan!

Do you want to make sure that your learning units run efficiently and are meaningfully coordinated with each other? Good, then create a study plan! A learning plan is the framework for your exam preparation and shows your future learning units in a structured and chronological form. The sooner you come up with such a plan, the better and more pleasant your work will be.

With a learning plan you determine the path and the individual steps of your preparation. It doesn't matter which exam it is, because a learning plan is a flexible multi-function tool that you can design and adapt according to your individual needs. He is a guide. A common thread that helps you to stay focused and that prevents you from getting bogged down in learning and setting the wrong focus.

Reading tip: How to create a learning plan for your next exam - step-by-step instructions for a relaxed exam phase


Tip # 6: find your sore spot!

The best organization is of no use to you if you don't follow your plan and fall back into old patterns when you first encounter difficulties. Because of this, it is important that you stop for a moment and find out what is blocking you. Why do you often put off important tasks? Why have you started learning too late so far? What's your sore point?

Only if you face your inner demons can you prevent them from taking you by surprise and ruining your goals in the future. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses. But if we know our weaknesses and know how to deal with them, we are halfway there. So be self-critical, question your previous strategy and change what you need to change.

Reading tip: 13 things self-destructive students do - are you one of them?


Tip # 7: use mental pictures!

A particularly useful technique for increasing motivation and implementing new projects is the use of mental images. Mental images are consciously placed ideas of a future desired state that should strengthen your motivation and confidence. Visualization is the magic word: As soon as you picture your future (for example a 1.0 in your bachelor thesis) in detail and experience in your mind how great your future will be, a deep motivation arises in you to really achieve this state.

It's not about fleeing into a fantasy world and confusing this wishful thinking with reality. You must not rest on the thought that everything is fine and that - no matter what - you have a bright future ahead of you. No, your future is in your own hands and you can take care of your best successes all by yourself. To get there, however, you first have to visualize these moments of happiness and clearly outline what you want to build. Only then can you target your way there.

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Tip # 8: Set fixed dates!

Do you know why exam dates are so motivating? Because they are tied to a specific point in time. Only because your exam on Wednesday, April 2nd takes place at 10:00 a.m., you give it full throttle the week before and learn what your gray cells can do. Only an impending deadline ensures that you increase your efforts and reach the limits of your capabilities.

For this reason, you should work with your own deadlines well before the actual exam date. Arrange appointments with yourself and block specific times in your calendar. Set fixed times when you will study and don't let yourself deviate from this plan.

Reading tip: Why a deadline makes you productive in the first place and how you can use it correctly when studying


Tip # 9: find a learning partner!

Social obligations are even more motivating than having your own deadline. In relation to your studies, this means: Find a learning partner and meet this person regularly to work together! As soon as you have entered into this agreement with another person, your learning units take on a whole new dimension of commitment.

Simply skipping is no longer possible - you would let your learning partner down. Moving appointments? Difficult because you have to coordinate with each other first. The likelihood that you stick to your study plan increases many times over when you team up with your fellow students. You can motivate each other and grow together.

Reading tip: How you can increase your learning success immeasurably with the plus-minus-equal rule


Tip # 10: Link rewards to your learning units!

Instead of positive pressure, you can use rewards to start learning on time. To do this, you determine something in return for each completed learning unit, which you can look forward to and work towards. For example, you could reward yourself with an episode of your favorite series for two hours of concentration or go to the movies once the lecture summary of Chapter 2 is complete.

From the moment you have set a concrete reward for your learning activities, you develop a much more aggressive dynamic and work much more focused. The reward doesn't even have to be particularly large or expensive. It is only important that it awakens in you the deep inner desire to want to achieve the set goal under all circumstances.

Reading tip: Kick your ass book: Self-motivation in your studies


Bonus tip: sign a contract with yourself!

If you are really serious and want to surpass yourself this semester, I have an extra tip for you: Sign a contract - with yourself. Contracts are agreements set in stone; There is no clearer way of defining your intentions. If you violate the contract or do not meet the agreed conditions, you are committing a breach of contract. You lose your face You become a common scammer who wouldn't even be trusted with their broken car.

Make an official agreement out of your plan to never start learning late again. The likelihood that you will keep this bargain is much greater than with a loosely worded idea. I've prepared something:

Download: Your contract


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From this semester you will never start learning too late again. With a few changes in your way of thinking and acting, you can improve your time management in your studies step by step and ensure that you study yours more successfully than ever before. This will save you time, save your nerves and get better grades. A win-win-win situation.

To do this, stick to these ten tips and continuously incorporate the strategies presented into your daily processes:

  • Make a conscious decision!
  • Get an overview!
  • Write down your goals!
  • Plan your exam preparation from day one!
  • Create a learning plan!
  • Find your sore point!
  • Use mental pictures!
  • Set fixed dates!
  • Find a learning partner!
  • Link rewards to your learning units!

If you want to further increase your productivity and want to work sustainably on your time management, then take a look at my book: the Bachelor of Time. In it I will show you how you can reduce your stress in your studies and become permanently happy and successful.

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Image: © Sebastiaan Stam /