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Time management: The right way to manage your time

Good time management can help you in many ways during your studies. It can lead to better grades on tests and term papers and make you feel more at ease at university. Speaking with an academic advisor at your university can also be helpful.

by Bettina Ruhland

Students with tablet pc © Hagenguth/DAAD
Students with tablet pc . © Hagenguth/DAAD

The academic advising department at your university is there to answer any questions you have about managing your time wisely, improving your study methods and increasing your motivation. During the advising session, an expert examines your personal situation, your skills and needs. Together, you develop plans and structures that will help you learn more efficiently, for example, or develop individually tailored learning strategies.

Goals – Learning more efficiently and getting yourself organised

"MyStudy" at the University of Applied Sciences in Hannover is one such project. Regardless of whether you're having trouble organising your time, need to get better grades on exams or want to improve your revising techniques – it always pays to speak with an academic advisor. Especially if you're new at the university, you shouldn't hesitate to approach the academic advising service with your questions. You can talk about your problems with them or quickly find a working group that meets your need. This semester they're offering a programme on academic writing in Engineering. "We are always delighted when international students sign up for our programmes. They are welcome to come by anytime," says Marlene Fürsattel from the "MyStudy" team.

Alone or in a group

"I usually coach students individually because I find that each person carries the best solution within themselves," explains Kerstin Zimmermann from the academic advising department at the University of Regensburg. The programme in Regensburg also offers workshops for groups. For example, new students can participate in a learning workshop at the beginning of their first semester. The goal is to promote exchange between various disciplines and teach them learning strategies such as mind-mapping and working in study groups.

Students with laptops © Hagenguth/DAAD
Students with laptops . © Hagenguth/DAAD

Leonie Anding from Lüneburg took part in a similar workshop. "They introduced me to techniques and strategies for organising my studies, my time and myself more efficiently. Ever since then, I always make to-do lists to make sure I get everything done on time and don't forget anything," she says. Kerstin Zimmermann regularly receives positive feedback from the students. They're especially happy with how quickly they improve their learning skills and examination results. "With their help, I now feel ready for the next semester," says one student, and another admits, "Talking with them always motivates me to keep going."

Don't be shy

It's completely normal if you feel hesitant about participating in a learning seminar or advising session at the beginning of your studies. The advice from the experts can help you tremendously, so seize the opportunity! You can find the student advising services on your university's website or posted on message boards around campus and at the library. Either make an appointment or visit them during office hours, which are usually offered once a week like in Regensburg and Hannover.