How do I manage to work as a student, earn money and still focus on my studies?

In purely mathematical terms, with a normal bachelor’s degree programme with 180 ECTS credits (one ECTS point is equivalent to about 30 hours of work) and a working student job in which you work 20 hours a week, you still have an average of nine hours of free time each day:

But maybe you work much longer, have a very demanding degree or simply have problems using your time effectively.

Here are eight tips:

#1 Focus on the important things.Place all your activities in the following matrix.What tasks are important and urgent, which are important and not urgent? All unimportant tasks take time away from you, which you then lack in the important tasks. The highest priority should be all tasks that are not only important, but also completed in a timely manner (e.g. learning for a exam that is about to take place). After that, you can take care of all other important things.

#2 Make a to-do list every night for the next day.

Write down all the things you want to do the next day (based on point 1). In the morning you don’t have to organize yourself first, but can do something productive immediately.I usually start the day with the “annoying” tasks and take the interesting things for the afternoon and evening, because then my self-discipline is largely exhausted.

#3 Use your learning time effectively.If you’re concentrating for three hours, it’s usually the full amount of the day for a person who gets lost every three minutes on social media or Whatsapp and takes five coffee breaks.Switch your phone to flight mode and don’t put it next to you on your desk.

#4 only attend lectures that offer you added value.Some professors cannot or do not want to teach the learning material or only walk through the PowerPoint slides without adding additional information to them.In these cases, you are often better advised if you work through the content independently.

#5 don’t waste your waiting times and commutes.Ideally, you only have to travel short distances between university, home and workplace.But even then, you regularly moved from one place to another. You don’t have to get bored during this time, but you can listen to a recorded lecture or a helpful podcast, for example.

#6 save time in everyday processes.Instead of going shopping and cooking every day, you can prepare or prepare all meals for the week on two days (e.g. Wednesdays and Sundays).All you have to do is buy a few storage containers at the beginning. This saves you at least five hours each week, which you can use productively. If you don’t have a morning and evening routine, you should develop one. This will improve your sleep and start every day with more energy.

#7 Set artificial deadlines.Without a deadline, it is often difficult to solve a particular project or task efficiently.Then you spend a lot more time with this task than you would actually need. Valuable time that you might need elsewhere. That’s why I always determine in advance how much time a task should take and set a deadline based on it.

#8 Read Tim Urban’s Blog Posts “Why Procrastinators Procrastinate” as well as “How to Beat Procrastination” . Both posts are not only extremely entertaining and full of helpful illustrations, but also explain why you don’t usually work all your self-imposed tasks conscientiously and what you can do about it.

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