Self-management and scheduling – The good feeling of having a plan

Time management through self-management

Monday. Friday. Time is slipping away. Time management seems to be the order of the day. Well, time cannot be managed. Time cannot be grasped or stopped either. A second is a second, a minute has 60 of them, 60 minutes equals an hour; the day has 24 of them. Everyone knows that. Nevertheless, that does not make time more concrete. Time still cannot be controlled. We have to manage ourselves in order to use it. Self-management is a competence; therefore it can be learned and trained. Self-management is the competence to shape one’s own professional and personal development independently of external influences.

Organization of everyday life through scheduling

Time is not the only thing that struggles. Many resources are tight when it comes to organizing everyday life optimally. Self-management helps you to improve the organization of your (working) day. Creating a schedule is the first and central step in this process. Why would you deny yourself a schedule for your studies in the virtual mode? It is especially important during this time. A schedule manages limited resources: course offerings, time, space, deadlines, exchange with others (lecturers, fellow students, examination secretariats). It provides an overview and the good feeling of having a plan. The cornerstone of self-efficacy. Those who are self-effective work smoothly and feel good about themselves.

Schedule in times of virtual lecturing

Virtual teaching has an effect on the creation of the schedule. Both the course offerings and the distribution of courses change. The following applies to the course offerings: Although in principle, 30 ECTS courses should be available to everyone, some modules (especially in the elective area) will probably not be offered. Information on the modules offered can be found on univis, StudOn and the homepage of the individual chairs and institutes. Lecturers have been asked to place appropriate notes on feasibility of their courses.
The modules that take place will not necessarily be presented in the “usual” form. The biggest changes result from the change to a virtual execution in both synchronous or asynchronous mode. The synchronously offered courses are regularly “broadcasted” at the originally scheduled lecture times. Synchronously offered modules can therefore be anchored in the timetable as before. Thus, they form the solid foundation of our week. Other modules, on the other hand, switch to asynchronous mode; possibly more irregularly or blocked – and thus open up more time for you. But even for these modules you should anchor fixed times and deadlines in the schedule. On the one hand, lecturers in these modules often make use of so-called “assignments” – an ongoing form of examination in which smaller examination components must be taken by a fixed time. On the other hand, the constant “thrust ahead” of the modules carries the risk of accumulating a huge sum of unprocessed slides, handouts, pieces of text or videos waiting to be viewed shortly before the exam. Such “binge watching” does not help us – and is no fun.
Virtual teaching is new for all of us. We do not yet know whether we can cognitively process the attendance of two directly consecutive virtual lectures in a meaningful way. We do not yet know whether technical access will always be guaranteed. We do not yet know when we will need (longer) breaks. Therefore, we simply have to try it out and possibly change our schedule after the first experience. “Learning by doing” and “trial and error” will be our most loyal methodical companions in the near future.

Socializing by schedule

Even in virtual lectures, you do not have to abstain from socializing with fellow students. The comparison of the schedule with fellow students reveals which modules you attend together, for which modules you make an appointment for virtual “consuming” of lectures and which break times you can spend together. One thing is for sure: with the appointments, you remind each other of your set goals and keep on. In addition, everything is more fun together, including virtual lectures.