Planning can be intimidating…

…but knowing the tools to planning could help make the process easier, and eventually a habit. In the next biweekly post, we will discuss the essential tools a student needs to start planning. But first, we have to understand why planning is important. Here are four reasons for you to seriously consider planning in the spring semester.

First, Planning Gives direction. A clearly defined goal helps to steer you in the right direction when many inputs cloud your thinking, a concisely laid out, preferably written, goal would help ground you when you are feeling lost. For example: I want to graduate in two years, then I need to take X number of exams every semester to reach this goal.

Second, planning saves time. Much of the micro tasks which need to be done on a day to day basis could be forgotten if they are not written down, and sometimes they are what you need to do to reach your goal. Planning time for these tasks daily would ensure you never forget them.

Third, planning ensures you have enough time to relax. When your daily scheduled study sessions are over, the rest of the day is yours to relax or pursue personal projects.

Fourth, planning creates accountability which could be motivating to stick to your schedule the next day.

It is important to know that creating the habit of planning needs time. So be patient with yourself and stay tuned for our planning tools post on 29.02!

Always be …

… strong, show no weaknesses.Generally speaking, many young men will have heard this phrase in one form or another. But is there anything wrong with showing weakness? Aren’t we in the process of breaking stereotypical ways of thinking?

„Always be strong, don’t show weaknesses“ – But:

  • Weaknesses make you human.
  • Feelings make you human and likeable.
  • Only when others see you as you really are do you appear approachable and honest.
  • Only when you show your weaknesses will you receive help and not be alone.
  • I am allowed to „put myself out there“ for others.
  • I don’t have to achieve and accomplish everything to be worth something.
Star Wars Darth Vader lightsaber costume
Unlike the Jedi, who must always control their emotions, the Sith are guided by them. It’s okay to show weakness sometimes, as long as you don’t want to subjugate the whole galaxy.

Slowing down…

… is sometimes the best decision you can make when you are overwhelmed with tasks. When your To-do list gets long, it is sometimes difficult to focus solely on the next small step. But that is how progress could start. One small step after the other guarantees that you reach your desired destination. It could be that you need longer, or that you are faster than you had planned. Although that could be disappointing or frustrating sometimes, it helps to accept that this was what you were capable of at that given time. The mindset of an ongoing rushed competition could be very harmful for some people, it could backfire and make that small step feel like a leap. So take things at your own pace and create deadlines that are suitable for you. 

Sometimes the unclear path is the one with prettiest jounrey.

Please…

… everyone. Is that possible or even necessary? In all probability not.

„Please everyone“ – But:

  • I can only be healthy in the long term if I also please myself.
  • It’s impossible to please everyone.
  • I’m okay even if someone is unhappy with me.
  • Not everyone has to or can like me.
  • I’m allowed to offend sometimes.
Table Poster Water Sweets Career Service
Are you studying because you want to or because your family, friends or society want you to? Yesterday we were at the open day for students in doubt.

A new …

… look at the inner driver. We all know them. Phrases that come up in everyday life and consciously or unconsciously put us under pressure. We probably even heard many of them as children. Permission sentences help you to take the harmful edge off your inner drivers.

„Always be perfect“ – But:

  • Nobody can be perfect.
  • Usually 80% is enough.
  • I can also make mistakes and that’s okay.
  • I take care of my health, which is more important than a 100% result.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll remind you of a few sentences that I’m sure we’ve all heard before. Let’s break down these punchy sentences together.

trees sky blue water bank flood
The Rhine has also offered a new view in recent days.

Ending …

… the year together. How do you spend your Christmas time? Are you relaxed or stressed? Shortly before the end of the year, the Career Service team at the University of Siegen met once again for a relaxed evening with a delicious meal. With a good mood and new plans, we will continue next year. We say goodbye to a nice Christmas break and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Pizza Tomatoes Courgettes Mushrooms Salami
There is nothing better than a freshly baked stone oven pizza.

In the third post…

… in our ‚dealing with procrastination series‘, we have two more tips to deal with procrastination. As discussed in our earlier posts, the starting point is admitting that you are procrastinating. Then comes, choosing a study location and eliminating distractions. You might see progress after these first three steps, but you are also likely to feel a little bored studying alone. This is likely to happen every once in a while, when it kicks in, we recommend step four.

Step Four: Work with a study group.

When you are not highly motivated, it might be difficult to bring yourself to study. Studying with friends or classmates could help bring you in the mood. You could also discuss your assigned topics together or explain to each other any difficult concepts. The downside to this is that it could be distracting for some people. In that case, studying together in the library could be a better alternative.

Step Five: Set achievable goals.

It is crucial not to overwhelm yourself with more than you- or anyone- could do. Set realistic goals and plan breaks because you will need them. A good strategy is to write down everything you need to do on one paper, and then take 3 items and write them down on another paper. The second paper is your actual to-do list, when you finish with the first three items, you can add more, and so on until you have finished- or the day has.

Stay tuned for the last post in our dealing with procrastination series, coming up in two weeks!

Don’t forget to check the remaining workshops for this semester, you can register on unisono!

Daily …

… motivated work. Who hasn’t experienced this? You wake up and realize that your motivation is at a very low level. An external incentive doesn’t always help. Ideally, you will find an inner driving force that motivates you. A few changing sentences and a simple exercise can help.

Phrases that change:

  • „I want to“ instead of „I have to“
  • „I can work on this task without much effort“ instead of „This work is boring
  • Visualize the relevance of the task or ask the question: What is better afterwards?

Exercise:

  • Pick one of the sentences above that appeals to you the most at this moment.
  • Take an index card and write the sentence on the front. On the back, write an example situation in which the impulse is helpful for you.
  • Put the card in your wallet/handbag/jacket so that it is always to hand.
Flower Yellow Blossom
Whenever motivation comes from within, you really blossom. Regardless of the external circumstances.

In our last…

… blog about procrastination, we discussed the first step to deal with procrastination, which is admitting it. After this, it is important to put yourself in an environment that helps you focus. Which brings us to:

Step Two: Choose a ‚good‘ study location.

A suitable study location changes from one student to another, however, there are some common characteristics of the recommended study location. It should be clutter-free, quiet, and not usually used for other activities, like your bed. Examples of this would be the university’s library, your desk in your room, a quiet coffee shop, or your favorite spot on campus. Having two or more locations to visit regularly would ensure sustained productivity, as you are less likely to feel bored, and helps for easier execution of the following step.

Step Three: Eliminate distractions.

Whether it is a cluttered desk with many items, a seemingly neverending stream of notifications on your phone, loud noises from your flatmate, or any other form of distractions that you could identify, the goal is elimination. It could help to sit down and write these distractions down and formulate an action plan to get rid of them, but in the case of your loud flat mate, perhaps consider a talk first.

Taking one day off to declutter your desk will be worth it!

Trust is good …

… control is better. Losing control of things can often throw us off course. But sometimes it helps us. Let go and let yourself drift. Save up your strength so that you can get going at the right moment.
Letting go mentally (3 to 5 minutes)

  • Take a seat on a chair. Close your eyes. Rest your arms and hands on the back of the chair or fold them loosely in front of your stomach. Your feet are in contact with the floor.
  • Notice the sounds of your surroundings, your thoughts and emotions, your body.
  • Just let everything be there. Let what happens happen. The sounds, your thoughts and emotions.
  • You are just there and do nothing but be there. Allow everything to be there and let it happen.

Note: This exercise, used regularly, is first and foremost a classic relaxation exercise. However, it also trains the ability to let things happen and not always wanting/needing to control everything.

Sea Coast Current Rocks Sky Houses
The sea can be beautiful but also unsettling. If you get swept away by the current, don’t panic and just drift along. Save your strength to swim to a safe shore at the right moment.