Best Time Management Tips for Online Students
Students have very busy schedules and may not have enough time to complete all of their schoolwork in one day. Time management can be difficult for you as an online student. Especially if you’re taking classes online while also balancing other responsibilities like work and family time. Fortunately, there are many time management tips for online students that can help you stay on top of things so you can accomplish everything you need to without sacrificing your grades or your sanity.
Meanwhile, with the flexibility and other benefits of online degree programs, more students than ever before are turning to online learning to further their education. Online learning provides a unique opportunity to study at one’s pace. However, time management can be the main challenge for many online students. This is why having the ability to effectively manage your time is undoubtedly key to succeeding as an online student.
Moreover, time management tips are particularly helpful to online students, who have the added stress of managing their time while juggling several responsibilities in addition to their schoolwork. For many, this will be their first time experiencing the demands of being a full-time student, and they may need help learning how to budget their time and prioritize their work and study load effectively to maximize productivity and reduce stress.
Meanwhile, this article summarizes some of the great tips that can help students keep up with their online coursework and still have time to relax. Continue reading to learn more. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish if you prioritize your tasks and stick to a schedule that works best for you.
7 Best Time Management Tips for Online Students
Online students can benefit from strong time management skills in order to stay on top of their studies and avoid the stress that comes with falling behind. Although there are no hard and fast rules about how to make time management work, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your study time, so you can spend less time worrying about how you’re going to accomplish everything on your plate and more time getting things done and having fun.
Setting short-term and long-term goals can serve as an incentive toward degree completion. But it usually gets difficult to measure your productivity when the task ahead feels huge. That’s why it’s a good idea to break your main goals into small, achievable targets. Setting those goals and then working toward them is really motivating. Not only does it give you an opportunity to structure your learning, but it also enables you to better appreciate the progress you’re making as you accomplish each individual goal.
Moreover, it’s important to reward yourself after a job well done when hitting those goals along the way. There are several ways you can reward yourself, they include celebrating your accomplishments and treating yourself to something you truly enjoy, whether that’s watching your favorite show on Netflix or going out to a nice dinner and a movie.
Hectic schedules, combined with daily distractions, can easily get in the way of finishing tasks. The best online students know how to set aside time to focus. This includes having a consistent time and workspace, tuning out those distractions, and avoiding surfing the internet.
However, despite the flexibility of being an online student. It’s important to have frequent engagement with your studies throughout the week. Provide plenty of time to space out your required readings, assignments, and online discussions. Before each semester, review the course syllabus and break down each unit on a personal calendar to track all assignments. Taking the time to get organized early reduces the chances of missing due dates later on.
Set up a Virtual Study Space
It can be quite challenging for online students to find a designated study area. Especially those who share a space with family members or roommates. Whether you study at home or at your local café, it’s important to work in the optimal setting needed to complete your work. Make sure there’s high-speed internet, and that you’re in a comfortable space with the right lighting, sound, and background. Moreover, you should set up as much as you can ahead of time to stay on task with your coursework. Make sure you have all the required materials, such as textbooks and industry-specific software.
Do not Multitask
It is usually tempting to divide your attention between tasks when faced with a long to-do list, in the hopes of getting multiple things done at once. But multitasking can actually decrease your productivity. With your energy spread thinly over many tasks at once, the work you do produce tends to be of lower quality. According to scientific research, it has a bad effect on your concentration and reduces your overall productivity by up to 40%.
Moreover, multitasking can also negatively affect your memory, leaving you prone to forgetting important details and maximizing that last-minute stress. Although it can make you feel as though you’re dealing with several tasks at once. Multitasking usually leads to feeling overwhelmed.
It is better to keep your focus on just one task at a time. Arrange your tasks in order of importance, and pay attention to the three or four crucial tasks that require the most effort. You’ll get it completed quicker and will be able to cross it off the list sooner rather than later, giving you fewer tasks to think about in the long run while maximizing your feelings of productivity, boosting your motivation, and ultimately making your workload feel far more manageable.
Make Learning Social
Online education comes in a variety of formats, including live lectures, classroom discussions, and individual work. With such an asynchronous model that relies mostly on discussion forums, email, or text for communication, it can be easy to feel lonely or isolated. Experts suggest leaning into the social aspect of learning. Such as creating a study group with peers or scheduling office hours with an instructor. Students can also find an accountability partner, such as a fellow online classmate, who can help them stay on top of their assignments.
Moreover, you can also strengthen learning in the off-hours by including course topics in daily conversations with family, friends, or close colleagues. Not only does this reinforce learned concepts, but it can also help students identify areas of confusion.
Block Out Distractions
Cutting out distractions wherever you can is the key to an interrupting focus. If you’re using your phone or tablet to access course materials avoid surfing the web excessively. It is easy to become distracted by the news or your favorite celebrity gossip site. Stay focused, and avoid Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools when you need to concentrate on your studies. You should turn on the “do not disturb” function. It will prevent errant notifications from catching your attention and costing you a valuable hour or more of your study time.
Furthermore, try and set up a study space. A more suitable learning environment with a desk and a comfortable chair. Ideally located in your own home office, is the perfect place to learn. Rather than your living room, which is one of the worst places to use as a study space. Moreover, you can also consider getting out of the house if you are struggling to focus at home. Most people rather enjoy studying in public locations such as cafes and libraries.
Speak Up When You Need Support
Don’t be afraid to speak up, especially in an asynchronous learning environment, where an instructor might not be aware that a student is struggling or falling behind in class. But if a student doesn’t feel comfortable reaching out to their instructor or academic advisor. Many online degree programs also offer resources for academic support, such as tutoring or a writing lab.
Final Thoughts on Time Management Tips for Online Students
In conclusion, enrolling in an online degree program is a great way to further your education and ultimately advance in your career, but it’s up to you to take charge of your learning so you can get the most out of your classes. A key component of doing so is employing effective time management strategies to stay on top of your responsibilities.
Time management starts with changing how you think about your responsibilities and getting them accomplished. However, that doesn’t mean a little help wouldn’t be nice. There are plenty of Time Management Tools & Resources available to assist in your efforts
Moreover, as important as it is to be a good student, finding an online program that fits your needs is also critical to success. When choosing an online degree program, be sure to do your research and understand how the content and structure of the courses align with your own goals and objectives.