Time Management Tips
While there is no magic system that works for everyone, a combination of the following seems to work:
- Create a Master Schedule.
- Use an Agenda.
- Eliminate Distractions.
- Set Goals For Each Study Session.
- Start Working On Assignments Early.
- Make a Project Plan.
- Work On One Thing At A Time.
- Study In Shorter Bursts.
Start by creating a reasonable study schedule and sticking to it. Look at your commitments at the onset of each week and determine your obligations for coursework/study time, work, and family for that week. Block off time to meet each obligation and schedule this time as appointments on your calendar, and then keep your appointments.
Having a consistent workspace is a good idea, too. Do not attempt to study on the couch with the television on and your roommates playing their music. Turn your phone off. Text messages break your concentration.
- Identify your time-wasting activities (social media, texting, purposeless web browsing) and vow not to participate when you should be studying. Put first things first!
- Do one thing at a time; research shows that multitasking slows you down and may even lower your IQ temporarily.
- Break large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.
Focus on Your Long-Term Goal…
Remember why you’re doing this: the degree, the greater career opportunities, the ability to take life in the direction you want to go. Write down your reasons, too. Does going to a party this Friday instead of studying for your exam help you with your long-term career goals?
Don’t forget to reward yourself when you hit those short-term milestones. Did you pass that Final Exam? Finish that big project with an A? Then celebrate with something that makes you feel good. Rewarding yourself helps keep you motivated.
Connect With Other Students
The social aspect of online education is important. Feeling like you are just an anonymous number can lead to you losing focus. Class discussion boards, Facebook groups, and other online tools and resources help you connect with a community of like-minded online learners. You can share your common struggles, get new perspectives, and support each other. You should meet with your classmates to find out their coping methods or study habits. You can form study groups with different online tools, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Apple FaceTime, or various other options. Your weaknesses might be their strengths and vice-versa.