5 Helpful Tips on How to Catch Up When You Fall Behind – Easier Than You Think

Online education is one of the leading forms of furthering your career and your life today.  The level of flexibility and convenience that it offers is tremendous and those who are enrolled in online classes are among the most satisfied students in the country.  But sometimes life can throw out a curveball that leaves you a bit behind where you should be.  Whether it’s an emergency, a sudden increase in your full time job, an illness, or even a simple lack of fully understanding a subject, you can find yourself falling behind before you know it.

There are a few ways to catch up that are more effective than others, of course, and taking the time to learn more about how to go about catching up is important.  So long as you stay focused on the goal, you’ll be able to get caught up quickly.  Here are some tips to keep in mind to help you catch up.

  1. Contact the Professor – If you’re falling behind, contacting the professor is the first step you should take.  While those who are just a short assignment or so behind can usually catch up without much trouble, those who are significantly behind will want to let their professor know.  Explain the situation and what has happened and you’ll be surprised at how understanding your instructor will usually be.  They’ll help ease your mind and get a bit of the stress off your shoulders so that you can focus on what’s important – catching up.
  2. Relax – This is an obvious step but one that is so important it needs to be mentioned.  If you’re behind then it’s very easy to let your stress and worry influence your lessons.  You’ll end up rushing through them without fully understanding the subject and your grades will likely suffer as a result.  Instead, remember to calm down and focus on what’s ahead of you.  If you’ve contacted your teacher you’ll likely have less stress already. Relax, don’t’ panic, and the results will be much better.
  3. Modify your Schedule – You will likely need to set aside some extra time to get caught up so start taking steps to do so early.  If you need an extra hour each night to catch up, be sure that you let your family know that and that you make the needed arrangements.  Plan out easy dinners, set your favorite TV shows to record on TIVO so you’re not distracted by the desire to go watch them, and do anything else you need to do to fit your extra time into your schedule.
  4. Set Goals and Reach Them – Set yourself some realistic goals on a daily basis.  If you estimate that you’re a week behind, try to determine how many hours you think it will take to get caught up.  Set the appropriate goal for what you want to accomplish each night and stick with it.  It won’t take long to reach that goal when you know what it is, and you’ll be caught back up quickly.
  5. Eliminate Distractions – Distractions are the enemy when you’re an online student, and they’re even worse when you’re behind.  Whether it’s Facebook, your family, a favorite TV show, or something else, make sure that you eliminate all distractions.  Five minutes spent messing around on Facebook is five minutes of studying you could have accomplished, and every time you break your concentration because of some distraction you’ll end up facing the task of getting back into the groove.  You’re better off if you’ll just set your goals and ignore all distractions until the task at hand is completed.  It’s not that difficult when you get the hang of it.