Online education offers a better, more accessible way for students to get involved in their futures and better their career. But it’s important to remember that while online learning offers great flexibility and convenience, it also comes with a unique challenge that is present in traditional education but far more obvious in online learning – time management. Self-discipline and time management are vital for success at online learning since you are in charge of when you complete your assignments. And since most online students are already busy professionals, it can be difficult to effectively manage your time. Luckily, there are some options that will make it easier for you to balance your time. Here are seven of the very best tips to remember.
- Create the Right Environment – One of the big secrets to time management is simply focusing. You need to have the right environment or you’ll never succeed. That means studying in an area that has few distractions and is mainly designed and intended for your education. Avoid trying to study in rooms with televisions or that are noisy or even that have views that will capture your attention.
- Get a Good Calendar – Whether you want a paper calendar that has plenty of room for writing notes, a day planner, or a software app for your computer or phone, be sure that you get a calendar you can use and rely on. Fill it with all pertinent information and don’t hesitate to check, double-check, and triple check it. If you can, consider setting alerts that will remind you of what you have on the horizon.
- Set up a Schedule and Stick to it – Online education requires an investment of time on a regular basis. When you use that time is up to you, but to really manage your time you should get into a routine. Set aside certain blocks of time on each day that will be only for your studies. Do whatever needs to be done during the time that falls outside those blocks – whether it’s chores, relaxing, spending time with family, shopping, work, or anything else. But once the clock strikes on your study time, get started and don’t stop until the time is up.
- Check your Syllabus – Time management relies largely on knowing what is ahead of you and your syllabus will be the best way to plan ahead. By using the syllabus you’ll be able to keep tabs on exactly what is on the horizon. You can modify your schedule as needed to ensure that you get the most from every day. Planning ahead will have a huge impact on your overall success.
- Roll with the Punches – Sometimes things happen and you need to be prepared to modify your schedule along with them. Yes, you should stick to your schedule as best you can but when an emergency arises be sure that you know how to modify things so that you can make the most out of your time. It’s not hard to do, but it’s well worth doing.
- Multitask – Some students simply can’t multitask, and that’s okay. But even little things can help. If you’re able to multitask – even a little bit – don’t hesitate to consider it. Just be sure it’s not ruining your ability to focus on your studies. If it is, you’ll need to come up with a better plan.
- Utilize Technology – This is perhaps the best tip on the list. Today there are apps and programs that will help you with nearly all aspects of your online education. From audio versions of your lectures that you can listen to while you work out to time management apps that assess your time and tell you how to improve your work output, there are plenty of options that are well worth considering.