Diana Bajraktari is a Content Writer, currently focused on writing about student experiences and facilities for the blog of University of the Potomac
We all know the relationship between the students and procrastination. How much they enjoy the time that they spend by doing something irrelevant instead of focusing on the pile of work they have to finish. Yet, when the deadline is near, most of them feel the guilt of not having started the study work earlier.
The type of student we are talking about is the traditional student who has a specific time in a day dedicated to going to the university for lectures. The other part of the day is then devoted to whatever they want to do. However, this isn’t the case with online students. They are mostly students who have a full-time job, are married and have kids, or have other obligations, which makes the traditional way of studying impossible. Therefore, they believed online studies would be the right choice considering their situation. And luckily, there are now many universities who provide online degrees. Whether it is an IT degree or a Business one, online learning has risen as a great flexible alternative to those wanting to finish higher education while taking care of other responsibilities.
Unlike traditional students who typically don’t have a job and have enough time on their hands to devote to university, the lack of time is one of the challenges online students deal with daily. Among other responsibilities, they work on average 34.4 hours per week. Having a job makes it difficult for them to find time to do other activities during the day.
Therefore, these students must master eLearning time management skills. If you happen to be one of them, don’t worry. We have some time management tips just for you online students to help you seize the day and get working on your tasks. Starting with the first one:
1. Get some rest
First and foremost, it is highly advisable to get a full 7 or 8 hours of sleep every day. By doing so, you will feel as good and fresh as one can feel the next day. You won’t feel the ache your body usually feels when you don’t get a good night’s sleep. A full 8 hour will ease the tiredness and the stress the work can bring. When you feel like dying to sleep, you know that nothing can convince you to sit and read. Also, any studying you will do that night will not be effective. A good night’s sleep helps you even with your memory retention. A well-rested student can read and write critically and actively without a problem.
2. Set your priorities straight
We can imagine it must be tough to juggle a full-time job, family responsibilities, and online studies. But please keep in mind that it is easier to study every night for a few hours than to leave it for the last minute when the stress and anxiety will make it impossible for you to focus. The ideal situation would be the day be dedicated to the job, while the evenings are dedicated to online studying. Everything else that you deem not to be urgent, you can leave them for the weekends, or you can do them after you finish your study session. Remember, that degree isn’t going to earn itself!
3. Set up a working place
It would be perfect if you could find a space in your home where you could put your necessary devices, notes, and everything else you might need. In case you live with someone, find a place where they can’t reach you. Prepare the space, the lighting, and the chair beforehand so that you will not get distracted and interrupt yourself in the middle of a studying session.
4. Avoid distractions
We all know how tempting it is to get in front of the TV after a long day or simply to scroll down in social media apps. Make sure to turn off any electronic device you won’t need in your study space. Every ring you can hear will drive you to take the device in your hand and, in turn, disturb your thinking process, and that is not good news for your degree.
5. Make a weekly plan and stick to it
Since you barely find time to spend on your online studies, it would be best if you would make a schedule of the lessons and projects you need to finish in a week. It would be perfect if you would stick to that schedule and finish everything according to the plan. The more finished materials you cross out from the plan, the more you’ll feel relieved and motivated to do more. In case you don’t respect the plan, the materials keep piling up, and it will be harder for you to get back and finish them.
6. Look out for deadlines
We all are humans, and we know not everything goes according to the plans we make. However, in case you have too much to do and not too much time, divide them according to their deadline and start reading or finishing stuff that has to be submitted earlier.
7. Avoid Multitasking
Make sure you’ll not let yourself focus on more than one thing at a time. Sometimes you may feel like multitasking is the way to be more productive, but it is not according to many studies. Not only isn’t it effective to switch from one task to the other, it also takes a toll on the brain. It also takes more time than dividing time for the tasks would.
8. Motivate yourself
It is up to you to choose the ways to motivate yourself. You can give yourself a pep talk, you can watch a Youtube motivational video, or you can choose to talk to a person close to you. Whatever your decision is, make sure it motivates you not to waste time but focus on the things that matter most.
9. Reward yourself
After a great deal of work on your studies, make sure to reward yourself. The term reward can mean different things to different people. You can choose what your prize is after a session of study. The great benefit of the rewards is that it will make you feel accomplished as well as establish a routine for you.
Don’t worry if you are still struggling to master these eLearning time management skills. The important thing is to start somewhere. You can begin by taking some of the time management strategies in online learning provided above. Start slow and choose whichever tip that you need most and serves you best.