Top Time Management Tips for Online Learners

Posted on October 29th, 2020 College Life

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As we all face the need to adjust to the new routine because of the pandemic, mastering your time management skills is more crucial than ever. There is something incredibly hard about forcing yourself to study online; we know for sure. Procrastination and lack of usual social interaction affect our motivation and discipline in the wrong way, making studying even harder. If you find yourself fighting with overload and tight deadlines, you should definitely start changing your routine, starting with managing your time. Here are the best tips for online learners on how to manage your time; let’s get started.

Creating Daily and Weekly Schedules

Organizing your time is impossible without creating a convenient schedule. You can any software or format that suits your needs – an app, a calendar, or a notebook layout. You just need to find what works for you to have all the important plans right in front of you with all the time frames established for each of the tasks. When creating one for yourself, start with listing all classes that you are taking, making sure you check your syllabus for each of your classes first. Consider information from the syllabus to mark which classes are virtual and which are live.

When you have all of your classes in front of you, plan your day accordingly to this schedule. Establish the time frames for the things that you should prepare before the class, like material that you need to collect, assignments that are due, etc. Also, write down what you need to do after the class – looking through your notes, for example, and put it in your schedule too.

You will need to understand how much time you will need exactly for each of your tasks. Your syllabus might contain this information as a guide for your work in and out of class. 

Building a Routine

However, your daily life consists of many other components, alongside your schoolwork time. That’s why you need to plan your days, considering the following elements:

  • Wake-up time 
  • Bedtime
  • Mealtime 
  • Exercise or any other activity time
  • Joy time.

It’s crucial to make sure that you have dedicated time for all of the things above. In the case of wake-up and going to sleep, it’s better to stick to a certain regime to make your days more structured and organized.

Joy time is the time that you dedicate to yourself only. This is the time that you can spend on things that help you reload and feel happy. It might be such a small thing, like doing your nails or meeting with friends. But if this is what helps you get energized and ready for the next task – you should definitely put it in your schedule.

Changing Your Schedule

It’s absolutely okay if your schedule doesn’t work from the first try. It doesn’t mean that this system is not for you; it just means that you should be flexible and tailor your schedule so that it works. For example, you might find out which hours of the day are the most productive for you and schedule your homework hours according to your biorhythms.

You can also break your study hours in order to have some time for breaks. Don’t just force yourself to study long hours because this is what your schedule tells you to do. Take breaks when you need to and listen to your body and your mind. Later you will be able to create schedules that are perfectly balanced regarding work and rest.

Avoiding Distractions

This is a very common tip, but it’s highly useful – avoid distractions that might badly affect your productivity. When you are trying to focus on your homework, being constantly distracted by your phone, Netflix, etc., you end up spending way more time than if working on one task without distractions. 

Turn off or mute your phone while you are studying. You can set up a timer and take breaks every 30-45 minutes to relax, have a rest, and check up on your emails and messages. This is the most efficient learning technique that will save you a lot of time.

Creating a Dedicated Space

How does the best space for studying look like? It should be a separate place in your room with enough light and where you have everything on hand. It should be your bed as your brain will be tricked and will make you feel sleepy and relaxed way too much. Focusing on your tasks is much easier when you have enough light and air – open your windows every day to air your room and buy a lamp if there is not enough daylight.

Celebrating and Motivating

Finishing another task is a great time to celebrate your achievements. Try to motivate yourself with a little reward for every task or assignment that you successfully complete. It might be some snacks that you enjoy or some Netflix time. Choose the reward that motivates you to continue studying, and you will see that you procrastinate less, saving your time for other things on your to-do list.

So, these were the best tips on how you can manage your time and avoid procrastination while learning online. Make sure you stick to your daily schedule and plan your week accordingly to your classes. Good luck with online classes!

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