Time management and organization are the keys to success when it comes to online learning. One way to achieve more effective time management skills is to create a personalized “to-do” list for yourself. Below are some helpful tips to get you started:
1. Schedule every day, all day. This may include your paid job and any additional tasks that you’ve adopted or been assigned. Try not to schedule “down time” for yourself during the time you want to be working or studying. Instead, fill that space with other constructive items like getting a jumpstart on a project, or reading ahead. Do make sure that you schedule a start time and an end time and stick to it.
2. Be realistic. Be selective on how many days you will work on your online learning, if you only need one day off, schedule your time for six days so that you have 24 hours free. Your schedule should also include personal activities like paying bills, grocery shopping, specific household chores, and family obligations. Put a time limit on the things you can control and keep distractions to a minimum.
3. Stay focused. Cut out television, video games, and other recreational activity until you have completed all your tasks.
4. Keep priority tasks on top. These are the things that can cause great grief if left undone.
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Multitasking is possible, you can read and eat dinner at the same time. You won’t always get everything done, and that is okay. If you have a support system try delegating some tasks – there is nothing wrong with asking for help.
6. Relax. Finally, never, ever allow yourself to grieve or stress over this process. Sometimes a project can be bigger or take longer than originally thought. It’s important to remember that keeping a strict schedule isn’t a life or death situation. If you’re tired then go to sleep, that reading assignment can wait until breakfast.
These are just a few suggestions to get you started. Perhaps some of them will work for you. We all sometimes feel the overwhelming stress of having just too much to do. However with some determination and resolve, and maybe a little help from your own group of support, you will find that you do actually have the time to complete your goals.
By: Nancy Davis, EKU EMC
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