Time Management Tips for Online Courses
Congratulations! You have taken the first steps in your self development journey by enrolling in an online program or taking some courses. Now you have to make sure you maximise your time to get as much out of the experience as you can.
As someone who has just taken some online courses or enrolled in an online program you already have set goals and targets. Organizing them and prioritizing will make you more effective as you will see what needs immediate attention to deal with those first, then you can work slowly towards the things that are further down the line either later deadlines or just larger projects that need more time. Either way setting your goals and targets as early as possible puts your work in focus and helps with time management.
The best way to get your work done and achieve the sort of results you would like is to get yourself organized. This needs to happen early, and it needs to be adhered to for the whole course of study (and even beyond that). You need to make sure that the schedule you create is something you can keep to, but also something that gives you enough time to cater to all your work adequately.
To create a successful schedule that you will follow requires you to understand yourself very well. What this means is if you study better in the morning then you need to create time in the morning to do that. If you work best at night then you need to reflect that in the schedule.
Dedicated Study Time
Once you have developed a plan and schedule you need to make sure you have specific times for study that you can adhere to. If you are someone who is working and/or has a family then you understand the value of your time and can’t afford not to utilize the time you allocate to your tasks.
With that understanding you know you need to make that time count so its more important to be as productive during those times than it is to dedicate a lot of time that you may not be able to maximise.
Designated Study Space
Once you have established your study times and days (really should be at least a review everyday) you need to have a space that is solitary and gives you all you need to get your work done i.e. silence, concentration, minimal distraction, etc. and whatever else is ideal for you to get your work done.
Even though libraries are the best choices, distance and hours of availability are also important factors to consider so a place in the house that is accessible yet isolated would be most ideal. As always, you have to do what works best to your individual situation.
When you get into your study space during designated study times you need to make sure you get the most out of those sessions by not looking on social media or the web for things unrelated to what you are working on. That is very difficult and probably requires a lot of discipline so it can be helpful to employ the Pomodoro Method.
What that means is you need to break your work period into 25-minute sessions with 5-minute breaks. You have to make sure you work for the full length of the 25 minutes without distractions or breaks. The more time you accumulate of work done you can award yourself longer breaks.
Doing this will ensure whatever time you can allocate to working, you get the most out of.
Learning outside class
Even though a large part of the knowledge assimilation and processing is best done in solitude, at some point a social dynamic is required even if it is simply to bounce the new information of off or to get alternate perspectives on the work.
In an online setting, discussion forums or chat groups around the subjects and topics could be resourceful. With all the social media tools available now there is an endless variety of options to work with and explore as different groups and subjects require different tools.
Even if it is starting an old-fashioned study group, the interaction with colleagues and perhaps people having similar experiences can be invaluable.
There is some romance around the idea of multitasking but to go against the grain it is advisable to avoid it. The likelihood that attending to multiple tasks at once will improve your productivity is generally misguided.
It will likely suit you better to focus on one project/assignment at a time and give each one what it needs. You can use a variety of organizational tools and apps to assist you with the project management (Trello, Smartsheet, Todoist, ClickUp or Evernote).
Focus on what tasks have the closest deadlines and the tasks that require the most work then get those done in steady chunks.
Another glamorous idea is “sleep when you die” “rest is for the weak” and that of pulling all-nighters and powering through lots of work with little to no sleep. This is not sustainable and is inefficient because of the quality of the work achieved during these hours. Not to mention that proper planning and consistent studying and work will negate the need to limit sleep before big exams/papers are due.
Getting a minimum of seven to eight hours is ideal to be well rested and give yourself a good jolt of energy to get through the numerous tasks you have for the day.
The list is not exhaustive but can be seen as a starting point if nothing else. A lot of these are tried-and-true methods of efficiency so you have no reason to doubt their efficacy. The only real unknown is whether you can develop the consistency needed to maximise their effects.
We can guarantee that if you apply most if not all of these you will have a much more beneficial learning experience and more importantly a higher standard of life as you will be less stressed through the course of the program since your time is better distributed.
All the best in your endeavours and catch you next time!
This post was written by Abdulhakeem Yusuf. Abdulhakeem is the content writer at SOC Online Academy. He has over 6 years of professional writing experience.
If you are interested in using these tips to excel at SOC Online Academy, go here to learn how to apply.