5 Tips to Manage Your Time Better and Stay on Track
Taking online courses requires a bit of planning and a lot of self-discipline. Unless you have the time to begin with, it's often recommended that you wait on going back to school. However, most people simply don't have time management skills, which would help them better prepare for online courses. Managing your time gives you the best way to dominate your courses and make the best grades, maximizing your free time and turning your breaks in between work and life into something that will help you in the future. While it's often said that there isn't enough hours in the day, you can quickly make up some time and avoid stressing over assignments that you know are waiting after you've been through a grueling work day. Here are some quick tips to help you with your time management.
1. Create a Priority List
You need to know your short-term and long-term goals, and post these somewhere for you to look at, possibly on your fridge or by your desk. If you don't already have a calendar or intelligent scheduler on your phone, you should find some apps on your phone or use your computer's calendar to help you remember important priorities, such as deadlines for your classes, big exam days, big events for work and family, or other activities. You need to write down all of your daily and weekly activities, then assign a priority to those activities. You may have to cut out things that aren't a necessity in order to make more time for school.
2. Construct a Schedule
Schedules aren't for everyone, especially those who simply don't like rigid guidelines, but if you know that you have to turn in assignment every week, or that you have to complete a reading every day, while still going to work and taking care of family stuff, then you'll need some way of delegating your time. It's also crucial that you plot when assignments are due and when exams will be met, thus allowing you to prepare and turn in your assignments on time. By sticking to a schedule, you can develop a routine, and eventually you won't need to remind yourself of what you're supposed to do each day, you'll already know and incorporate your class's syllabus into your daily and weekly time schedule.
3. Take Away the Distractions
The television is one way that many students get distracted. If you are living in a house with other people, you may need to spend more time at a library or another part of the house in order to work. Distractions will certainly take away your time and dwindle it down to less than what you need to study well and complete your assignments. You should always consider invitations for events and decide on their importance. For something that could be done, but it may get in the way of your school, you should consider planning for a time when you know you'll have a break or after a major exam period in your online class. You also need to minimize distractions from your phone, socializing networks, email and messengers. It's imperative that when you have a schedule, you eliminate these other distractions that are not as important as doing well on the exam or turning in an exceptional assignment.
4. Saying No to Others
It's incredibly hard to say 'no' to family members, especially when your education may not seem important to them. That's why it is very crucial that you explain to others what you are doing with your spare time and why. If your family knows that you are studying and working for something online, they will understand when you have to say 'no' to going out for a movie. However, you should plan to do things with your friends and family when you have time. It's best to pick days that are after major deadlines for school and when you have time off from work. You should always plan these in advance if possible. You can always rearrange your study by possibly waking up earlier to do assignments and make room for an event.
5. Organizing Your Stuff
Organization is another crucial part of time management. If you have all of your assignments and deadlines organized, then you spend less time trying to figure out where everything is. In addition, if you use bookmarks and save notes conveniently, then you have more access and can readily find quotes and references for essays, homework and exams. Notes are the most important thing to utilize when you have an online class. You should date and label your notes according to the unit and material discussed, possibly using keywords to find it later. You can also use a folder system to organize all of your units, materials, and readings by subject, so that you can easily find them later when you have to study for a test or write an essay.
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