Effective Time Management as an Online Student

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Posted on February 3rd, 2011

Many people say that the most difficult aspect of college is learning effective time management. For online learners this can be even more of a challenge. Learning online allows students the flexibility to raise a family or work full time during the day while also earning their degree. This is a wonderful advance for the modern age, but can pose added difficulties to busy students/workers/parents. Learning to successfully manage your time is key to surviving in the modern world of online education.

The first step to effective time management is ensuring that you stay on task when actually working. After all, if you cannot stay on task during your allotted class time, then you are not using that time wisely or profitably. As an online student, staying on task can be especially difficult. Because you do class work at home most typically, be sure to separate yourself from the usual distractions of the home (i.e. television, radio, or bed). Designate an area with few distractions that you will use only for studying and coursework. Be sure that this environment is quiet and separate from high traffic areas where you might become distracted.

Once you have determined an effective work area, develop a routine study schedule. You should decide on a specific time that works best for you to work on your online class every day. Creating an efficient routine will help to smooth out your day and keep you from wasting time deciding what you want to do and when to do it. Design a routine that allows for sufficient work time and sufficient leisure time. While it is important to work each day on your online courses, also realize that it is equally as important to relax each day and de-stress.

When developing a study schedule, set up study breaks that allow you to remove yourself from your immediate work environment. Because an online learner works from his or her computer, it is easy to take a break from class work without ever standing up; they may put away their work for a few minutes to surf the internet or watch a show online. It is essential, however, that online learners get up from their computer for their study breaks and move around. This will help you to stay on task when it is actually time to work at your computer.

Staying on task is challenging, especially when you have the entire world of the internet at your fingertips. The key to success as an online student is using your time as wisely as possible. This takes practice and patience, but following these few simple rules can help you become a successful and happy online learner.

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