Pacing: An Important Tool for Your Success

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Posted on January 15th, 2011

Effective time management is crucial to your success both during and after obtaining your college degree. When you don't have to leave your home to attend a lecture or complete an assignment, it can be more difficult to manage your free time. Be careful, too many distractions can be fatal for your grade point average! So, when do you tell your best friend you're too busy to meet her for lunch? How many hours a day do you spend studying? How often should you go out? All of these can be potential factors to consider when planning for any given semester. It is important to decide how to prioritize your tasks early. Waiting until the last minute can be incredibly stressful and unnecessary.

Study Your Study Habits

During your first two weeks of classes, see how long it takes you to thoroughly finish an assigned reading. Make sure you are not just skimming for surface content. See how long it takes to comprehend and even regurgitate the information you read. This will serve as a benchmark for setting aside time to do future assignments. Once you have your timing down, make a list of all the assignments you need to complete for the month. Allocate your time accordingly. For example, if you have to finish a fifty page article by Wednesday, divide the two or three days prior to the due date accordingly. Time allocation will keep you organized and productive. If you don't keep things for the last minute, you won't be spending all of Tuesday night reading the assignment. Lack of sleep decreases your productivity and takes a terrible toll on your body. Keep a planner or online calendar handy to sort your assignments on a daily basis.

Personal Incentive Program

When your friend asks you to meet her for lunch, make sure not to plan events conflicting with your study schedule! Instead, incorporate break times into your study schedule from beforehand. If you know you can't work from 9-5 without at least an hour of free time, include lunch in your potential plans. Break times are important for both your mind and body! You will be less likely to retreat from your original plans if you give yourself diligent time to rest. Also, reward yourself when you complete a large assignment. Tell your friends to meet you for drinks or dinner after an exam—not the night before your test!

Balancing Work and School

One of the many benefits of an online education is its flexibility. If you are amidst a part time job, make sure your employer knows it! Many times, large companies accommodate students and their school schedules.

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