How to Develop Your Time Management Skills

Time management is easily one of the most important skills a student can have. How you spend your time and whether or not you’re using your time effectively can play a serious role in your academic success. Time management is especially important if you’re taking online courses. It’s easy to fall behind in an online course. With a classroom course, you are expected to be in class at a certain time and on specified days, but with online learning, you have to be the one that’s disciplined enough to set aside time to study and go through coursework. You’re the one in control of your own learning and pace. The great news about time management is that it’s a skill that can be learned, and there are practices you can put into place now to get you on the road to effective time management.

Find a calendar system that works
There are a million and one ways to make a calendar, and you’ll find a lot of people trying to tell you how you should be keeping track of your calendar. The key is to find the one that works for you. It may be by keeping the calendar in your phone or as complicated as a bullet journal. Either way, you need to find the one you will actually keep up with, and then block out the time to take your online courses on that calendar. Treat your study and learning time as you would any other regular meeting or event.

Read your syllabus
Make sure you know every assignment and test that’s expected of you by reading your syllabus thoroughly at the beginning of the course and continue to reference back to the syllabus as your course progresses. Also, make sure to add all of your syllabus due dates to your calendar.

Make a plan
Take the time at the beginning of your course to make a plan for how and when you will study. This includes making a decision on your pace for course completion. Make sure this pace is reasonable. If the pace is too fast, you’ll get stressed out and frustrated. If it is too slow, you’ll fall behind.

Ask for help
If for some reason you find yourself struggling in your course, there’s no shame in asking for help. Don’t let yourself fall behind because you don’t understand something. Reach out for answers.

Eliminate distractions
Make sure you’re learning in a quiet environment without distractions such as social media. It’s easy to let online distractions eat up the time you’ve set aside for study.

Stop trying to multitask
The laundry can wait. Stop trying to multitask while studying. If you’ve set aside an hour for school work, the last thing you want is for 20 minutes of that time to go to some other task. Multitasking never works and you end up shorting yourself precious time.

Learn on the go
The great thing about online learning is that you can take it with you. What could you learn in the 15 minutes you stand in line at the grocery store? Figure out how to use small windows of time throughout your day to fit in just a little more coursework. It’s much more fruitful than scrolling through your Instagram feed for the 100th time.

With a little planning and a lot of determination, you can become a time management master. You can learn more tips for success in an online course here.

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