Time Management for Online School
Time management can be especially challenging for online learners. Without the structure of a physical classroom, it is up to the learner to stay on track and manage their time effectively in order to succeed. For learners who want more flexibility in their class schedules, online learning offers numerous advantages, but it also necessitates a more hands-on approach in order to get the most out of your education.
It may take some time to adjust to this new learning environment if you are used to a typical school timetable. Here are some techniques to develop time management skills if you're having difficulty concentrating on your schoolwork, so you can have your best term ever!
The Benefits of Online School and the Rise of Online Learning
As technology continues to evolve, we’re beginning to see more and more education take place online. This brings with it a host of benefits for both learners and teachers alike. For example, the convenience of being able to access academic content from anywhere means that no matter where you are in the world, you can still receive an education.
Furthermore, online schools tend to have flexible schedules which accommodate different lifestyles and help eliminate some of the stress associated with traditional classes. As such, they are often less intimidating and enable learners to work independently without feeling overwhelmed by time constraints or rigid structure.
The advantages of online education don’t end there. Online schools can save guardians money as they are often cheaper than traditional schools, and the wide array of curriculum options means that learners can find material aligned to their interests and goals. Moreover, online programs offer access to a global network of resources, which can provide invaluable professional connections.
All in all, it’s clear why online learning is growing in popularity. Its convenience and flexibility make it an ideal option for many learners who want to get an education without sacrificing their other commitments. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder why more people are turning to online schools for their educational needs.
The Importance of Time Management
When it comes to online learning, time management is crucial in order to stay on top of your learning schedule without jeopardising your ability to maintain a healthy school-life balance. The following are seven advantages of effective time management:
- Better learning performance
- Improved learning outcomes
- Reduced stress
- Increased confidence
- Greater efficiency
- Enhanced productivity
- Increased positivity
- More energy
Why Time Management is so Important for Online School VS In-Person Classes
Because there’s no traditional classroom structure with strictly enforced rules, it might be tempting to not take your online education as seriously. However, studying and working through the academic content on your own will be necessary when learning online. This calls for self-discipline and a thorough awareness of how to manage your time effectively throughout the day.
In reality, time is a finite resource just like any other. You can only complete tasks effectively if you understand how to manage your time. Poor time management could mean that you fall short of your goals, don’t study frequently enough, and fall too far behind in your academic progress. Even if you are a diligent learner, effective time management can still help you minimise your stress levels while juggling your obligations.
Implementing Time Management Strategies into your Schedule
There are a few things that play a role in finding the time management style that will work best for you. You will be able to more efficiently manage your time if you implement some or all of the tactics listed below.
1. Identify your time-wasters or blocks to productive work
Finding out what's causing a problem is the first thing that needs to be done to remedy it. In the context of effective time management, the first thing to be done is to identify the sources of time loss. Usually, the most significant wastes of time are made up of a number of somewhat inconsequential tasks that are carried out at various points throughout the day but collectively consume a significant amount of time.
Make an effort to log how you’re spending your time over the next week in order to determine which activities are time wasters. This includes things like how long you spend in bed, how often you check social media, how long you break for meals, how much time you spend texting, and other similar activities. After you have done this for five school days in a row, make a list of all your activities, add up the amount of time you spend on each, and then divide that total by five. This will provide you with an average of the amount of time that you spend on that activity on an average school day.
2. Plan out your week - create a schedule
Getting things done can be difficult when you have a busy schedule and everyday distractions. The best online learners are adept at blocking out time to concentrate.
Just because you have more freedom as an online learner, this doesn’t mean you can miss out on studies throughout the week, even if you don’t have classes. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to spread out your assigned readings, online conversations, and other tasks.
Make sure your calendar includes:
- When assignments are due, including preliminary and final versions
- When additional learning sessions take place
- Office hours with learning facilitators and support coaches
3. Do one thing at a time - avoid multitasking
The productivity cost of handling multiple tasks at once is high. When someone tries to complete two activities at once, switches between tasks, or completes two or more jobs quickly, they may be multitasking. Psychologists carried out task-switching research to determine the costs associated with this type of mental "juggling." The researchers calculated the time cost of switching tasks by comparing how long it took people to complete each task. Additionally, they evaluated how task characteristics, such as complexity or familiarity, affected any additional time costs. Therefore, while multitasking may appear to be time-efficient at first, it may ultimately end up taking longer and resulting in more mistakes. According to Meyer, even brief mental stumbling caused by switching between tasks can cost an individual up to 40% of their productive time.
4. Block out distractions when you have focus time
Maintaining focus while studying can be difficult, but it’s vital to set aside dedicated focus time each day to work on your most important tasks or assignments.The best way to maintain concentration during the allotted time for in-depth, focused work is to avoid interruptions.
Even if it's easier said than done, avoiding distractions can boost your motivation, engagement, and confidence, as well as your satisfaction when you produce your best work. Make sure you have an allocated spot to study that is calm and free of interruptions. Smartphones are the primary sources of distraction in a contemporary learning environment, so before the start of your focus time, place your phone in another room. According to research, simply turning off your phone is insufficient because the sheer presence of a device in the room reduces your cognitive ability as the temptation to switch your attention is there.
5. Create a dedicated workspace
Being outside of a typical classroom has advantages and disadvantages. While it can provide flexibility, the absence of a dedicated learning area can tempt you to finish your work on the couch in front of the TV.
To ensure you stay focused and productive, find a peaceful area that you can dedicate to schoolwork and make sure you have the essential tools, like your laptop, headphones, a strong internet connection and UPS in case load shedding strikes.
Keeping a productive mindset is much easier if you designate an area where you can separate your academic life from your home life.
Ready to start online school? You can register now with UCT Online High school