The most important advantage of online learning is the flexibility of time you can spare for learning. Most people who go in for this option do so because jobs or other commitments prevent them from attending regular classroom-based courses of an obligatory schedule.
There is, however, a danger in having flexible study hours: it is easy to lose track of time or become disorganized. The ability to learn and the quality of your performance, in such situations, just cannot be your best, and your poor grades will prove this.
The key to best performance is to be able to manage your time efficiently. Here are a few proven time management techniques that will help you to stay in control of your time for study and derive the maximum benefits from your online learning.
Make a plan
Everything begins with planning: you can use a good planner or special calendar, adding all the dates for each class you have scheduled and the dates of submission of projects. You need to add as well a timetable for execution of work in stages of each project and stay on schedule.
Making such a plan is easy – implementing it is another matter. Being on your own, it's easy to let things slip with the excuse that you can easily make up for lost time later on. Maybe you can, but the results will never be as good as those of properly scheduled work will. A good instructor will know that your work is a rush job done at the last minute, and grade you accordingly.
You may think you are too much burdened with too many cares, but are you in fact? Track all your activities and time spent on each for one week. It will help you understand how your time is being used; you will realize where you need to make changes to prioritize your studies and other important things and in what order.
For example, if you meet friends for two hours three times a week, cutting it down to twice a week could give you a valuable two extra hours to go for the higher grades. Mobile apps are available that make prioritizing and tracking easy for you.
Establish your work space
You are in pursuit of knowledge, a degree and a better career that will depend on worthwhile results. You need to be, therefore, organized and disciplined to be in the right frame of mind. To do this you should have a designated workspace where you can spend your time studying with concentration.
Making this a habit will help substitute the psychological structured system of the physical classroom. It will enable you to focus on your work instead of being disturbed by domestic distractions.
Establish a routine
If you are able to do your study at the same time each day, that will be great. It helps you to be mentally and physically prepared for study. However, if you cannot do this, there is a way out. Establish a routine of a specific number of study hours each day. If necessary, you can break up the time into as many segments as would suit the other demands on you.
Ensure that you utilize fully the different blocks of time and put in the same number of hours of quality study each day. Sub-routines like a cup of coffee after an hour of work (no earlier or later) and a snack an hour later will help you to stay settled in your routine.