The first thing people think of after starting an online study program is freedom! You’ll be able to manage time in the way you want and you will go with your friends whenever you want and spend the days, even before noon, hanging with friends.
But, the reality has hit you in the face. After the first examinations, you realize that things are not that easy, especially with time planning and the fact that you have to change something in your daily habits if you want to finish college on time. The first thing you should do is to manage your time.
Many students actually don’t know how to behave in an online study setting. They think that everything is easy when you work from home, including making time for studying and meeting with professors. But working from home can be successful only with the precise planning of time and every needed step in order to improve performance and achieve success. Here are some useful tips on how to arrange your time for excellent results.
- Adopt a place that will allow you to learn best. Usually, people don’t change anything in their rooms, expecting that learning from home will provide easy studying, but that’s the first mistake. You should find a place where you can learn without any distractions. That can be a place where you used to successfully learn before, like a public library, and your old room in your mom’s home.
- Predict all possible interruptions. Tell your friends that exams are soon, and restrict all visitations and dropping by. You know your friends and family, and their habits to come to your place to make a small party or just stopping by with the box of beer. Be sure to consider all possible visitations, from visits by your mom to interruptions from a jealous girlfriend.
- Put all important things on paper and know your priorities. Sometimes the small things can steal more time than the big lessons. Include all paper work, proofreading, video watching and reading of extra literature in order to learn information not provided in the basic literature. Try to count how much time you’ll spend on each of these tasks and try to predict all possible changes and misunderstandings of the professor's instructions.
- Create a schedule, on paper. Why on paper? Because you will be able to make a scheme of the important overlapping tasks, and you’ll be able to easily combine the lessons and communications with the studying and writing papers. It’s hard to do all of these things on an Excel sheet, for example, so use a pencil and paper for this.
- Speaking of schedules, plan your small steps, as well as your entire year, in advance. You know when the important tests will be, so you can count how many weeks you have for preparing for every test, and you can include the small meetings and consultations with professors, which must be planned along with the main exams. Small steps are there for an additional reason. When you see a mountain of obligations and dates, you can become overwhelmed and simply stop with all of your planning and learning. Separating your timeline into small steps helps with making a plan, and therefore with accepting even your biggest task.
- Include all priorities into your plan, in case you lose time on something outside of college. This usually means that you can plan everything well, and then, for example, someone in your family gets sick and you spend weeks helping him. You should know what you’ll need to do in such an instance regarding exams, and what can be delayed or skipped due to unplanned circumstances. Sometimes it is good to forget about receiving a good evaluation and focus only on finishing an assignment on time.
- Include time for walking and practicing between long study lessons. Yes, you are human and you need fresh air and time away from study. So, don’t just sit on your chair and forget to move. After a couple of hours, go for a walk or spend some time with friends and family. That will clear your mind and prepare you to learn new material. This is not wasting time, especially if it's been included in your initial plan.
- Always check the success of your study routine. If you're not satisfied with the results of your last test, change something. Include your feelings and emotions, too. If you feel isolated in your room, change the place you do your reading and studying for the next exam. If you can learn only in the public library, go there. Sometimes things are not as we first perceived them and not all study habits are good for all people. Find your own way.
Kate Funk is an experienced educator and part-time blogger who wants to share the experience she has gained at Aussiessay, a company that offers assignment help for students. Kate is always ready for new challenges, especially those related to discovering and implementing new educational techniques.