Taking Online Classes While Working: Time Management Tips
Online classes have helped thousands of working adults attain their dreams of earning a degree or certificate. However, others have struggled with time management in their online classes and have had to quit before achieving their higher education goals. So how can you end up in the first category? Here we will explore some key time management tips that can make the difference between thriving or struggling in an online class—or even passing or failing.
- Get a planner and actually use it. Since a syllabus accompanies every course you take, online students usually know far in advance when major projects, papers and assignments are due, as well as when tests and quizzes are scheduled. Pen these into your planner right away and block out time in the days before them to get them done and to study. The same is true of work assignments. If you know you have a project for work due, pen it in, so you will know to rearrange study time around it.
- Set priorities. When you get started on your courses after work, always do the most difficult assignment first. It’s human nature to want to procrastinate difficult tasks for later, but you’ll be able to rest easier with the tougher work out of the way. You’ll find that you’re not staying up as late to get assignments done and not sleepily dragging in to work the next day.
- Say no to TV, social networking and non-school-related Web surfing. Nothing is more time wasting as an online student than trying to get schoolwork done while watching your favorite sitcom, eyeing your current eBay auctions and sifting through the latest Facebook posts. Turn off the TV, sign out of your social networks and get to work. You’ll find you get your class work done in half the time.
- Let your boss know that you are taking classes. Some students are able to work out more school-friendly schedules with their workplace or even negotiate moving down to part-time status while they’re in school. It never hurts to explore your options, and you’d be surprised how many supervisors are glad to hear an employee is advancing their education.
- Log in on your lunch break. If you get a lunch break at work, take advantage of it to log in to your classes and maybe even study a little. Try packing your lunch rather than going out for lunch to make the best use of your daytime free time.
For more help in this area, check out this great article by Mayo Clinic on managing your time effectively.