Young woman studying online taking notes

7 Proven Time Management Tips for Online Students

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Good students excel because they have solid study technique. A foundation for performing as a student, especially when you study online, is time management. Get this right and academic success will follow.

Tips for Managing Study Time

Follow this advice and you will become an efficient student with excellent time management skills. We adapted and condensed the renowned 21 Study Tips for Online Classes Success into 7 actionable steps to manage time well. Comment below if you think we missed something!

1. Follow the 50:10 rule for study breaks

Focused study interspersed with regular short breaks is a proven winner for maximizing efficiency. It allows you to put in the required time in a sustainable way that avoids burnout and loss of concentration.

The 50:10 study break pattern means that you spend around 50 minutes on a task before taking 10 minutes off for a break. As an online student, the study break should ideally involve physical movement (at least standing up) and avoiding digital devices.

The 50:10 rule of thumb is a variation of the Pomodoro Technique, which uses a 25:5 timeframe. University lectures in Australia often follow the 50:10 pattern, with 50-minute lectures and 10-minute intervals between classes. Fifty minutes seems to be about the limit for most people to maintain good concentration.

2. Manage your weekly schedule

Take charge of your weekly schedule by tracking how you spend your time. Set times for the different activities you will be doing each week, including non-study commitments such as sports or socialising. Note them all in a planner, either digital or on paper.

Occasionally, review how well your timetable worked. Make adjustments to improve efficiency.

Related: Study Planner and Timetable Template

3. Make a study plan

Map out your academic term for each course. Your outline doesn’t have to be complicated. But it’s important to mentally note and jot down what is required of your each school term.

Break down your syllabus into weekly segments, noting deadlines for assignments, exams, and projects. This visual plan acts as a roadmap, keeping you aligned with your course’s pace and requirements. Determine weekly goals based on your course outline.

Adjust your plan as needed. Life’s unpredictability means your initial schedule might require tweaks. Make adjustments to stay on track with your academic goals.

4. Have dedicated study blocks

Commit to consistent study times. Establish blocks of time each day dedicated exclusively to studying. This consistency helps build a routine.

Choose the best times for your cognitive function. Some people are more alert in the morning, while others find their stride in the evening. Align your study blocks with these peak times to maximize productivity.

Stick to your schedule as much as possible. Dedicated study times help avoid procrastination. Adjust only when absolutely necessary.

5. Eliminate distractions

Identify common distractions and eliminate them during study times. This could mean turning off your phone, using website blockers, or setting up a dedicated quiet area for studying. No interruptions boosts your concentration and productivity.

Doing more than one task at a time, especially more than one complex task, takes a toll on productivity.

American Psychological Association

Establish a clean and organized study environment. Clutter can be a major distraction, so keeping your study space neat can help keep your mind focused on the tasks at hand.

Communicate your schedule to those around you. Tell family or housemates about your dedicated study times to prevent disturbances. They need to know that study is a top priority for you.

Related: Learn How to be More Selfish: 7 Ways

6. Treat study like a job

Bring professionalism to student life to succeed. Your job as a student is to complete academic tasks and pass with flying colors.

Adopt the mindset that every lecture, assignment, and exam is part of your career development. Approach your studies as if they were your full-time job, requiring punctuality, dedication, and responsibility.

In exceptional situations where producing academic work within a tight deadline becomes unmanageable, you might use a homework production agency. Ghostwriter services are available in various languages, including English and French. Well-done assignments are worth it because the cost of failing can be massive (think about it!).

7. Set a major goal

Define a clear, overarching goal for your studies. It coule be graduating with honors, mastering a subject, or preparing for a professional certification. A major goal gives your academic efforts direction and purpose. Big-picture targets are vital for motivation and putting in the required time.

Break your goal into smaller, actionable objectives. This approach makes the ambition more manageable and provides a clear path to success. Achieving these smaller objectives also helps maintain motivation and commitment.

Summing Up

Online student smiling

Studying online is hard and requires your mind to be engaged. However, the path to achieving high grades is well established.

The tips we’ve listed provide a framework that will ensure you study effectively. Mindfulness is key. While studying, occasionally take a moment to review what you’re doing. Have you started doing mindless reading or taking notes without thinking, or, even worse, somehow gotten onto social media? It should be obvious if you’re off track.

Good time management and your level of study motivation are closely linked. That’s why we recommend that you set goals and take regular breaks. Keep it simple, enjoy the learning process, and you should be able to achieve your educational ambitions.

Related: How to Study Smarter, Not Harder: 21 Tips

Follow Writing Team:
This article was written by the team at Lerna Courses. Sometimes we find it most efficient to produce and update articles collectively rather than relying on a single author. Rest assured that this content has been at least double-checked by our capable researchers.

  1. Kristen Bauer
    | Reply

    I treat studying like it’s my full-time job. One technique I find incredibly useful is a Semester Management Grid, where I list all my deadlines in one place. It really helps to minimize distractions.

    Recently, I started using a separate browser profile for school on the Edge browser and disabled the ‘discovery’ feature on the main tab to avoid getting sidetracked.

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