Time Management During Online Learning Weeks
Written by Golden Madume – Library Coordinator for Student Success @ Lee University
In the next couple days, classes will begin the transition to online and alternative learning options to accommodate for the cautionary period/social distancing on campus.
If you’re like so many students who have not yet taken an online class, you might be wondering how this might affect you or your performance. Have no fear, this is a great time to experiment with different techniques to keep you going and ensure your success. Students who have taken online classes report that the biggest challenge is time management. So, let’s waste no time and get you ready to navigate the next couple weeks with ease:
1. Follow A Schedule:
Pay close attention to the schedule posted or required by your professors for each individual class. If there is no set schedule, then create one for yourself. Plan to be awake at a reasonable time, work for a set of hours, take breaks, continue work and end at a certain time. You can easily cheat by following the schedule of your regular class so that there is a sense of flow and transition.
The goal here is to designate a time for work, play, rest and so on. If you do not decide what time you want to allocate, then you might get overwhelmed or stressed.
As you could during the regular semester, use the Eisenhower decision matrix to prioritize your assignments and tasks.
2. Designate a workspace:
It is a lot easier to focus and enjoy your work if you are in a space that fits the nature of what you need to do, or you eliminate distractions. Your bed area might be ok for your morning devotion but not best for Math homework.
Utilize a desk or your dining table as your workstation. That way, you are in the proper setting, you can focus, and you can leave the work behind when you need to take a break to watch tv or go outside for a walk.
3. Do NOT multi-task:
The goal with getting the best experience is to maximize your energy and focus. Yes, it has become a common myth that multi-tasking is a skill, but the research says otherwise. “Students in the high text messaging group performed worse by one letter grade on an information post-test than the low text messaging group (10.6% lower score).” (May, K. E & Elder, A. D., 2018)
Multi-tasking places you at a higher risk of not absorbing the information presented to you. It drains your energy and minimizes your attention. Watching ‘Love is Blind’ on Netflix while studying for class will not work as effectively for 2 hours of pausing and rewinding as opposed to if you focused your studying for 45 minutes, took a break and enjoyed your show later at the right time.
When in class/zooming in to class follow along with notes and ask questions through the provided medium. When not in class, use the Pomodoro technique to guide your focus and energy. The Pomodoro technique essentially guides you toward dividing your sections of time into chunks of focused work and short breaks in-between until you achieve your goal. It could be 15, 20, 25- or 30-minute blocks. Pick the amount of time that is reasonable for you to accomplish enough without exhaustion. You could use the chart below to plan the time, use any timer or the focus keeper app on your phone:
In conclusion, please be reminded that your success is a priority. Take this as an opportunity to learn new or apply old techniques to keep you productive while you accomplish your goals and take care of yourself.
Kaitlyn E. May, & Anastasia D. Elder. (2018). Efficient, helpful, or distracting? A literature review of media multitasking in relation to academic performance. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 1, 1. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41239-018-0096-z