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Time Management Tips for Online Students

A young female student is studying on her laptop

With the recent changes going in our world concerning COVID-19, many colleges and schools are moving classes traditionally taught on campus to online platforms so that students can continue working towards their career goals. This can be a big change in the way students absorb information, study and take exams and the key to success is time management. Here are some tips for developing time management skills to be successful as an online student.


Make a Plan

The biggest part of being an online student is having a plan and making a schedule. If you treat school like a job you are more likely to “show up” and get your work done.

This is where you get out your favorite planner or app on your phone and plan!

  • Map out due dates for assigned readings, assignments and exams.
  • Once you have your goals recorded, schedule in study blocks and reading time to prepare for each assignment.
  • Share your schedule with your family and friends so they know what your obligations are and can respect the time you are dedicating to school.
  • Be sure to include virtual study groups, or instructor’s virtual office hours to help you stay connected.


Create a Dedicated Workspace for Online Learning

Having a clean and organized workspace where you can sit down and focus on your schoolwork is essential.

Sometimes that can be a spare bedroom, home office, or even a space at the kitchen table. When finding the right space here are a few things to consider:

  • Bright lighting to help feel you alert and focused
  • Away from distractions like the television
  • Clean and organized


Have an Accountability Partner

We know that there can be a lot of challenges when starting school, so it’s great to find an accountability partner or study buddy to help keep you on track.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your classmates to start a study group or someone you can check in with. Apps like Group Me, What’s App and Zoom are great ways to connect with your peers.


Eliminate Distractions for Better Time Management

Help set yourself up for success by eliminating distractions while you work.

Turn off the TV and social media apps. If you are somewhere noisy, wear noise-cancelling headphones. Also avoid multi-tasking. Multi-tasking can actually decrease your productivity. Remember, you planned and scheduled this time specifically for schoolwork and studying – stick to the plan! If you need help staying focused, check out productivity lists like, To DoTodoist and Evernote. It takes some discipline and practice, but you will start to see the more focused you are, the more you will accomplish during these study blocks.


Stay Engaged with Your Classmates and Instructors

Don’t forget, just because you are an online student, you are not alone! If you have a question or don’t understand something, chances are, so do some of your classmates.

Attending online lectures and study groups is imperative to being successful at taking online classes (or any kind of class!). Make sure to login to your student portal and email to check for updates from classmates and instructors. If your campus offers both ground and online classes, check out their campus events page to see what’s happening on campus. At Beckfield, our Online students are always welcome to campus events. Lastly, stay engaged not only with your peers, but also your instructors. They are here for you and want to see you succeed!