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Time Management Tips

Many college students have other obligations beyond school, such as work, athletics, and family responsibilities. It can be stressful and challenging to find time for coursework. Learning online has many benefits, such as flexible schedules; however, some students fall behind or give up before finishing the class. Here are some tips for managing your time as a Miami Online student.

Five Steps to Managing Your Time

When taking online or hybrid courses, you're even more responsible for "showing up," getting work done, participating in activities and discussions, and being accountable for your learning. Approach your online class as you would an on-ground class. If you have difficulty managing your time, read and apply these tips to help you stay on task relatively stress-free.

  1. Develop a schedule and stick to it

    Take a moment to think about how you spend your time. The thing to remember about your online classes is that you will need to train yourself to work every day on your courses. Develop a regular time each day to study and work on assignments. Online classes are not self-paced; you have due dates for assignments, and trying to do everything at the last minute will only create more stress in your life and not help you learn. Plus, others in your online learning community depend on you and your contributions to the course each week. Waiting until the last minute may prevent other students in your class from meeting course expectations.

  2. Keep a calendar

    It is important to stay on task and be productive. In your calendar, enter all your due dates. Estimate how much time you will need to complete your assignments and put some start dates in the calendar as well. From this, create a "to-do" list of your online coursework. Keep in mind that you can add your own events and reminders to your Canvas Calendar to help you stay organized.

  3. Determine work order

    When you have a lot to do, it can often seem overwhelming to decide what you should be working on. Consider prioritizing tasks in the following way to help:

    High priority: Projects and assignments due within the next day or two. Topics and work that are most difficult for you. Do the work in this category first while you are the most mentally focused.

    Medium priority: This includes work that is due later and larger research projects. Divide large projects into smaller chunks and schedule that work evenly over time so that it's completed by the due date.

    Low priority: This includes work that is not in the above categories and work that you find easy to complete. Save these items for last so you can still concentrate on them when you are less focused.

  4. Use short focused bursts of work followed by a break

    Rather than multi-tasking, spend a focused amount of time on one task (25-40 minutes) followed by a break. The idea is that frequent breaks help to improve mental agility and allow your work-time to be more focused.

  5. Automate what you can

    Between school, work, and other sports and hobbies, it may be tough to find time to get anything else done. But there are other things that still need to get done. Use Google Calendar to schedule and remind you of your activities. You can import your Canvas Calendar to your Google Calendar to keep all of your academic and personal obligations in one spot.

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