Time Management Tips for Distance Education Everyone Needs to Know
Did you know that you can learn at the rate of a full-time student by taking 1 hour per day for independent study, 7 hours per week and 365 hours a year? In fact, it is said that the average person can become an expert in the topic of their choice, by spending only one hour per day in about 3-5 years timeframe. Doesn’t this sound like a workable solution if you are a distance education student?
Distance education courses are one of the most sought-after learning programs that are opted by a majority of students at some point of their life. While there are many reasons, the commonest ones are pursuing an additional course without quitting the current job or comfort of the home. You can do it online without commuting locally or changing cities. Distance education programs are also a boon for people who have not been able to complete their formal campus education due to some reason.
However, distance learners often face this challenge of dividing their day further to take out time to study. Even without the exact calculations, it is easy to see that it may be difficult to manage due to multiple time demands on either personal or professional front. The good news is that you can still pursue online degrees with good time management. Here are some useful tips for time management in distance education.
The best method to stay on time is to mark your assignments date-wise on the calendar. You can populate your calendar with each and every detail regarding online lecture dates, group discussion dates, and most importantly submission deadlines. You can even mark important family and other social obligations that you tend to skip in the run. All accredited distance learning programs mark their syllabus dates. It is important to divide chapters into days, weeks or months right at the start so that you don’t lose pace. Take care of choosing a handy calendar, either on your mobile or laptop as apps and software or the conventional table paper calendars.
- Inculcate Self-Discipline
Online learning demands a high level of self-discipline. You are your guide here. So, set up a suitable routine and stick to it. If you are pursuing a graduate level or certificate course or distance learning masters program, you need to keep the course syllabus on your desk. It acts as the roadmap for your studious journey. Referring to the syllabus every now and then would determine whether or not you are heading in the correct direction.
- Make a Study Corner for Yourself
Though it is distance learning, it calls for regular study time on a daily basis. So, it is advisable to create your study space at home. Computer or laptop, well-lit area, an internet connection that runs smooth and fast and a comfortable ergonomic chair and desk, all are important contributing factors to effective learning. Try to eliminate social distractions as much as you can during study hours, especially those bombarding beeps, notifications and rings on your mobile. The best thing you can do to streamline your thought processes towards studying is to switch off your mobile for some time.
- Set Rewards and Incentives for Yourself
It is not easy to stay motivated to learn on your own every day, that too after a long day at work and with family obligations. In order to keep up the commitment and focus, you can follow the incentive program wherein you can keep tiny treats ready like your favourite fruit or a yummy smoothie or a refreshing song that could be kept waiting till the end of the study hour. After successfully submitting a project or paper presentation, you could even celebrate with an outing or dinner. You could also post your dream job on your desktop or the front wall that you have been working hard to get. Such motivating thoughts help in remembering your ultimate goal of pursuing the course.
Multi-tasking may be a great skill, but the secret to successful completion of distance education learning is not to multi-task. Stop the distractions, do one work at a time or even if you have to stop, attend to the other task and then come back and start from where you left. List your work priority-wise and in order of importance/urgency. By doing so, you would know which matter requires your attention first. Any work that can be postponed or is unnecessary can be avoided.
- Take Support from Online Classmates and University Resources
Sometimes, distance education can get lonely. You crave for peer-to-peer interactions to either vent out your frustrations or solve doubts. Join online study groups to take help when you are stuck. Similarly, there are many helpful resources on the course website that could help you to move further.
Moving on the right track with the help of these tips helps in managing your time well.