Pursuing a university degree as a working adult is a big commitment. It requires communication, planning, and organization. This means you have to be proactive, take time to prepare to limit potential problems, and optimize your working time!
In this post we will look at keys you will need to optimize your time learning while being effective on your job.
- SET YOUR SCHEDULE
Keeping a calendar is an essential part of staying organized. This cannot be overemphasized. As soon as you get your course syllabus, record all important due dates on your calendar set reminders leading up to these dates, and remember you can work ahead of your deadlines. This way if something unexpected happens and disrupts your plans, you won’t need to scramble to complete an assignment at the last minute.
Whether you buy a simple paper planner or download an app for your calendar, scheduling effectively will help limit conflicts that can come up with your work and learning schedules. Google Calendar and To-Do list are simple effective tools to use.
Another way to schedule effectively is using colour codes to identify different commitments. For example, list all school-related entries in one color and work or family-related entries in another; include in your learning schedule assignments, class time, study time, and break times.
Remember to include break times as you build your schedule. Overloading your day without downtime can lead to exhaustion and discouragement, but doing something you enjoy can refresh and reenergize you. Use this downtime for exercise, reading, and visiting friends.
- GET A SUPPORT SYSTEM
As much as you are eager to start learning online, having a support system of people who inspire you can help make the learning process less stressful. You can engage close friends and family members that can serve as accountability partners, tell them why earning the university degree is important to you, make sure they understand what this commitment means, and then ask them to check on your progress from time to time. Before starting a new course, communicate your expectations with them, share your study schedule and you might also want to sync your calendar with theirs so they can help you keep track of your progress with coursework and even the progress of your entire degree program.
- DEFINE YOUR STUDY SPACE
Mapping out an area in your home for studying is a vital aspect of getting organized for efficient online learning. To get started on this, you must first think about a few things such as where and when your living arrangement works best for you to be most productive. For instance, if you work well in an environment with minimal distractions then pick an area that doesn’t have what you might consider being distractions. You can test different areas to determine your best fit.
The following questions will help you define your study space;
Do I have access to high-speed Internet in this area?
Is there adequate lighting in this area?
Is there an adequate seating arrangement in this area?
Can I access all my study materials from this area?
Is the area free from distractions?
Consider each of these questions to help reduce disruptions and promote productivity during your study.
- ENGAGE WITH YOUR FACULTY AND COHORT
Building relationships with your fellow coursemates and faculty can help with staying organized. If you establish relationships with your professors for instance you’ll feel comfortable reaching out to them for assistance in case you need special consideration for a course requirement. They can also serve as advisers when a challenge presents itself.
The same goes for your fellow coursemates or your cohort (students in the same program and year), they are there not only to join you in presenting papers but can also serve as accountability partners. Your course mates/cohort in the future may recommend you for opportunities they come across that would interest you.
Online classes require just as much time and energy as on-campus classes, and it is important to stay organized and on top of your job and class engagements.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
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