Tips for creating a good schedule

 

Following a schedule while being enrolled in an online degree program can be difficult. It’s easy to get distracted in your day to day life with your outside responsibilities and commitments. Oftentimes, it can become just as overwhelming as commuting to school if you aren't disciplined. That’s why having an easy schedule to follow allows you to efficiently progress through your courses.

Here are 8 tips to help you create your own personal schedule:

1.List your priorities 

School is an investment of both time and money, although everyone has responsibilities outside of school that are just as important. This is why it’s wise to start by listing all of your responsibilities so that you can see which one of your daily tasks must be completed first. Throughout the year your responsibilities may change so it’s okay to keep updating this list as the semester progresses.

2. Schedule rest 

Refusing to get adequate sleep leads to stress, reduced performance, irritability and various health issues. Schedule a time to go to bed and wake up. If your responsibilities vary differently on a daily basis, then be sure to update the times based on your daily tasks. Forgetting sleep can be the worst thing that you can do. Understand your limitations and plan accordingly.

3. Avoid rigidity 

Many people go overboard when making a schedule for online education. They make the schedule as rigid as possible so that every minute is controlled. A select few might thrive on this schedule, but with families and work, most people need flexibility. The human mind isn’t meant to be controlled like this. You need a fluid schedule that still gives you time for fun or emergencies. Not only that, most people will fail with a schedule that is too structured. This can lead to stress since you’re not getting everything done. Give yourself some slack for the best results.

4. Consistent small tasks 

Many students allow their tasks to build up before addressing them. Most online programs allow you to work at your own pace, but this is problematic if they wait until the end of the week or near the end of the month to accomplish everything. It’s best to schedule small, consistent tasks throughout the week. For example, instead of writing that report on Friday, write a page here and there so that the report practically finishes itself. You can also schedule an hour for reviewing notes or reading a chapter of your textbook throughout the week so that all your tasks get done

5. Schedule a space and time

Studying at home may sometimes lead to distractions. Especially if you have a family or noisy roommates. Finding a place that you know will allow you to focus can help you to finish your tasks more efficiently. Consider the best place for each task. You can also move around to keep things from getting boring. For example, you can study in your kithen one day, the library the next and then a local coffeehouse.

6. Bring your materials wherever you go 

If your days consist of constant moving around it may be the best idea for you to bring your study materials with you as you travel. The few minutes that you steal in between your outside responsibilities can add up when studying for a big test or working on a large project. For example, take your biology book with you so that you can read on the subway, or a study cheat sheet so that you can review your notes while waiting for an appointment.

7. Find your time 

Some online programs have you log in at a certain time, but many of them allow you to build your own schedule. When are you most productive? Are you an early bird who loves listening to lectures in the morning, or are you a night owl who retains information best when it’s dark? Whether it is 6:30 a.m. or 6:30 p.m., find your time and schedule tasks based on that. You’re free to set your schedule, so make it as effective as possible according to your natural productivity.

8. Use a planner

Planners are perfect for scheduling tasks, especially if something new comes up. This allows you to say that you can definitely commit to something on Tuesday or Friday. Be sure to buy a physical planner.  Digital ones are great, and they should be coordinated to your schedule, but a physical one makes it easier to remember and commit to your schedule. Some experts suggest writing in pencil instead of pen so that you can easily change or remove tasks.

By following these tips you can perfect your own schedule and reduce stress and worry in your life while earning your degree. 

Read the original article. 

Back in 2020, UGA Online asked current and former online students for tips on how to be successful in online courses. We thought we would share that article again for your reference.