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How to become a successful online student?

04. june 2023

How many times a day do you check your phone? 10 times? 50 times? A 100 times? With the countless distractions and notifications that are constantly popping up, developing self-control is crucial to staying focused on your work and studies.

Enrolling in the school, you will become an online student, which means that most of your studies will be conducted from home. Efficient and responsible time management will become crucial. There are several approaches you can take to make the most of your day.

Below you will find seven time management strategies for online learning that will help you to boost your productivity.

Set clear goals
Motivation is the key to successful studies. The more you are aware of the reasons and goals of your studies, the better you will be able to make use of the knowledge you gain. Try to find a quote or a picture that will remind you of your goal over and over again and put in a prominent place in your study area.

Create a structured schedule
While online learning gives you a high degree of flexibility, this can lead to many challenges. Create a monthly schedule that adapts to the duration of each course. Dedicate days for readings, team meetings, preparing assignments, attending live webinars, and preparing for the online test. It’s important for your schedule to include deadlines for assignments.
Plan for at least 15 to 20 hours of work per week – some courses require less, some more. Try to spread out your activities so that you don’t get overwhelmed, and make sure you leave enough time for breaks in between.

Periods of focus 
It’s advisable to set periods of focus in order to maintain high productivity. Research has shown that task-switching can cause a loss of productivity of up to 40%. To prevent this, turn your phone on Do Not Disturb mode and block distracting websites on your browser to avoid temptations while working. The key is to set realistic periods during which you can fully focus on your work. For example, you could set yourself the goal of rewarding yourself with one episode of your favourite Netflix show after every three hours of studying. However, be careful not to set too strict rules, as you are bound to break your promises if you do.

Find a quiet place to study
Whether it’s a coffee shop, a local library, a home office or your kitchen table, it’s important to have a designated study area where you feel comfortable and where there are limited distractions and a reliable internet connection. Although it may be tempting to do your work in bed or on the sofa, studying can quickly turn into a nap. Instead, pick one room or area to study and make time to always study in the same place. Over time, you will get used to this space and there will be less new stimuli for your brain to cope with.

Get a notepad or notebook for the course
Taking notes by hand may seem old-fashioned to you, especially as you are an online student. But just because you can type faster than you write, this doesn’t mean it’s the best alternative. You’ll remember the material you write by hand more easily because you can summarise the gist of it as you go, rather than typing 100 words a minute and retaining none of it. Handwritten notes also have the added benefit of helping to reduce eye strain caused by too much screen time. 

Be social
An online student is not necessarily a lonely student. To avoid isolation, try to participate in online discussion groups with other students who are in the same course or programme as you. Make a conscious effort to plan activities and socialise with friends throughout the week. Socialising will help your brain to form new ideas and reduce stress levels.

Take care of yourself and reward yourself
Sleep is extremely important for your memory and maintaining focus. Most people need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day. Find time to exercise your body, not just your brain. Exercise helps to clear your mind, keep you focused during your study sessions, and burn off some of that pent-up energy you have from sitting at your desk.

Undertaking a post-secondary education is no small feat, so don’t forget to reward yourself every now and then. Feeling satisfied is an important motivator, so make time to relax, meet friends, see a play or have a special dinner as a reward for your achievements during your studies.

Online resource: (30 April 2023)
Online resource: (30 April 2023)
Online resource: (1 May 2023)
OpenAI ChatGPT. (1 May 2023) [Generated text on the question of performance of online students and corrections to the text.]]

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