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How To Manage Your Time When You Study Online



​​Studying online is becoming more common than ever and presents opportunities for many people to advance their education while still working full-time or raising families. While the flexibility of at-home education works well for many people, it’s vital to manage your time well to balance all your commitments. Here are a few tips to help you stay sane while studying online.

Make a Plan

As soon as you have your schedule from your online education provider, it’s time to put everything on your calendar and get organized. First, program in the classes you have to be online for at a specific time, and then make a plan for exactly when you’ll do your readings, go over learning materials, post to forums, and research and write your assignments. Next, get all your assignment deadlines and exams on your calendar and plan out when you’ll work on completing those assignments, or studying for those exams, in the weeks leading up to them.

Make sure that you add all your other commitments to your calendar to see in advance when things will clash and which weeks will be hectic. Then reschedule stuff if you can, or plan to complete things in advance to spread the load and reduce stress.

Balance Work and Study

If you’re studying to advance your current career, make sure that your employer knows, as they will usually be supportive of your situation. If you work in an industry such as healthcare, for example, improving your skills will likely be a big help to your employer. In addition, have some

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statistics to hand when you talk to them. For example, Wilkes University, which offers an online BSN to MSN program for registered nurses who want to become nurse practitioners, points out that projected job growth for nurse practitioners is set to increase by 52% by 2029.

If you can get hold of a similar statistic for your industry, bring that up when you discuss the situation with your employer. It may make your employer more eager to help you balance work and study, allowing you to arrange shifts around study commitments or take time off for things such as exams, presentations, or residencies.

Manage Distractions

We all think that we can multitask, but studies show that we’re less effective when we do. If you can block off big chunks of time to study distraction-free, you’ll tend to get a lot more done in a lot less time. Even small pieces of dedicated time with no distractions are probably better than more extended periods of studying while also doing other things at the same time. Make sure that when you’re looking, your social media apps are closed down, your phone is on silent, and your door is closed.

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However, most people will have to multi-task sometimes, so work out what works for you and what doesn’t. For example, some people can study alongside their kids while also supervising their homework. Some people can get their readings done on public transport, and many people can listen to an audiobook while driving, exercising, or doing household chores.

A big part of online learning success is simply managing your time well, so make a plan and experiment a little to find out what works for you.

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