Distance learning offers a unique opportunity for learners to study at their own pace. Online and distance education avenues are ideal for working professionals, individuals with busy lifestyles, and demanding commitments. MOOCs and university distance education programs offer flexible ways of upskilling and gaining a new qualification without extensive disruption to a busy schedule.
Given the fact that a considerable number of working p
st-graduates and career professionals are distance learners, the necessity of proper time management is as essential as gaining skills from those learning courses. Therefore, time management can be the biggest challenge for most distance students. At the same time, it is integral to successful upskilling need for Essay Help
So, how do you fit your learning into your existing routine and ensure everything runs smoothly? Here are seven top time management tips for distance learners designed to maximize productivity.
Time is Precious. Protect It.
While flexibility is essential, it is also important to ensure that you make the best out of any time you get. Distance learning is all about making the best use of the time at hand. Without careful planning, your valuable time can quickly slip away, and everything can become helter-skelter.
Keep a written timetable for your daily and weekly routines. It should account for every hour of the day, from working & learning hours to commuting, supplementary activities, and relaxation.
Maintaining such a timetable will not only make your days much more organized but develop your management, organizational, and decision-making skills as well.
- Once you’ve successfully established a proper routine, follow it diligently and assess your productivity regularly. Track the time you require to study, complete assignments, or finish assessments of the distance course. Appraise how much you can get done during those slotsfor how much more work you need to do, and how much time you need to invest.
Reshuffle your schedule if you think your productivity is suffering but remember not to compromise one task for the sake of another.
Avoid Multitasking. It doesn’t work.
When faced with an extensive list of daily tasks, it might seem tempting to divide your attention among tasks to get multiple things done in a short time.
DON’T multi task as it affects productivity and is ineffective.
There’s scientific evidencethat multitasking affects your focus, concentration and eventually your brain’s thinking process. It also reduces overall productivity by up to 40%.
- While it may feel quite fruitful and efficient initially, in the long run, multitasking will exhaust your mind and may even lead to attention-deficit disorders. Spread yourself too thinly, and the quality of work will naturally fall.
- Multitasking can also negatively impact memory, making you prone to forgetting important details. Think of it as a juggling act – the more things you are juggling at once, the more likely you will drop the ball.
Focus and devote your attention to one thing at a time. You’ll get it completed quicker, do it in a commendable manner and maximize your feelings of productivity. Workloads will automatically feel far more manageable.
Stay Strong Against Distractions
Distractions hamper focus, work flow and productivity.
- The Internet, a primary medium of dispensing distance education, can prove to be a significant source of distraction, so be wary. Turn off the TV, and do not focus on anything other than the task at hand. In addition, avoid unnecessary usage of the smart phone and silence all notifications other than those associated with your learning.
- It is also vital to have a dedicated and distraction-free study space. Choose an environment with substantial room, light and ventilation. Have a desk with a comfortable chair and keep everything uncluttered as much as possible. An effective learning environment should inspire positive and constructive ideas.
- Children, personal responsibilities and family problems can prove to be major and often unavoidable distractions Try and coordinate your study time & plans in tandem with your critical commitments. Stay focused on the task at hand, all the while not losing track of that incomplete learning module.
If the house seems too distracting, head to the public library, a friend’s place or any public space where you can study without wasting time & focus. Do take note of your productivity in such areas to understand their effectiveness.
Procrastination is the bane of us all. We are all guilty of postponing not-so-important tasks and pretending to ourselves that we have plenty of time. It can be a vicious cycle, and once you fall prey to it, time will disappear into thin air, and you will be staring at a deadline right in front of your face.
- Procrastination makes time management ineffective and is a terrible habit. While you might get a moment’s relaxation, the last-minute rush, constant stress, and late nights are not worth it at all.
- Ditch those eleventh-hour scrambles and be proactive instead. Prepare a long-term schedule and monitor all deadlines so that they can’t creep up on you. Study for your course and start preparing for assignments & assessments well in advance.
- Experiment With Your Learning Process
We all have our unique ways of learning. Some learn by rote; others learn better by solving practical problems, while others understand things well with visual cues.
- Spice up your learning process and modify your time & routine accordingly. There are loads of productivity techniques that can help you make the most of your study time. If you’re struggling with your current learning process, try out a few different methods to find the one that works for you.
- One of the most popular of such techniques is the Pomodoro method. It involves working in blocks of time, at a stretch for 30 minutes with rapt attention. A 5-minute break punctuates each block. Then, at every three or four-block, take a slightly longer break of 15-30 minutes. The Pomodoro technique is excellent for those who struggle to focus for long periods; it allocates slots for allowed ‘distraction’ and provides structure to study sessions.
Finding a system that works best for you can help improve productivity and teach you the right mindset for the rest of your life.
And, those were seven time management tips for distance education learners and everybody else looking to balance their education with other endeavors. Hope this write-up helps readers achieve more with their time.
All the best!
Author-Bio: Alvin Louis is a high school teacher and online tutor who helps students overcome their math troubles. He works for a public school in Montana, the USA and teaches part-time at MyAssignmenthelp.com, a leading global academic service provider.