Too often students let distractions and procrastination take over. Mobile technology makes it too easy to pull up a funny string of memes through Tumblr, and then within seconds they’re lost to cute pictures of fuzzy animals and viral hilarity. Next thing you know you’re on your phone or tablet for an hour doing nothing related to your school work. Cramming your assignments in hours before they’re due is never a good idea. The unnecessary stress will take a toll on your body, and it may start to affect the quality of your work.
Whether you’re in the working world right now, or you’re a college student transitioning to the next phase of your life, you need to learn good project management techniques. It’s not just good to know information, and they are skills that will translate into your career as well.
Since you’ll only be managing yourself consider yourself a project manager. You can adopt a directing style to your studies. This type of management entails that you’re communicating the goals, expectations and standards of your work. Since you don’t have a team that reports to you, you’ll be directing yourself to get your work in on time, and make sure the quality is on par for your grade expectations in the class.
If you’re always putting off classwork then be your own micro manager. Set up soft time frames for yourself to get your work done. Schedule to have a discussion post done a day before it’s due. For research papers, set timers for how long you get to write and research each day. This way you’re not dedicating all of your time to one thing. Be very detail oriented with your time management. Good project managers stick to the timelines they set in order to achieve their perceived level of success. So make sure you set up goals along with the tasks you’re assigning yourself with.
As an online student you can be your own worst enemy. If you neglect one thing, others may follow. You need to create your own encouragement, and you monitor your own calendar. Block out chunks of time where you’re not distracted. Either turn off extraneous emails when you’re in the midst of work, and turn it back on when the time allotted is over. Have a check-in at the end of each week to see how your progress is coming along, don’t wait for a final grade to tell you how well you’re doing. If you find that you’re subpar in your studies then consult with your advisor. They’ll be able to give you guidance and see if your class load is a good fit for you.
By J. Mason
Online Learning Tips Editor