Time Management






Manage Your Time Wisely: Be a Disciplined Remote-Learner
Manage your time

There are lots of different activities to do in remote teaching, so it is important to have a plan about how much time you want to spend on each course. With the move to remote teaching, you will be more responsible for how you spend your time and remain motivated to stay on top of your course work. Complete this Time Management Inventory (The Learning Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), to assist you with making an effective time management plan.

Some suggestions include:

  1. Try working on your classes during your scheduled class time.
    • Although you may not have to be physically present for your class on Zoom, it's still a good idea to set aside time to work on your class for at least an hour during your scheduled class time. Since most of us created our schedule before we switched to online, this should theoretically be the best time for you to get your work done.
  2. Create a study schedule.
    • Lectures, class discussions, and office hours form the backbone of your schedule.
    • Break up long reading marathons by reading a couple of pages every day.
    • Write out all your due dates on a sheet of paper or in an online calendar program to keep track of all your assignments.
    • Work at least one hour a day on all your courses so you don't fall behind.
      • Remember, each hour of scheduled class translates to two to three hours of homework or additional studying.
  3. Don't try to multi-task.
    • Focus on one assignment at a time to improve your productivity.
  4. Minimize your distractions.
    • Try setting a time to work for 25 - 30 minutes straight without any distractions.
    • Take regular 5-minute breaks to do something for yourself (read, watch a quick video, walk, stretch, grab some water, etc.)
    • Put your phone away! 
  5. Pace yourself.
  6. Optimize your study space.
    • Noise level: Do you focus better with more or less background noise? Try instrumental music to help you focus.
    • Are you more productive working alone or with friends? Try Zoom sessions with classmates or friends to help study for classes or when working on assignments.
    • Be sure to find a space that is comfortable for you to study. Look for a comfortable location that is quiet and has adequate lighting for the task at hand.
  7. When are you most productive? Morning, noon, or night?
    • Consider when your focus peaks and be wary when your focus declines!
      • Morning
        • Requires adequate sleep and a good breakfast.
        • Leaves more free time for the rest of the day.
      • Afternoon
        • No disruption to your sleep schedule.
        • Possibly easier to find other classmates to study with.
      • Evening
        • Might have fewer distractions.
        • Clearer mind for creative thinking.
  8. Know your patterns for hunger, sleepiness, and stress.
    • Keep snacks around, but don't overdo it!
    • Try to keep to the schedule you had when you were taking classes on campus; regular meal times, exercise, time for entertainment, and enjoyment.
    • Plan your study time for when you have the most energy.
  9. Prioritize your work.
    • What is due tomorrow vs. what is due next week? Focus on the tasks in front of you rather than worrying about future tasks.
  10. Track your progress.
    • Create a list of things to accomplish for your course and mark them off when you've completed them. This will help you see the progress you're making. It may not seem like much, but as the list gets shorter, your mental stress will decrease and your motivation will increase!
  11. Make good use of your gaps.
    • Use the time in between your classes to do some reading, finish a quick assignment, study, or listen to a lecture.
  12. Give yourself more time than you think you need to complete assignments.
    • Because you may need time to learn new tools or access materials differently than when you are on campus, your workload will be different than in-person classes.  Be sure to allow yourself the time you need to do your work plus some.
  13. Learn how to say NO!
    • Whether it's a classmate asking for your assistance or a co-worker wanting you to cover their shift, learn how to prioritize your learning.
Time Management Apps to help you out! 
  • Time Camp -  This app helps online students understand how they're really spending their time in an attempt to be more efficient. (14-day free trial, $5.25/mo)
  • Rescue Time - Rescue Time is meant to help online students find a balance between work, school, and life commitments. (14-day free trial, $6.50/mo)
  • Focus Booster - Designed specifically for students, this app helps them accomplish tasks while also building in time for breaks (Pomodoro Technique).  (30-day free trial, free version (20 Pomodoro sessions/mo), $2.99/mo version (200 Pomodoro sessions/mo.))
  • Remember the Milk - Helps busy students remember all they need to do in their day. (Free basic version, upgrade - $39.99/year ($3.35/mo.))
  • Dropbox - Allows users to access, transfer, and share files on any computer or mobile device so students can work from wherever they are. (Free version - 2GB data storage)
  • Toggl - Toggl helps students keep track of how much time they're spending on projects and assignments so they can better plan for future schoolwork. (Free version)