This article was originally written by Good Colleges Team.
1. Set a Major Goal
My most important tip for anyone attending or considering an online degree is to stay on task. It’s understandable that sometimes things happen in life that are unforeseen and pull us away from our studies. But you must keep your primary goal in mind.
2. Treat Study Like a Job
Always remember, study is your work. Consciously choose to show up, absorb wonderful content available to you, schedule in assessments, lectures, tasks, and really set and keep those boundaries. Have a success mindset. Implement firm boundaries. Keep a schedule like your life depends on it.
3. Make a Study Plan
Make a study plan! At the beginning of each term, I take the time to plan readings and work on assignments. Although I regularly adjust the plan if necessary, it keeps me on track. Set out a clear and achievable study plan and stick to it to it 95% of the time, allowing yourself some room and respite for the unexpected. Be organized and set a certain amount of hours per day or week into your schedule for studying. Write out a weekly schedule with dates and times. Make sure to set aside enough time to focus only on school with no distractions. That’s important.
4. Manage Time Carefully
Set a schedule and stick with it to keep you structured. People generally do better in a structured environment. So why not make it even easier for yourself? If you know what time block you devote to school, you are more apt to be consistent, avoid late assignments and put study first.
5. Have Dedicated Study Blocks
First and foremost, there needs to be time set aside each day, without interruptions, to fully focus on your work. Your education is important so scheduling the right time each day to focus on it can really make a difference. This schedule allows you to get everything done without feeling like you neglected anything.
6. Find a Quiet Space
Pick a time throughout the day when either everyone is away from home, pick a corner of the house where you can relax and study. Create a space of peace. You need to designate an area that is free of distraction. When diversions are present, it may reflect in poor quality of work; hindering your education. Discussing your “quiet zone” with your family or friends may be beneficial as well so they understand that your time is crucial to your academic success.
7. Eliminate Distractions
Dedicate a specified time for school work each day and isolate yourself from distractions. When I was enrolled in my online Spanish class during the summer in high school, I made it a point to work at least 2 hours a day on the course directly after lunch. If it is routine, then it will be easy to maintain. I also placed myself at the table with only the computer so that nothing else could gain my attention.
8. Limit Social Media
Sure, it’s fun to get lost in the black hole of Facebook, but when it comes to getting a college degree, that blue and white “thumbs up” gets shoved to the wayside for studying! One way that I stay focused on my studies is by logging off of all my social media accounts. There are enough distractions around me in the real world. I don’t need to add more in the virtual world. It’s easy to lose track of time scrolling through your friend’s vacation photos or reading all of your favorite comedian’s hilarious tweets.
9. Use Online Resources
Use any of the student resources that are available. For instance, your college has an online library that offers sources for assignments.
10. Break Down Tasks
Having a detailed calendar of what you will accomplish each day will definitely give you the base to achieve your goals. I have found the best way to study is to break the information down. It is easier to retain small amounts of information at a time and is not as time-consuming. You do not feel as though you are “cramming”.
11. Be Mentally Engaged
I like to quiz myself on whatever I am studying. This helps me to check my knowledge, and feel more confident when it is time for the real exam.
12. Take Notes
Write down important points. Just like in a traditional classroom setting, taking notes may make it easier to remember the important pieces of information you will need to retain.
13. Browse Intelligently
You have the entire world at your fingertips. You can research entire events from history in color, or have a renowned mathematician take your hand and work you through a problem, or a scientist explain to you how exactly your solar system works. Use your time and resources wisely.
14. Make Study Enjoyable
Playing happy music keeps me alert and in a good mood. Keeping good vibes going while I study, make the studying go by faster, and much more enjoyable.
15. Take Breaks
Take frequent, short breaks. My mind becomes a little bit numb after an hour of looking at the computer screen, so I have found that stepping away and taking a few minutes to myself is a way to rejuvenate my brain.
16. Stay Healthy
Stay healthy! “Mens sana in corpore sano: A healthy mind in a healthy body”. Our brain can only work to its fullest if our body is well. Have regular breaks that involve exercise and fresh air and eat good food! Preparing a healthy meal or going for a run is not wasting your time. I usually come up with my best ideas during a mountain jog.
17. Connect with Others
Connect with others! Online portals, discussion boards and Facebook can help to find students in the same course, maybe even in your local area. Connect with peers and team up for group assessments, stay in touch, and help each other with proof-reading, tips and exchange of resources. Talking to other students opens my mind and keeps me motivated.
18. Join a Study Team
Create a team of virtual friends, 2-3, maybe more and have regular discussions. Meet up like once a fortnight to pick each other’s brains, see how far each is with the assignments, and also any challenges anyone is facing. This can be through WhatsApp or Facebook.
19. Ask Questions
It’s important if you’re struggling with a topic to be proactive and seek out help. Many online courses have great teachers just waiting to assist you. Ask questions as soon as you have them. There’s nothing worse than convincing yourself that you will eventually learn the subject and find out a week later that you still do not understand the topic. Generally, with online classes, one week is built off the knowledge of the past week. If you do not understand week 1, you will have greater difficulty in week 2, and so on.
20. Beat Deadlines
Set a strict guideline on assignments. If an assignment is due on a Monday, do not wait to do it until Sunday night. It creates unnecessary stress and anxiety. Most students find themselves putting in a lot of work on the day an assignment is due. I like to pretend that everything is due one day early, giving me a little extra time if needed.
21. Reward Yourself
If you get an A on a paper, treat yourself. If you get an A in the class, go big. You have to remember that you do have a life. Go out with your friends. Go to the movies with your partner. If you only do homework, you’re going to get burned out. Reward yourself! “Look, if I can just sit down for 2 hours and kick this math in the ass, then I can take myself out for a nice greasy burger!” It always seems to be easier to motivate ourselves when we know there’s something waiting for us at the finish line.
For the full article, visit the goodcolleges.online website.