Given the circumstances of 2020, many schools have switched to online learning. But, at Norwich University, we have over 20 years of online teaching. For those going back to school and learning how to adapt to the new online system, balancing your school with work and life responsibilities may be at the forefront of your concerns. To ease your mind, Norwich has laid out six tips to help you manage your time as you work toward earning your degree.
Norwich’s Tips for Staying Ahead
Norwich wants to ensure you get the most out of your degree. So that you do not fall behind, we are highlighting our most effective time management tips.
Create a Roadmap of Long Term goals
First and foremost, setting a long term plan to achieve your goals is the initial step to effective time management and earning your degree. Enrolling into a bachelor’s or master’s program is a daunting idea, especially when an online format may be new to you. Start with writing down all your goals within the next five years. Mapping out every goal, in addition to the goal of earning your degree, can assure that you will be prepared when work or family events take over during your courses. If you plan to get married during your studies, it is essential to plan your degree around this event – you may even want to pause your courses until you know you can perform to your best ability.
Set a Yearly, Monthly, Weekly, and Daily Schedule… and Stick to it
Breaking down your goals into yearly, monthly, and weekly goals can help ease your nerves about taking on a long term challenge and make your goals seem much more attainable. For example, if your long term goal is to earn your master’s degree within two years, you can easily separate that into attainable yearly, monthly, weekly, and even daily goals:
- Yearly: Complete three courses
- Monthly: Finalize upcoming papers
- Weekly: Post on discussion boards; research upcoming assignments
- Daily: Check student email; start readings
It is essential to adjust your goals to what you know is achievable for you based on your work and life demands. At Norwich, courses can be taken one at a time so that you can continue to work while earning your degree.
Utilize Short Breaks
Even the best students will tell you that taking advantage of your short breaks is the best way to avoid work from piling up. Short breaks from 15 minutes to an hour or more can be effectively utilized. You may have 30 minutes left on your lunch break – avoid using your phone for the remainder of the time. You can use this short time to start a discussion post or get ahead on your readings. Utilizing every short break can mean you get work done early so that you can spend more time to relax or spend with the family in the evening.
Turn your phone off for a few hours, and focus on your work – you may have heard this piece of advice before. However, streamlining your assignments goes beyond removing your phone from your desk. Eliminate as many distractions as you can.
If you have a dog, assure you have fed and let him or her out for exercise so that you do not worry about stepping away from your work for an hour or more. Additional common distractions include the light and noise from the television, so we recommend studying in a room away from the television and conversations from family members. If possible, find a room away from family, friends, and pets, and notify your family that you will be focusing on work for an hour to limit monotonous distractions. With fewer distractions, schoolwork can be completed quicker and more efficiently so that you do not fall behind in your studies.
Eat and Sleep Well
Eating and sleeping well is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, but it is also the building block to a positive education experience. With a well-developed work and school schedule, it may not be challenging to receive a healthy sleeping and eating schedule. Finding healthy, large, and easy-to-make meals is a significant effort to guarantee you do not fall into poor eating habits, such as skipping breakfast and grabbing fast food for lunch. A healthy mind and body can make it easy for you to stay on top of work.
With your developed study schedule, finding time to sleep should fall into place. Always get at least eight hours of sleep if you can, and try to avoid using your phone before bed so that you can get the best night of sleep possible.
Do Not Overload Yourself
Lastly – and what can be considered the most important rule – do not overload yourself. Becoming stressed can cause a decline in all aspects of your life. Earning a degree is a huge milestone and effort in your life, and it is essential not to stress yourself so that your grades do not suffer. Fortunately, your long term and short term schedule should prevent you from becoming too stressed so that you can complete assignments on time. When navigating through your studies, always keep any upcoming stressors in mind, such as weddings, moving to a new house, and graduation, and take courses at a pace that works well with your personal life. With online school, it is simple to wait on starting a course, and Norwich allows you to take classes one at a time to avoid stress and allow the best outcome for your education.
With the new online learning format, you may be worried about earning an advanced degree. At Norwich, we have a long history with online learning so that we can help you from enrollment to graduation. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk with a Norwich admissions advisor who can assist you in achieving your goals.