Guest post by Kaitlyn Meyers. I found myself asking that same question when I began online school. I still do ask myself that! However, I have finally developed somewhat of a system that works for me and the following are some quick tips that might work for you as well!
1. PLANNER – This may sound obvious, but using a planner has been such a life-saver! I color coordinate all of my classes and as soon as I receive a new assignment, meeting, exam, etc. I write it down. Sometimes it is overwhelming and scary to see everything written down all at once, but it will be worth it. 💡Fecich tip: I suggest the edumagic digital planner
2. TO-DO LISTS – At the beginning of a new month, I write down my monthly calendar on a whiteboard away from my planner. This enables me to see what that month will be like and makes my tasks seem more manageable. On the next level, I write down what I need to do every week on a chalkboard and the due dates next to each assignment or meeting. You would think that I stopped there but I don’t. One of my newest and most useful tips for time management is writing down on a sticky note every night that I need to get done for the next day. This is the cheapest one that I do and would highly recommend it. It feels so rewarding when I cross off task after task and makes me feel overall much more productive.
3. COLORS – I used to be against writing in colors and I still do not know why. I associate a certain color for each class and I maintain that among all of my calendars. This is so helpful to visually see what class has the most to do and it simply makes me happy – sometimes, that is reason enough!
4. SELF-CARE – Yes, I said it. Self-care is something that I used to push off and work myself so hard to the point of exhaustion. I still struggle with this but have learned that I will not work my best if I don’t take care of myself. Simple tricks for this are to take advantage of those times between classes and step away from the screen and meditate. Focus on breathing and hearing what is around you. This requires no equipment or anything else other than your body. Another obvious but often underdone self-care trick: get your sleep! I 100% understand how difficult it is to sleep between the amount of work to do, the headaches, anxiety, stress, and more.
Listen to your body and know that if the assignment is not due that night, go to bed.
5. STEP AWAY FROM THE SCREEN – This can be sometimes the most difficult tip to follow in an online world. You will not perform your best with that headache from the screen. Your body will feel so much better when you step away and relax a little bit. While the weather is nice, get outside and breathe in the fresh air. You deserve it.
Be proud of yourself and work hard but take care of yourself. A grade does not define you, how you live your life does.
The key to organization and time management is remembering that it is unique to you! These tips and tricks have helped me tremendously and I hope that you can implement something I said or modify it to work for you. Always remember, do your best – that is all anybody can ask from you.