Hello SIS Families! Spring Break is next week and I hope that you and your family will be able to take some time to relax and recharge your batteries. Taking that time will help your students have a strong finish to the school year. I am very proud of how well our students have done, despite the challenges of online learning. Don’t forget that you can check their assignments on Alma or their Google Classroom. Google Classroom has a To-Do list function where it lists their current and missing assignments. This is a great way you can support your student and help them with their time management. Ask your student to show you on their Google Classroom page. You can also ask their teachers to add you to the daily or weekly Google recap email, and you can see what they will be doing in class and what assignments they have. With your support, we can work together to ensure your student’s success. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some time management and organization tips from Northeastern University:
Time Management Tips for Online Students
1. Plan ahead.
Your hectic schedule, combined with daily distractions, can easily get in the way of finishing tasks. The best online students know how to set aside time to focus. This includes having a consistent time and workspace, tuning out those distractions, and avoiding surfing the internet.
Consider purchasing a calendar you can use to plan your daily and weekly assignments, highlighting:
- Assignments due, including drafts and final submissions
- Extra-curricular activities
- Class time
- Time to relax and do fun activities
2. Don’t multitask.
Avoid multitasking—which can actually decrease your productivity. Focus on one assignment at a time and zero in on the specific task at hand, whether that’s studying for an exam, reading a textbook, emailing a professor, or participating in an online forum. Arrange your tasks in order of importance, and pay attention to the three or four crucial tasks that require the most effort.
Lastly, concentrate on what needs to get done in the present and avoid anything too far-off. If it’s a small assignment that you don’t need to address for several weeks, put it on your calendar to focus on when the deadline is closer.
3. Block out distractions.
Make sure to avoid surfing the web excessively. It’s easy to become distracted by the news or your favorite celebrity gossip site. Stay focused, and avoid Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools when you need to concentrate on your studies.
If you’re struggling to stay focused, then consider the Pomodoro Method. This technique helps with productivity by arranging how you work to increase efficiency. The tool builds on 25-minute work sessions, optimizing your time to focus on your online studies. The best way to use this method is to:
- Set a timer for 25 minutes and work uninterrupted for the scheduled period.
- Take a five-minute break to grab a coffee, check emails, or do something else.
- Once you’ve completed four work sessions, treat yourself to a longer, 15-minute break.
If you’re still struggling with procrastination, download a website blocker for your Pomodoro sessions. Freedom, KeepMeOut, and Switcheroo minimize online browsing and let you follow through on your daily tasks. With these tools, you can block all websites or redirect your favorite sites to your school’s homepage.
4. Reward yourself
It’s important to reward yourself after a job well done in order to avoid burnout. Otherwise, it will be difficult to concentrate on even the simplest tasks.
You can reward yourself by celebrating your accomplishments and treating yourself to something you truly enjoy, whether that’s watching your favorite show on Netflix or going out to a nice dinner and a movie. If you’ve been working on an assignment for several months in a row, then take a week off when you’re finished.
5. Create a balance.
In addition to rewarding yourself, it’s also important to find a balance between coursework and your other obligations, especially if you’re juggling school and work.
To help create an effective balance and avoid burning out, be sure to prioritize your time in a way that allows you to focus on school, work, and your personal life when you need to. Creating a predictable schedule can help you get into a routine that works for your lifestyle and allows you to dedicate your full attention to each aspect of your life at a given time.
6. Get a good night’s sleep.
Sleep is essential to rest your body and keep your mind fresh for the next day. Try to get seven to eight hours of rest a night. Pulling all-nighters is less productive than studying consistently. Include sleep in your schedule, and you can reap huge rewards.