How to keep your schedule under control while learning online

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Are you struggling with your time management while learning or working online from home? Here are some tips for maintaining control of your time. First and foremost, get up at your normal time and complete your morning routine, including getting dressed and eating breakfast! Learning and working from home can cause you to focus solely on working. Second, set up a workspace away from your bed/bedroom. Third, at the time you would leave, go to your workspace, and prepare for your day.

1. Have a calendar with time slots, electronic or paper, available to plan your day

2. Plan your day including:
a. Work times
b. Activities at specific times, such as class, study, lunch, and breaks
c. Meals
d. Communication with colleagues, family, and friends
e. End of workday
f. Bedtime!

3. Use a timer or electronic reminders to move to the next item on your list.

4. Begin working.

5. End working.

Set aside time for cooking, cleaning, leaving to exercise (even if just in another room), weekend activities, and shopping if needed. Finally, remember to include due dates for assignments. As you plan for your day above, check the learning management system (LMS) used at your school for assignments, activities, and meetings. Add these to your calendar as well. At the starting time of your class or job, begin working.
For those of you working together on projects, there are several ways to communicate easily. Programs such as Zoom, Skype, and social media applications can reduce the perception of distance. Download these easily from the appropriate website onto the computer and phone. Classmates can set up daily review meetings in Zoom. Learning management systems also have Wiki features for discussions.
This may seem obsessive, but as said above people either focus on one thing for a while or shift from one thing to another in minutes without completing any given task. By creating a schedule to work with and using a timer or alarms, one can complete many tasks and feel accomplished at the end of the day. Using the regular schedule will assist in returning to a normal schedule when the isolation period is over. With a schedule in mind, new habits can be formed to assist in a normal schedule later as well.

Anne Montgomery