Time Management Tips for Online Students

A person offscreen prepares to write at a desk surrounded by a cell phone, clipboard, laptop and tablet.
Category: Going Back to School

Posted on

Higher education is evolving, and more students are shifting to online coursework every year. That’s why we revisited this article from 2017 and updated it for 2020.

Going back to school can change your life, so taking time to focus on and excel in your studies is an important part of obtaining your degree. But, for adult learners, finding time is tough. Between family time, working one or multiple jobs, or even serving your country on active duty, sometimes coursework has to be put on the backburner.

Here are four quick time management tips for online students.

1. Create a Schedule

Trying to fit coursework into an already-crammed schedule is tough, and working on school when your mind has been elsewhere all day is hard. If you live your life day-to-day without a schedule, it can be exhausting. Making schedules and planning your days are an important step toward achieving your goals.

2. Break Up Your Time

When you receive your syllabus, take a look at your coursework. Once you review the assignments, schedule small windows of time throughout the week to complete them. Sometimes, it is hard to block off hours at a time to complete tasks, but breaking it up throughout the week might help.

3. Plan Ahead

It is important to know how to prioritize your coursework. Some assignments will take longer. Some assignments will count for a higher percentage of your total grade. Some assignments won’t take long at all. Taking a few minutes to look over your syllabus and determining when you need to start working on assignments throughout the term will be time well spent.

4. Eliminate Distractions

Create a clean study space that is meant for focusing on school. Having a designated space will help you focus on what is in front of you, not what is going on all around you. This space keeps you in the zone while also letting others around you understand that you’re hard at work.


At Columbia Southern University, our academic advisors are available to help students one-on-one with time management. 

Topics in This Article