Procrastination is not a problem that only slackers face. Procrastination catches people of all different occupations and with all varieties of work ethics. We cannot keep the same pace while working – we need time for rest, planning and other things. Sometimes people work hard, get tired, and at last have an hour or so for a break – and cannot stop. They do everything: cleaning, sleeping, reading, surfing the Internet. Everything, but their work. And here procrastination begins.
The more you procrastinate, the fewer tasks you can accomplish. Procrastination becomes a habit. And you know that it’s a difficult habit to kick.
E-learning is now becoming a widespread way to gain new study experiences. E-learning opportunities are offered for many reasons: Students get a chance to receive a degree online, have a certificate proving they took a course, master one’s skills and broaden horizons, or work on projects together with other students all around the world. Along with study materials, students get something more – new experiences, connections, support.
Nevertheless, e-learning is a tricky thing. It requires a special approach. What does it mean? In general, studying presupposes a definite level of self-motivation. When you get involved with e-learning, your motivation should be doubled. Online courses and programs have flexible schedules and can be tailored according to your needs. And what you should do is to pull yourself together and do all your study tasks.
Okay, we’ve made it clear that it’s a problem for both online and offline students to successfully manage their study time. Here are 14 habits of highly organized e-learners. Learn what they do and try to apply these tactics to break your bad procrastination habit (if you have it, of course).
1. Start with a plan.
Plan everything: your daily routine, work week, monthly events… Even plan your downtime. If you want to get rid of a procrastination habit, then you need to limit yourself. Put down everything you plan into your timetable, where your tasks are.
2. Track your time and progress.
Besides daily plans, note what has already been done and what result you’ve achieved. Check how many hours you spend on routines like emailing, planning, etc.
3. Keep your deadlines in mind.
Your deadlines should also be present in your timetable so you can see how much time is left and what can be done along the way so you’re ready when the due date comes.
4. Organizers and calendars are of great help.
Your memory can be strong and sound, but sometimes the most important things that you must remember vanish from your head. Don’t overload your memory, just put down your ideas and plans and highlight important dates in your events calendar. The organizer was named “organizer” for a reason – it lets you store and accurately arrange all your must-do tasks.
5. Develop concentration and avoid distractions.
Easy to say, hard to do. Here, a timer can help. When studying, set a time limit – 30 minutes, an hour or more. After the timer beeps, have a 5- or 10-minute break. Then proceed with the original task and keep on working on it for 30 minutes, an hour, etc. Remember, while studying, put aside your phone and pay no attention to messages or updates in your social media accounts. Just study without interruptions. You’ll have time to answer messages and calls during a break.
6. Leave time for rest and sleep.
Plan your leisure time, too. You need short pauses and long breaks to refresh your mind and thoughts. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, intellectual and physical work is only possible when primary needs are satisfied. You won’t be productive when you lack food, water, sleep, comfort, safety or anything else. Always keep it in mind and don’t overextend yourself.
7. Check your works.
Some online courses presuppose that students have to write essays. And of course educators can check works for plagiarism. Do you need reputation of a copycat? It’s always good to use plagiarism detection engines (e.g. Unplag Plagiarism Checker) in advance to make sure you didn’t plagiarize by chance.
8. Prioritize and delegate.
You won’t be able to do everything at one time. Define what tasks are major and do them first. Don’t forget that your colleagues or classmates can help you accomplish some of them – so, why not ask them for advice? Also, when you just start studying, your productivity is high. Catch this moment and try to perform all your challenging tasks first and then do less-urgent tasks.
9. Perform similar tasks at once.
Multitasking is an art, and after you master it you’ll see how productive you can be. Multitasking is good for less-challenging tasks, when you don’t need total concentration and devotion.
10. Avoid getting obsessed with one task.
If you realize that you’re devoting too much time to studying a single issue, just put it away for a while, and then go back to it again later. Some issues require a bit more time to find proper solutions.
11. Organize your workplace.
The setting where you study is as important as the study process itself. You might not notice, but some things in your work area can distract or irritate you, and your irritation obviously influences productivity in a negative way. Hide everything you find side-tracking, set your timer and go!
12. Find your perfect study time.
A huge plus of e-learning is that you can choose the study time that is most convenient for you. But your study will be much more effective if you consider your biorhythms and your chronotype (early birds and night owls). Is it better for you to get up early and start working right away? Or do you prefer staying up late night and studying until the wee hours of the morning? Answer these questions and see what’s best for you.
13. Make studying your habit.
Leave some time for studying and self-improvement every day – at least an hour. It can be anything you want: Watching a movie in French if you want to improve your French language knowledge, taking up a new course on Coursera, edX or Lynda.com, reading a post on your favorite marketing/writing/etc. blog. Studying is not an exhausting process anymore. Studying can be a great pleasure, as well.
14. Learn life hacks.
If you’re a lazy person, you can learn some life hacks that will save you time and effort and help you more easily cope with your study tasks. Websites like Lifehack and Lifehacker seem to be the most suitable for this. Here, you can find lots of cool pieces of advice.