If you're an online learner, have you ever felt frustrated in trying to separate your educational activities from your personal life? Good news! We have some steps you can take to draw a bolder line between these two aspects of your everyday life.
Map out regular time for your online classes.
Time management is such a crucial aspect of earning a college degree. But it's 100 times more important for online learners who aren't taking traditional classes on campus with set days and times. Let's say you have a full-time job as a marketing coordinator from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. You're also working on an online MBA with a specialization in marketing. Plus, you have a young child and an active social life – when you can squeeze in outings, at least. With so much on your plate, you should set specific times throughout the week on your iPhone calendar to devote to your MBA courses. This could be Monday and Wednesday evenings during the week and then some time on the weekend. Spend at least an hour each time you sit down so that you have enough time to accomplish something – completing a discussion board question, reading a few pages of a PDF, taking a timed quiz, or working on a term paper due soon. Having a consistent schedule for studying, homework, and exams can help you stay focused in each of your classes, giving you a much better chance of passing.
Arrange a separate workspace at home.
There's a good chance you do some of your schoolwork for your online classes from the comfort of your bedroom on a desktop or laptop computer. Online classes require lots of attention to detail because you don't have a professor verbally telling you what to do. That's where reading instructions comes into play. This is a perfect reason why you should be in a quiet place within your home or apartment. This workspace should be away from your personal belongings and activities. That way, it's much easier to get into that academic mindset when you're in a place that you know is designated for your schoolwork – and not the same place where you watch Game of Thrones.. On another note, use separate files and folders on your computer that are completely dedicated to your online classes. For example, don't mix school-related Word and Excel files with personal vacation photos. It can also be more convenient to use a different computer entirely for your courses if you have two computers.
Consider studying somewhere else.
Even though handling your studies from home is convenient, it's not always the best option for all learners. With Wi-Fi readily available nearly everywhere today, you can do your homework from all types of locations, including:
- A public or school library
- Panera Bread
- Your local mall's food court
- A park
- The beach
In some public places, it's often wise to find a quiet spot that is set off from the hustle and bustle of wherever you are. You can always wear noise-cancelling headphones to help you concentrate as well. This option can work quite well in helping you get away from the distractions of your personal or family life at home so you can put your undivided attention on your coursework.
How Do You Handle This Separation?
We'd love to know how you separate your online studies from your personal life. Share your strategies in a comment.