Managing your study time can be tough when you’re learning online.

Unlike studying on-campus, you have the freedom and flexibility to set your own schedule. Which is a huge advantage, but also a huge challenge! And it can be a bit of a struggle for many students, especially in the beginning.

That’s why we’re giving you a step-by-step guide you can start using today, to help you create a foolproof study schedule. You can use it if you’re still in high school, too!

An easy-to-share infographic is located at the bottom of this post.

Step 1. Mark due dates and coursework deadlines on your calendar

Keeping track of deadlines is harder if you’re studying online.
When you’re attending school at a physical location, you’re surrounded by friends who talk about how much progress they are (or aren’t) making with their coursework. As well as professors who regularly remind you if there’s a deadline coming up.

And that’s not the case when you study online!

So to keep yourself on track, mark due dates on your calendar and/or set up reminders on your phone.

Step 2. Break your assignments into smaller pieces

Finding yourself with a calendar full of deadlines and a list of coursework projects to do, essays to write and other tasks to complete doesn’t have to feel intimidating.

The key here is to break down your assignments into smaller, more manageable chunks.

For example, if you have an essay to write you’ll need to:

  1. read through your materials and take notes
  2. create an essay plan
  3. write a first draft essay
  4. review your draft and submit your essay.

Do this for all of your assignments, and estimate how long you’ll need to complete each step.

Step 3. Decide which hours you’ll set aside for studying each week

This step is probably the most important!

It’s up to you to build a schedule which fits around your other commitments – like work, family and flower-arranging classes.

  • Do you work full time? Is the evening/night when you’re most focused? Or are you usually too tired and find studying before work is easier?
  • Do you have a weekend job or family commitments? Or is the weekend the ideal time for you to get your essay writing done?

Think about when you’ll be most focused and able to work undistracted – then block off your study time in your calendar.

DO NOT plan to see friends, book dentist appointments or agree to visit your grandma in the hours you’ve designated for studying.

Step 4. Schedule your mini-assignments into your calendar

You have time set aside to study in and a list of mini-assignments to complete: now it’s time to join the two together.

Go through your calendar week by week and decide which of your mini-assignments you’ll be working on in each block of study time – remember to factor in attending online classes if you need to.

This will help keep you organized and ensure that you don’t end up pulling an all-nighter to write an essay the night before it’s due. Your work will be higher quality and you’ll be less stressed too!

Step 5. Stick your weekly schedule somewhere you can see it

It’s no good making a schedule and a study plan if you can’t remember what it is!

You can buy yourself a physical diary and get the added benefit of a cute notebook to carry around. Or you can go wild with a sheet of plain white paper and all the coloured pens you own.

Whichever option you choose, make sure you end up with a copy of your weekly schedule which you can refer to easily.

And if you aren’t studying online yet, but you’re interested…

You can learn more about what taking a degree online involves by having a look through the resources on our blog and website, there are plenty to keep you busy.

Or you can give us a call on 855.210.5641, we’re happy to chat!

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How to Create a Study Schedule as an Online Student