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Studying at an online university can be an excellent and fulfilling opportunity; however it can also come as quite a shock to the system for some. University is challenging in itself. In comparison to high school, lecturers are more demanding, workloads are larger, and the standard of work itself is more challenging. Additionally, at an online university, no one is there to micro-manage you, and effective time management skills are critical to manage stress levels, and put you on the road to success.

Here are some tips to get you started:

(1) Set goals

Setting goals is the first step in effectively managing your time. Your goals should be clearly written out, and attainable. You need to understand where you are, and where you want to be, and the goals needed to be achieved along the way in order to accomplish this. Setting goals is the foundation of effective time and stress management, and is the basis of your success when studying online.

(2) Prioritize

Prioritizing is one of the most important ingredients in effective time management. Working effectively and efficiently are two different things. Working hard on less important tasks may mean you are working efficiently, however not effectively. In order to work effectively, prioritizing is key. One needs to write out all of their tasks, and then list them in terms of importance and urgency. Once this is completed, one should begin working on the most important tasks first, and then work their way down the list. Prioritizing is especially vital when studying online, as there is no one else who will do this for you apart from yourself, and being organized is the basis for your success.

(3) Avoid procrastination

Procrastination is one of the biggest obstacles in effective time management. Studying at an online university can present an even greater challenge in this sense, as all work is online with an endless amount of temptations, including online games, social media, etc. There are many ways to avoid procrastination, or to know how to deal with it. Breaking your large tasks into smaller tasks is one of them. Sometimes when tasks seem so great, they may appear impossible, and therefore most turn to procrastination, however once these tasks are broken down, they seem so simple that they can be done easily. Another tip to avoid procrastination is making sure you work in a neat and organized environment. It is extremely difficult to be organized and effective if your working space is not!

(4) Make a to-do list

Making a to-do list ensures that you keep track of all tasks – big and small. Trying to remember everything in your head is setting yourself up for failure. By keeping a to-do list, you are not only being organized, you also feel organized which is extremely important. Make sure to prioritize everything you write down to ensure that your time is managed as effectively as possible whilst studying at an online university.