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6 Time Management Tips for Online Students

time management tips online students

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Graduating often signifies the beginning of a lifelong learning journey rather than its end. With the emergence of online education, numerous college graduates – particularly those embarking on new careers – are enrolling in online courses to expand their expertise in their chosen fields while balancing full-time employment. 

This form of learning offers an excellent opportunity to stay ahead professionally; however, it demands substantial time management skills and discipline to successfully navigate deadlines, exams, and classes.

To maximize your online learning experience, we have compiled a selection of time management strategies for online students. These tips will help you maintain focus, ensure that no tasks fall by the wayside, and ultimately keep you on track toward success.

Why Is Time Management Important For Online Students?

A significant challenge for online students lies in consistently keeping up with coursework and submitting assignments punctually. The absence of a physical classroom setting and direct interaction with instructors and classmates may lead to falling behind on tasks, losing sight of deadlines, and feeling overwhelmed by the course load.

The majority of online courses are self-paced, placing the responsibility of managing time effectively on individual learners. Balancing work, family commitments, and online education can further complicate time management efforts. Therefore, mastering this skill becomes vital for online students, particularly if they find it challenging to keep up with coursework or maintain motivation.

By practicing effective time management strategies, you will be able to complete your coursework punctually while achieving optimal results. Additionally, honing these skills cultivates better study habits that not only benefit future educational pursuits but also extend into professional environments.

6 Tips To Manage Your Time Effectively As An Online Student

The following time management tips will enable you to concentrate on your studies without feeling overwhelmed by everyday tasks, develop productive study habits to avoid procrastination, and maintain organization in your coursework while achieving a healthy work-life balance.

  1. Establish a schedule and adhere to it.

Having the flexibility to attend classes or complete assignments at your convenience is beneficial; however, it can also lead to overlooking deadlines and last-minute rushes. 

By creating a schedule that structures your day around specific study times – whether mornings or late evenings – you can map out all classes, assignments, readings, and other commitments within a week or month. This helps prioritize tasks effectively while allocating time and energy efficiently.

  1. Set up a distraction-free workspace.

A dedicated desk and chair in your home significantly improve studying efficiency but can become ineffective when distractions arise. To optimize periods of focused work, ensure that your workspace remains as disturbance-free as possible. 

This may involve choosing an area with minimal noise or foot traffic, disabling notifications from social media/apps, keeping gadgets out of reach, clearing physical clutter from the workspace, and closing unnecessary browser tabs during study sessions.

  1. Embrace technology.

Technology serves as a valuable ally in online learning, offering an abundance of digital tools and resources to assist in tracking deadlines, setting reminders, organizing notes and study materials, and more. 

Spend time exploring various options to find the ones that best suit your needs. Popular choices among online students include Google Calendar for scheduling; Trello or ClickUp for task management; Notion or Evernote for note-taking; and Todoist or for creating to-do lists.

  1. Divide large tasks into smaller segments.

Attempting too much at once can lead to stress and overwhelm. Instead, break down larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps that can be completed sequentially. 

For instance: if a substantial research paper is due in two weeks, separate it into smaller tasks such as researching your topic, outlining the paper structure, writing drafts, and editing the final version – then schedule these activities within your calendar.

  1. Avoid multitasking by focusing on one task at a time.

While it may seem tempting to juggle multiple responsibilities simultaneously, multitasking often hinders concentration and prolongs task completion times due to frequent switching between activities. 

Concentrate fully on one assignment at a time – no matter its size – and complete it before moving on to another one. This approach not only improves organization but also reduces stress levels while maintaining mental acuity throughout the day

  1. Work in short bursts and take regular breaks.

Endless flexibility can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to online learning. On one hand, you don’t have to worry about getting up early or commuting to class. On the other, it’s easy to get caught up in one task and spend hours on it without noticing.

To prevent this, break up your sessions into shorter chunks, like 30- or 45-minute blocks. In between these bursts, take a break – anything from 15 minutes all the way up to an hour – to refocus and recharge.

A few minutes of stretching, reading a book, listening to music, or taking a walk can do wonders for your productivity and helps keep your mind fresh and productive when it’s time to dive back into studying again!


Online learning involves the same challenges as traditional face-to-face instruction – albeit with an added layer of complexity.

From the increased flexibility in schedule to the multiple distractions that can come from being in the comfort of home, online students face unique hurdles that reveal an even greater need for time management.

These practical time management tips, like setting up a distraction-free space or focusing on one task at a time, can go a long way in helping online learners stay on top of their workload, feel in control of their studies, and ultimately finish their courses and programs with success.

Whether you’re new to information technology (IT) or an experienced professional looking for career advancement, get in touch with our IT career services team to help establish your professional and personal development plan and prepare you for a career in IT.

Take the first step.

Building a strong coding portfolio takes hard work and dedication. Whether you’re just starting in the field or advancing your career, learning how to create an education plan that aligns with your career goals saves you time and money. This also delivers the most significant return on your investment.

Career Planning

You’ve chosen an education plan with a goal in mind, and now you’re focused on making the most of your educational resources to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success in the job market. The most impactful recommendation we give to all new CIAT students in the tech field is not to wait until graduation to start their IT career planning. When you begin your career planning steps from day 1 of your program, you graduate career-ready and are more likely to find your first job quickly, with competitive salary ranges.

Let us help you achieve your career goals.

When landing your dream job, CIAT supports its students every step of the way – ensuring you graduate with more than just a degree. Our IT career services team focuses on both your professional and personal development to help prepare you for a career in web development, mobile app development, information technology, cybersecurity, networking, and more.

Get certified, earn your degree, and start your path to a new career with:

  • Personalized career coaching
  • Industry certification workshops
  • Resume building
  • LinkedIn profile optimization
  • Mock interview practice
  • Job placement support
  • Dedicated job board
  • Specialty career-building workshops
  • Technology career fairs and employer “meet and greets”
  • Work study and volunteer opportunities

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