Time Management Tools and Tips for Online Students

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In order to be successful as an online learner, there is one important skill students should master: time management. Because students have the freedom to complete coursework at their own pace, it’s imperative that they learn how to utilize their time effectively to ensure they get everything done without overwhelming themselves. Here are some time management tools and tips for online students:


Use a planner

One of the best ways to keep yourself organized is to use a planner. Having one place to jot down assignments and important deadlines will keep you on track. There are so many planners to choose from, whether you want a digital or physical version. Many companies, such as The Happy Planner and BlueSky, allow you to personalize your planner depending on your needs. You can also choose to utilize an app, such as Wunderlist or myHomework Student Planner, which will enable you to create daily to-do lists and get reminders for any upcoming tests or assignments. You can find more planner apps here.


Set SMART goals

A component of having strong time management skills is being able to focus on the current task at hand. It isn’t enough to carve out the time to get something done—you want your time to be spent effectively. This is where SMART goals come in handy. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely, and this formula is designed to help you stay on task and work toward something achievable. For example, if you want to achieve a higher grade in a certain class, you can break it up into smaller, easily manageable goals throughout the semester, such as committing to doing your homework assignments every school night from 6 to 8 pm, or studying every other night for two hours before watching your favorite show. Be sure to work with your teachers to ensure you’re setting realistic goals and keep track of your progress!


Eliminate distractions

You can plan your day and have all of your assignments laid out to complete. But if you’re surrounded by things that make it hard to focus, chances are you won’t get much done. On top of creating a dedicated workspace that’s free of distractions, it helps to identify what your biggest distractions are. If you like to mindlessly swipe on your phone or browse the web, consider setting an alarm for ‘social media breaks’ or using apps to help limit your social media usage. There are even Google Chrome extensions, such as StayFocused and Block Site, that you can use to temporarily block access to distracting websites while you work on your laptop. And if being at home makes it harder to get your work done, that’s okay! Try heading to a local coffee shop or library for a change of scenery. 


Take breaks

It can be easy to work for hours on end when you’re completing coursework at home in your pajamas. But it’s important to take breaks! Working for too long can cause burnout and make it harder to complete your tasks. Scheduling downtime throughout the day will give your mind and body the break it needs, whether it’s taking a walk, having a snack, or snuggling your pet! Divide your day into easily manageable sections, whether it’s based on class subjects or specific assignments, and set a timer so you know when to stop and rest.


Looking for additional resources on time management and achieving success as an online student? Check out these other posts:

What Makes a Successful Online Student?

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You’ve done the research, discussed it with your parents, and decided you’d like to enroll in an online high school. But now another question comes to mind: What makes a successful online student?

Every student may learn a bit differently, but there are tools and tips in place to help you succeed no matter what. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of a successful online student:

Strong time management skills

In a traditional high school, you have a set schedule every day. You go to certain classes at certain times, then go home at the same time every day. In online learning, things are a little different. At ASU Prep Digital, students are given a pace chart to help them stay on track for each class. If you pair that with a planner (you can even personalize your own!) you’ll be able to effectively manage your time each day to avoid feeling overwhelmed. And if you ever feel like you’re falling behind, your Learning Success Coach is a great resource and always ready to help!

Strong communication skills

Being a strong communicator will be essential to your success as an online learner. It’s important to be proactive in reaching out when you need help or clarification on an assignment, whether you’re asking a teacher or a classmate. Luckily, you’ll have the chance to improve written and verbal skills in online learning. At ASU Prep Digital, students have a variety of communication tools at their disposal, including video chats, emails, phone calls, and texts.

Basic computer skills

Your computer will serve many functions during your online learning experience, so it’s vital that you know how to use certain programs and tools that will aid in your success. Being familiar with Microsoft Word and PowerPoint is a good place to start, as you’ll be writing assignments and putting together presentations. Since many online courses function like websites, you’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the specific programs your school uses. For example, ASU Prep Digital uses Zoom, a video meeting platform, for live lessons. But don’t worry—students get a crash course before diving right in!

Good Study/Work Environment

One of the benefits of online learning is getting to do school work wherever you want. It’s nice to get a change of scenery, especially when you’re feeling restless, but it’s a good idea to create a space in your home that’s equipped with everything you need to be productive. Make sure you remove all distractions, like TV or game consoles, and stock up on supplies, such as notebooks and pens, that will help you study and complete assignments efficiently.


At the end of the day, a successful online learner is independent, responsible, and self-motivating. It’s up to you to get everything done in a timely fashion, and you have the freedom to work ahead or spend a little extra time on difficult topics. But this doesn’t mean you’ll be alone on your journey! Your teachers, LSC, and parents will always be available to help and guide you to ensure you’re on the path to success.


Think online learning is the right choice for you? Schedule a call with an admissions advisor to learn more about ASU Prep Digital.

Or, if you’re still on the fence, check out more blog posts on online learning below: