Tips for time management during remote learning

Written By Dana DeSantis

In America, most students have been taught to follow a tactical guideline of when to attend classes, when homework and exams are set to be turned in and the punishments that will come along if the student resists the importance of their work. Time has become more abstract and with the absence of being reprimanded in-person for late work, many are unable to find motivation to complete their assignments.


As class-work begins to stack on top of each other, having the skill of time management has become necessary for success. By testing out the following tactics and finding which guidelines work best, the chaotic, stressful train ride that one may find themselves on, may have a chance to slow itself down and get back on track.


In the Lynda Learning courses, “Proven Tips for Managing Your Time,” by Todd Dewett and “Extreme Productivity,” by Robert C. Posen from the Blinkist, both go over multiple variations of time management strategies.


The 80/20 Rule

Never invest more than half of the day’s work time doing 80% tasks. These are tasks that are mundane and simple. Quickly handle these low-priority tasks by keeping perfectionism low. For example: sending an email, setting up the week’s calendar, etc. So… what are 20% tasks? Work that is going to move progress forward and relieve stress. For example: completing an assignment, studying for an exam, finishing an important meeting, etc.


Invest Time and Fight Procrastination

Set realistic time guidelines, such as the 45/15 rule. For every 45 minutes of work = a reward of a 15 minute break to spend

doing something enjoyable


Follow the OHIO rule – Only Handle It Once

For example: If an email is received, only read it once and reply. Do not click off of it to have to read it all again at another time, just get it done.


Set mini-deadlines to maintain accountability.

This also helps to break big projects down and combats overwhelming anxiety. For example: If there is a 10-page paper due by the end of the semester, complete one page each week instead of cramming the entire paper in at the last minute. Plan a finishing time each morning. This will allow personal time and build an inner-trust in oneself. Evaluate what there is to get done that day and schedule each task their own allotted time frame.


Target Distractions

Notice what are personal time-wasting habits and set guidelines to stick by. Delay a ‘want’ to use it as motivation to finish a task. Do NOT try to multi-task while working; it will make less progress happen on each project, which will eliminate all satisfaction.


Say ‘NO’ To Interruptions

Be proactive about the day’s availability and know what times are needed to be focused on work time with no disruptions. Use colored cards to identify how much roommates, friends, family, etc. can interrupt you.

Green = People can come and chat freely.

Yellow = People may interrupt, if needed; it’s essentially a ‘Enter with Caution’ sign.

Red = People may not enter the space, have them text or call if something is needed immediately.


Step Away From Normal Work Spaces

Getting bored or exhausted in a workspace is inevitable. Try to step away from that space and take work somewhere else that is quiet, full of light and spacious.