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How to Overcome Procrastination While Taking Online Classes

A laptop, notebook of notes, and coffee mug

Online classes are a convenient and affordable option for adult students who want to earn degrees or certifications without affecting their demanding work and life schedules. However, remote students can face many distractions when learning from home, which can make completing assignments on time challenging. Review these tips to help you break through periods of procrastination and stay on track with your coursework.

Learn How to Prioritize and Plan

Whether you're enrolled in an advanced degree program or racking up professional certifications, you probably have a handful of courses to keep up with simultaneously—you could have an upcoming exam, essay, and project due in a single week. Procrastination often results in burnout; waiting until the deadline is dangerously close to finally close out your pending assignments usually requires long periods of intense work, which can be draining and lead to poor performance. If you're feeling overwhelmed in online classes, creating a tailored plan that fits your schedule and addresses your course load can help you organize your due dates and feel more in control. Review every syllabus at the beginning of each course and make note of important dates to determine how much time you'll need to budget for each assignment.

Identify and Eliminate Distractions

Distractions at home can come in many forms: children may be learning at home with you, forgotten chores beg for attention, and smartphones can light up and pull us away for longer than we originally planned. Identify the distractions that keep you from getting work done and create countermeasures to protect your time. Examples could include silencing your phone and putting it away until your next break, turning off your television, or finding a quiet place to work comfortably.

Find Ways to Stay Motivated

Furthering your education is a huge decision that can make a major impact on your career, but even with that reward in mind, you may still experience difficulties with staying on track. Remember to reward yourself for the smaller victories along the way, including finishing your work on time! Take a longer break, treat yourself to lunch, or find other ways that will encourage you to take initiative and remind you that you're a step closer to your goal.

Try Out Different Time Management Methods

Every student is unique, and not every schedule works for the same person. If you're more productive in the morning, you may find waking up bright and early to finish a module or essay more peaceful and productive. For some, setting reminders in a digital calendar or online tool can help with staying on top of their commitments on a daily, weekly, or even hourly basis. Explore different methods to help find the best rhythm for your schedule; and if you're someone who struggles with rigid routines, you could rotate different schedules to stay engaged.

Tulane School of Professional Advancement offers an array of valuable resources for online students to help them stay successful as they work toward their academic and career goals. Our students have access to academic advisors who can support them in their journey to a degree or certification. Request more information about our programs today to learn more about our online offerings.

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