There is no shortage of reasons to earn a college degree online. Online degree programs are often better suited to busy students, they allow you to study a range of subjects, they often include lower overall costs and they make it easier than ever to conveniently earn an advanced degree.
However, there are some obstacles to overcome as an online student, and procrastination is one of the biggest. If you struggle to focus on your online program, then these five tips can help you to get your studies completed on time.
1. Choose an Online Degree Program That You Truly Enjoy
This is not always an easy thing to do, but it can make a big difference in how much you procrastinate when earning your degree. If you choose a major that you think will pay well in the future, but you dread actually doing the work, then you’ll be fighting an uphill battle.
Whenever possible, select a degree program in a subject you enjoy, whether that is a sports management degree or a history degree.
2. Study First Thing in the Morning
Although every schedule is a little different, lots of studies reveal that humans concentrate better in the morning and can get more work done in less time. If that sounds like you, try to carve out 30 minutes to one hour each morning to study.
You could wake up a little earlier and read through materials or take a practice exam, for instance. It is a small change, but it can make a big difference in terms of getting things done.
3. Eliminate Distractions Whenever Possible
If you’re an online student, then you are probably working through your materials from a computer, which is a very easy way to be distracted. To reduce distractions and focus on the task at hand without procrastinating, turn off or silence any electronic devices like tablets or smartphones.
Block, at least temporarily, social media websites or online message boards that typically distract you from your studies.
4. Schedule Study Appointments
An appointment with your doctor, your boss or your mom is likely one that you would keep, so take the same steps to schedule study time for yourself. At the end of each week, take out your calendar and pencil in blocks of time when you will read, study, watch online lectures or do whatever else needs to get done. Then, treat those study sessions as legitimate appointments that you can’t afford to miss.
If you have a set start and stop time, you may be less likely to put off your assignments.
5. Reward Yourself For Reaching Milestones
Positive reinforcement can be a great way to break the habit of procrastination. Plan to give yourself a reward every time that you meet a deadline or complete a project. For example, you might opt to go out to eat at your favorite restaurant when you read three chapters of a textbook or buy yourself a new outfit if you complete all of your planned study sessions for an entire month.
Procrastinating is certainly common among online students, but taking a few steps can help you to get your work done on time and without last-minute stress.