EducationArts

5 Tips To Get Through Online Classes, For My Fellow Procrastinators

With schools resuming online, it can be challenging to keep up with our courses since the format is relatively new for most of us. Despite the best efforts of professors and teaching staff to accommodate courses digitally for the entirety of this semester (perhaps even the entire year), it’s easy to fall into the trap of procrastination and lose our way early on. University is no cakewalk as it is — you’re pretty much on your own and it can be difficult to keep a check on your class schedule, mental health, and balance between study time and downtime. Having online classes can genuinely feel like an added stress because of the unfamiliarity of the format, and if you’re a serial procrastinator like I am, the semester can feel like an unending 14-week procrastination rabbit hole. 

By now, I have had a decent amount of experience with online classes, thanks to the abrupt digital shift during the Winter 2020 semester and a spring course that I took in May. I figured out that online learning isn’t actually that bad for us procrastinators, and can be fun if we put a little effort. I am no academic counselor or a professional, just a friendly fellow procrastinator who’s striving to make the most of online classes and use it to my advantage. I have compiled five tips that I found helpful when it comes to procrastination while learning remotely. I hope that those of you reading this can use these tips to make the transition to online classes smoother this semester! 

  1. Have a Designated Study Space: Studying from home will inevitably have distractions, which is why I cannot stress the importance of having a designated study space at your place. An upside about studying at home is that you heavily cut down on transit time/time getting ready, which is a plus point for us, procrastinators! It can be anywhere you think you’ll be the most productive with minimal distractions: the kitchen table, a corner of your room — whatever suits you. Designated study space can really help you get in the zone and can help you feel like you’re actually in a class that can motivate you to focus and retain information better. Research also shows that creating an ideal atmosphere for studying at home, can help manage anxiety and reduce stress.

5 Tips To Get Through Online Classes, For My Fellow Procrastinators

  1. Taking Notes: This tip doubles as a note to myself because I can get pretty lazy with it, especially with online classes *shakes head disapprovingly*. It seems obvious, but because everything is already there for you, you may feel like there is no need to take notes (if only our professors were that laidback!). Online school, in general, can seem more overwhelming, especially if you have synchronous live lectures, so please do not avoid taking notes. It is important to take active notes during class because it can help you focus and understand the main content of the lecture better, according to The Learning Center. Plus, it can also help you feel more prepared for studying for tests and assignments, by having these notes ready. Whether you’re using note-taking software like Google Docs or  OneNote, or even a good old notebook and pen, utilize your weapon of choice to its full potential! 

5 Tips To Get Through Online Classes, For My Fellow Procrastinators

  1. Marking ALL Your Deadlines in the Calendar ASAP: Many of you probably already do this with regular classes, but marking my deadlines, even the seemingly unimportant ones, at the beginning of the semester can help me get into the right mindset and help me mentally prepare for the school year because it helps me resolve my procrastination and manage my time better. It may seem overwhelming at first, but the satisfaction of crossing off each deadline as the semester progresses is indescribable! You can further break down your deadlines into monthly/weekly goals to keep yourself accountable if that helps you feel a little less stressed. 

5 Tips To Get Through Online Classes, For My Fellow Procrastinators

  1. Creating Your Own Schedule (Especially for Asynchronous Classes): Most universities are offering a timed schedule for most synchronous and combination classes, so we don’t have to worry about missing out on important details of the courses. However, if you have asynchronous classes and don’t have it on your regular schedule, consider creating one of your own, independent of your pre-existing schedule (for example, dedicate a portion of your weekend to focus on your unscheduled classes). Depending on the course and the workload, managing asynchronous classes can be a bigger challenge than the synchronous ones. With that in mind, noting the deadlines early on can help you stay on track with the course material and prevent due dates from sneaking up on you. Also, it is important to take breaks as you go on about making your own schedules because it can help you find a healthy balance between studying and having downtime. 

5 Tips To Get Through Online Classes, For My Fellow Procrastinators

  1. Reach Out to Your Instructor More Frequently: These are hard times, and professors are also trying their best to keep up with the sudden digital shift to provide us with quality education. They’re now (hopefully) slightly more equipped to make online classes as accommodating as they can for us, as compared to earlier this year. If you know your professors from previous semesters, that’s great, but even if they are new to you or if you don’t necessarily like their way of teaching, it can still be helpful to communicate. Your feedback is important, especially when online learning is so new to everyone. Feel free to reach out to them more frequently, even with the tiniest of your queries about your courses, no matter how obvious or silly it may seem. This can help in boosting your productivity and make things easier for you! Remember, we are all in this together and our professors are just an email away to help us out.

5 Tips To Get Through Online Classes, For My Fellow Procrastinators

Lastly, while you may have heard these next tips before, it’s more important than ever in these unconventional times to maintain a regular sleep schedule, take breaks often, keep yourself hydrated, exercise and have nutritious meals. These are tiny bits of our routine that most of us take for granted but can go a long way to keep our mental health in check and in return, help us focus better on our classes and do well!

Author

5 Tips To Get Through Online Classes, For My Fellow Procrastinators
Part human, part caffeine. Aspiring writer.