Time Management And Online Learning – Multitasking Should Be Avoided
Many people believe that to be effective in their jobs, which includes managing time and using it efficiently, they must multitask. Since their time is so precious, students tend to cherish the ability to accomplish as much work as possible at any given time. With the new adventure of online learning currently unfolding, it is certainly a temptation for students at home to multitask to take full advantage of the situation. However, some believe that a key to online learning and managing time is the opposite approach and that multitasking should be avoided.
The ability to multitask is considered a skill by many but the research shows that switching between different tasks makes people less productive and may hinder their ability to complete even one task effectively. A study by The American Psychological Association found that multitasking may cause a productivity loss of 40 percent!
A key to resisting the temptation to multitask is staying focused on the task at hand and blocking out distractions. An excellent technique for focusing on one task at a time is the Pomodoro Method. This learning procedure will increase work efficiency. Utilizing 25-minute work sessions, this method is an optimal way for any student to focus on learning online.
The method consists of setting a timer for 25 minutes and working uninterrupted for the scheduled period in its entirety. Then, follow this uninterrupted work period with a five-minute break to do something else. After the completion of four work sessions, a 15-minute break is permitted.
Students must work on one assignment at a time and focus on the task at hand, whether reading a casebook, studying for an exam, briefing a case, communicating with a professor, or participating in an online class. Tasks should be arranged by order of importance, with the three or four most important tasks that require the most time and effort given some level of priority.
Time management is especially crucial for those online students who work full-time or have family-related responsibilities and commitments. Without the everyday happenings of what used to be a typical class day present to establish order, effective time management is invaluable to help maintain focus.
For help staying focused, project management tools such as Trello or Smartsheet may be useful for organizing tasks. Applications that work with traditional to-do lists such as Todoist, Wunderlist, and Evernote may also be helpful.
An important challenge of time management is balancing work on tasks that are due in the short-term with work on tasks that require extensive work but are due in the long-term. It is never wise to leave anything for the 11th hour. A key component of time management is thoughtful and effective planning.
One way to manage time thoughtfully and effectively is to use keystone habits which help provide a regular, organized reorder of everyday life. These habits have an anchoring effect that helps chain other productive activities together thus establishing discipline and focus. Whether it is playing a musical instrument, volunteer work, exercise, or just grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend, keystone habits can help make singular work more productive and avoid the traps of multitasking.
The California Desert Trial Academy utilizes an extensive distance learning platform for students studying online. The CDTA focuses on providing a cutting-edge academic experience that takes advantage of many effective, easy-to-use online tools. At CDTA, we train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys and trial advocates. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.