Productivity Tips for Online Courses

The coronavirus-induced lockdowns weren’t the beginning of virtual schooling, but they certainly made it more ubiquitous. Even as things open up and classes get back into physical sessions, there continues to be an increase of online courses. Every student should expect that most of their upcoming classes will see hybrid schooling. This means course information accessible only online, such as lectures and discussions, even when the course is listed as a primarily offline one.

In other words, if you still haven’t gotten accustomed to being productive with online courses, then now is the time to start. Now is the time to learn new habits. Now is the time to be more productive and thereby earn better grades. Get started with the following tips for online courses:

You must add structure to your days.

One of the hardest things freshmen in college have to contend with is structuring their own days. When you live off-campus in a college apartment, no parent is going to wake you up. Professors aren’t going to call you for missing classes. Going to class is all on you. And while you’d think actually waking up and going to an in-person course is harder than logging online, many cite the opposite.

Online coursework has a way of making one feel like it can be done at any point. It thus becomes much easier to procrastinate. To say you’ll do it later. Don’t fall into this trap! Create a structured schedule in which you check and complete online coursework at the same time every day.

Define your workspace.

This second big productivity tip will also help improve your self-discipline. That’s because having a dedicated workspace where you go only to complete coursework will decrease distractions and improve your mental focus. Just think about the last time you tried to complete school work from your bed or couch. Those are places where you go to relax and as such, your brain has learned how to shut off and relax. This makes it so much harder to get things done because body subconsciously works against you.

Instead, when you create a dedicated workspace, such as a desk next to your Junction apartment’s window, you get your body to work with you. You go to this space only to work and the more you do that, the more you accustom your body and brain to focus. Make this workspace even more effective by outfitting it with things that inspire and motivate you.

Nix the distractions.

Setting up a dedicated workspace in your college apartment is a great step towards reducing distractions — but it won’t eliminate them. Especially when you are doing coursework online. That’s because so many of our distractions today are online! Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia rabbit holes are distractions that can take you away from your primary tasks for hours on end.

Tactics for how to deal with these distractions vary depending upon which distractions are worst for you. In general, we recommend keeping the following tips in mind:

    • Don’t try to multitask as this can often lead you to want to multitask in your favorite distraction/time waster.
    • Do turn off devices you aren’t using and, where possible, turn off Wi-Fi on your computer to focus on reading or writing tasks.
    • Do keep goals for what you want to get done and the time in which you want to get it done. Hold yourself accountable for those goals.

Take notes even when you don’t think you need them.

If you are watching a virtual lecture or viewing a video via the course’s virtual library, you may think that you don’t need notes. Especially if that lecture and video are viewable at any time. Don’t fall into this trap. Taking notes is always valuable because:

  • Note-taking keeps you alert as you’re actively doing something as opposed to just passively watching something.
  • Taking notes engages your brain as you have to listen or read critically, deciding what is important to include and how to include it in your notes.
  • Note-taking helps to organize your thoughts.
  • Taking notes creates a condensed record that you can easily refer to when studying for an upcoming exam or project.

Unfortunately, too many people drop off on notes when it comes to online classes and soon find themselves struggling because of it. Don’t be that person. Take notes.

Looking for a New College Station Apartment? Contact Our Team for an Open House

Our team at the Junction Cottages & Townhomes is excited to offer spacious college apartments with high-class amenities here in College Station. Apartment bedrooms here are huge with plenty of room for a dedicated workspace. So if you’re just moving to town or looking for a home upgrade, consider us. Contact our team today for a walk-through and go online to see all the included features.