Time Management

As a distance learning student at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, you do not have regularly scheduled courses and study periods. You will be responsible for making time for the work.

The members of your Student Advisory Board have shared some tips that work for them as online students.

Time Management Tips

Choose a credit load you can handle
  • When planning your schedule for each term, it is important to consider how much time you have to devote to your coursework.
  • Most 16-week courses will require about twelve hours of your time per week, per course. More time will be needed for shorter courses.
  • With online courses, your typing skills, familiarity with the software, computer, and Internet connection can all affect the time you spend.
  • Utilize the Time Management Calculator to assess how much time you have to devote to your classes based on other commitments. Be careful to not underestimate.
Start the term on the right foot
  • Set yourself up for success by ordering textbooks in advance, printing the course calendar, and reading the syllabus. It also helps to review each course's "Home" section in Canvas from top to bottom.
  • During preview week, compile all readings and due dates into one chart for the semester. Not only can the visual representation help pace out the workload, but this familiarizes you with the expectations of each course in its entirety.
  • Set realistic goals for completing coursework and work to meet those goals. 
Make a plan
  • Planners and to-do lists can help keep track of and manage assignments that are pending, in progress, or complete. Find a system that works for you, whether it's a calendar on your phone, a written calendar, a to-do list app like Microsoft To-Do (available through your campus email), or a combination of these tools. 
  • Customize your schedule and lists to include things outside of coursework such as work duties, home tasks, kids' school and appointments, your significant others' work schedule, etc.
Schedule study sessions
  • Look at your schedule a week in advance and plan out time for studying. Plan days into multiple study sessions with breaks in between.
  • Share your study schedule with others in your household so they can give you alone time to focus.
Prepare for projects
  • Give yourself time to revise and make corrections to assignments. This is extremely advantageous if you are working ahead and want to revisit submissions prior to the due date.
  • If there is a final project, start outlining it at the beginning of the semester. Integrate what you're learning into the project along the way. Using this approach can help with the feeling of both learning more and producing better projects while being less stressed.
Lean on the people around you
  • Reach out to classmates or professors with questions around course topics.
  • Ask for help or clarification before submitting work.
  • If there's something going on in your personal life that may affect your coursework, let your instructor know early. 
  • Utilize your advisor as a time management coach – they're available to help you figure out what works best for you.
Take time for yourself
  • Carve out time in your schedule to relax, even when life is busy. This could be meditating, running, or whatever else helps manage feelings of stress.
  • Plan the semester in advance to balance time for other priorities, such as being fully present with loved ones on weekends or special occasions.
  • Don't be afraid to say no. It's important to set boundaries so you can take care of yourself and your priorities.