It's time allocation — not management — that is important, after all!
In our November post, we discussed three things military-related students could do to get a handle on their schoolwork.
· Step one – Make the commitment
· Step two – Use a calendar and make a schedule
· Step three – Find a place to focus on your schoolwork.
In this post, we will look more closely at how to schedule and working with the time that is available to us. For the purpose of this post, we’ll be focusing specifically on students who are achieving their degrees in the online classroom.
The first thing for an online military-related student to realize is that time itself cannot be managed! Yes, that's right, we really cannot manage time. We do not have the capability of speeding time up or slowing it down, or stopping it for that matter. What we really have the ability to do is to manage the time available to us and how to best use that time and we can allocate time to accomplish things. As human beings, we all have the same amount of time available to use to use; and yes, it is the same amount of time that online military-related students have. We all have 24-hours in a day, giving us 168-hours per week at our disposal.
So where do you begin? The first thing to do is to take an assessment of the tasks you do in a single day and how much time you devote to them.
Here is an example:
From this example, you would conclude that you do not have time to do your coursework, therefore why should you take online college courses? You’re right! In any given day, you may not have the time available to do your coursework. But remember, you have 168 hours in a week to play with – and taking your classes online gives you the ability to do work when YOU have time for it.
For the average online three-credit course, a student should plan on five to eight hours per week of dedicated coursework in order to do well. The range of five to eight hours is based upon the length of the online term. In an eight-week online term, a military-related student should expect to spend eight hours per week doing related coursework per course. In an 11-week online term, a student should expect to spend at least five hours per week doing coursework.
Let’s look how we can find more available time. Remember, it's about commitment and priorities.
Using the above example, you can see that we were able to make 14 hours of our total time available to devote to doing coursework. One of the most useful tools you have to help you with your time allocation plan is to use your course syllabus. The course syllabus will provide you with the dates and times when your assignments and projects are due. With this information, based on your priorities for a given day or week, you can better "allocate" your time to accomplish all that you need to do.
I have kept things simple for illustration purposes, but in all honestly, life is rarely this simple. You have to keep in mind that each day and week may be different, as life has a tendency to throw us a curve-ball from time to time. You may have to work overtime or travel for your job. You may have sick children or a spouse on your hands. Your car may break down. Whatever the situation or circumstance may be, all of these things will cut into the time available, so you will need to prioritize and reallocate your time accordingly.
Explore our online degree programs, or fill out the "Request Info" form on this page to learn about the Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education and making the most of your military benefits.