Time management key to academic success in COVID-19 crisis

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By Arine Garin, Staff Reporter

In light of the situation with COVID-19, the only alternative is remote-learning classes and some students say they are conflicted about this situation. As classes resumed March 30, you may have encountered difficulties with remote-learning, specifically with becoming more productive at home. 

You should acknowledge the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day, and you can only control your actions. In other words, just doing “something” does not always result in progress. Effective time management is the key to ensuring success in classes. Regardless of what may seem like a horrible situation, here are some tips and techniques that can help you improve your time management skills.

To begin with, I want you to remember the acronym SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely). With any goal, whether it be a homework assignment or a research paper, this acronym serves as a reminder that you have to be SMART according to your goals. S for Specific is to define tasks and this can be done by creating a list, prioritizing and setting due dates. M for Measurable means to keep track of progress with the purpose of daily reviews from class and assure completion. A (Attainable) and R (Relevant) work interchangeably. You need self-discipline and to be realistic when it comes to prioritizing your goals. To illustrate, an assignment that is given one week ahead cannot be crammed into one session nor is it beneficial to set a goal and not put in the effort and action to complete it. T is for Timely. You need to set a time when your goal should be accomplished (preferably a day before its class due date), for if you don’t put in a time you eventually forget and become unmotivated, hurting yourself in the long run.

Along with being SMART, it is also important to be aware of certain distractions. We are all easily tempted by what surrounds us such as phones, TVs, friends and family. Designate a work-space that provides a learning-environment that enables you to concentrate on your tasks and be less likely to be disturbed. In addition to this, working in short increments (also known as the Pomodoro technique) ensures the maximum focus while lessening mental-fatigue. For example, you work for 25 minutes then take a five-minute break and after every fourth break, take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes. 

Although this sudden transition is unexpected, you still can be in control and achieve your academic goals. Communicate with your professors and let them know if you encounter any problems. I hope that these tips are useful and beneficial in your academic career. 

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