Focus and Time Management Strategies

Remote learning requires extra discipline. A five-unit remote or hybrid course require the same amount of time as an in-person class, about 15 hours each week.

Classes taught remotely and in hybrid still have deadlines and due dates. Carefully review your syllabus so you know when those are, and make notes for yourself on your planner or Google Calendar.

Most of the work for remote classes and around half of the work for hybrid classes will be done on your own time. This means you really have to manage your time intentionally and thoughtfully. Maintaining your motivation and reducing distractions are key. Keep in mind what you need to get done today, tomorrow, next week, or this quarter to focus yourself.

Quick tips:

  • Schedule time to study, read, do homework, etc., each day of the week.

  • Add due dates to your calendar and set reminders.

  • Make a daily “to-do” list.

  • Keep track of the time you’re spending on the course, and make sure to stay on schedule.

  • Try putting distractions out of arms' reach.

Access EOP's Time Management Guide.

The downsides of multi and micro tasking

Assignments take longer - Each time you come back to an assignment (from Instagram, for example), you have to get familiar with it, find your spot, remember what you were going to do next, etc.

You’re more likely to make mistakes - Distractions and switching between tasks tires out the brain.

You’ll remember less - When your attention is divided, you’re less able to commit what you’re learning to long-term memory (because it doesn’t get encoded properly into your brain).

The benefits of mono tasking

  • Focus on one thing at a time.

  • When you need to study something important, consider The Magic of Monotasking.

  • Take breaks between tasks. It’s important to move around at least once every hour. You can set an alarm as a reminder.

  • Consider the “pomodoro method” to help you focus for 25- or 50-minute periods and then reward yourself with 5- or 10-minute breaks.

Here are a series of videos prepared by staff at Cerro Coso Community College on preparing for the online classroom experience: