Online Classes: Tips for Being Successful

In this era of online classes, being successful seems to take different energy and techniques than that of in-person classes. After being mostly remote for a year now, there’s no hiding the fact that many of us are feeling the online fatigue. Unfortunately, this definitely isn’t the ideal time to be feeling fatigued by the semester as we are beginning crunch time, just over 3 weeks away from finals week. But, sometimes, all we need is a little push from a friend, which is why I’m here.

From one stressed college student to another, I’ve broken down my tips to being successful into three categories: organization/planning, work environment and positive self-talk.

Organization/Planning

Tip #1: Weekly planning

Although one of the last things we want to do on a Sunday or first thing in the morning on a Monday is plan our work for the week, this is a major key to keeping on top of your work. For me, I pull out my planner at the beginning of each week and look through all the assignments I have for the upcoming week. Then, I’ll write them down according to the day they are due on. Knowing what’s in front of you for the week allows you to tackle everything in an organized and less stressed way. You may feel a little overwhelmed looking at it all written out, but it sure feels good to cross them off after you’ve completed them.

Tip #2: Order of operations

Trust me, I get it, we all have those assignments that we dread and probably save for last to complete. But, in the end, this probably causes more stress. After some trial and error, I’ve realized that my best recipe for success typically is working in order by due dates, rather than working on the assignments you’re dreading from least to most, which would usually cause me to do all the longer assignment at the end of the week. By sticking to working in order by due date, you will set yourself up for a better paced schedule.

Environment

If you’re anything like me, one of the hardest parts about remote learning is finding a space that keeps me motivated. Between the distractions of having family member’s also home and the couch only a few steps away, finding a positive zone seems to be near impossible sometimes. Here’s what I’ve found to help me get into a good working head space:

Tip #3: Customize a playlist

Many of us, including myself, use music to put us into a certain mindset. Anywhere from working-out to trying to fall asleep, there’s music for any mood. Creating a playlist that you can count on to keep you centered on your work is key. Everyone’s musical taste while working is different. For me, my ideal music for doing school work is typically just a playlist of instrumental beats without lyrics, as it provides me with some background tunes without catching myself singing along to the lyrics instead of working.

Tip #4: Find what keeps you centered

Finding what aspects of an environment will keep you calm and centered definitely contributes to your working mindset. This may include dimming a light, having all the lights on, burning a candle, having white noise or anything else that adds to a good environment for you. Personally, playing my “studying music” playlist and burning a crackling candle usually does the trick. Setting the mood for what your “working environment” is will tell your mind that it’s time to get to work. Since I only play this playlist and light the candle when I’m settling down to get something done, my brain almost knows that it’s time to concentrate.

Mental Approach

Tip #5: Positive self-talk

Of course, organizing, planning and finding a good environment add to being successful, but a lot of what we accomplish begins with our mindset. It’s important to remind ourselves sometimes that we’ve got this, even if we don’t fully believe it in that moment. Our mental approach to the work we have to do can make or break how it goes. To put it bluntly, a negative mindset usually results in negative outcomes. When its time to sit down and do whatever it is you need to do, be kind to yourself and remind yourself that you are more than capable.

Student at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Communication Major. Public Relations, Organizational Communication and Digital Media and Production Minors.