Effective Time Management

Traditionally, most people find the norm in education to involve lectures in physical classrooms.  Tutor-student interaction is perceived as being only physical.  With innovations, virtual learning has been introduced with varying degrees of success. However, lots of students, and potential students, find virtual learning both difficult and inadequate. To this group, combining student life with work and other commitments is no small feat. Self-motivation and managing distractions represent significant challenges to the distance student.  Again, this is largely due to the traditional expectations that learning should be restricted to the four walls of a physical classroom.

Motivation and Team Work

As a first-time distance learning student, my experience thus far and from an informal interview with a friend (also on a distance learning program) has been informative.  With the flexibility we have, study can be self-paced and the ability to interact with classmates from different parts of the world without having to incur travel costs or work capabilities make it more interesting and enlightening. The key, however is “motivation”. Some students are supported financially by employers and family, but what all distance-learning students must have in common is a passion for their subject and a commitment to self-studying.

Collaborated on Ideas

While circumstances and situations differ, it is important to take advantage of the benefits that learning across borders poses such as increased networking, collaboration and ideas sharing thus initiating an exposure to innovative and unique perspectives. My experience of distance learning has been exciting and enlightening. I have got to know people from various countries and continents, identified with them (despite cultural differences) in terms of motives for registering, collaborated on ideas discussed, and built friendships that transcend the virtual environment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdRb8eX2Yns

Keep Focused and Track Progress

Drinking two litres of water a day and having a sleep schedule has drastically improved my focus and ability to concentrate, but more so having a set plan already in place, I no longer open my books and waste precious time wondering what to do or where to focus. I can look at my chart and see exactly what I need to do and get started straight away.

After all the hard work, it’s very rewarding to cross off the topics on your calendar to show how far you have come. This can help keep you on track and stay motivated and give you the best chance of success.

My experience of distance learning has been exciting and enlightening! I have got to know people from various countries and continents.

A few of my friends are also studying, not at the same university or even the same course, but having other friends who I can ‘study buddy’ with or check in, keeps us all determined and on track. Scheduling in catch-up time can give much needed respite without panic. This keeps your goals realistic and manageable.

Stay Focused on Your Studies

There is a phrase called ‘Decision Fatigue’ which may be weighing you down. I first heard about this procrastination phenomenon in a talk by Kerwin Rae. It is based on the principle that we spend so much time thinking about what to do, instead of doing what we wanted in the first place, that we waste time. How can we stop being unsure what to study and just start studying? It is never too late to organise your time! One approach is to divide your module across calendar weeks available and then split those into days. 

Find Time in Your Calendar

Much of my time listening to audios or exposing myself to external wider reading and lectures is spent whilst doing a mundane activity I can’t avoid such as brushing teeth or cooking pasta. These little ten minute bursts can add up to another 20 hours of study, and enhance my exposure to the topic, leading to better understanding. A commute can be an excellent opportunity – putting down Facebook on the train and using that hour to read the core text book is invaluable.

Have a Study Method

Routine has been a saviour of study for me. Creating good healthy study habits has made it so much easier to ‘get down to work’ and be in the mental zone with limited procrastination. I study for four hours a day approximately, but try not to set yourself goals by time, or you could find yourself watching paint dry and counting it as four hours study. It is much better to study a certain topic or certain activity before taking a break.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdRb8eX2Yns

Keep Focused and Track Progress

Drinking two litres of water a day and having a sleep schedule has drastically improved my focus and ability to concentrate, but more so having a set plan already in place, I no longer open my books and waste precious time wondering what to do or where to focus. I can look at my chart and see exactly what I need to do and get started straight away.

After all the hard work, it’s very rewarding to cross off the topics on your calendar to show how far you have come. This can help keep you on track and stay motivated and give you the best chance of success.

After all the hard work, it’s very rewarding to cross off the topics on your calendar to show how far you have come.

A few of my friends are also studying, not at the same university or even the same course, but having other friends who I can ‘study buddy’ with or check in, keeps us all determined and on track. Scheduling in catch-up time can give much needed respite without panic. This keeps your goals realistic and manageable.

Study Early and Often

Some students wait until a few days before the exam to study for the NCLEX, but you should really begin on day one of nursing school. The NCLEX is a cumulative exam, and you need to continually review the information in order to commit it to memory. Do not try to cram the night before the exam—you will be unsuccessful. Instead, after you graduate, dedicate at least one hour each night to reviewing material for the exam.

Take Advantage of Outside Resources

Much of my time listening to audios or exposing myself to external wider reading and lectures is spent whilst doing a mundane activity I can’t avoid such as brushing teeth or cooking pasta. These little ten minute bursts can add up to another 20 hours of study, and enhance my exposure to the topic, leading to better understanding. A commute can be an excellent opportunity – putting down Facebook on the train and using that hour to read the core text book is invaluable.

Have a Study Method

Routine has been a saviour of study for me. Creating good healthy study habits has made it so much easier to ‘get down to work’ and be in the mental zone with limited procrastination. I study for four hours a day approximately, but try not to set yourself goals by time, or you could find yourself watching paint dry and counting it as four hours study. It is much better to study a certain topic or certain activity before taking a break.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdRb8eX2Yns

Take breaks

Our brains aren’t meant to study for hours on end without any type of break. Instead, focus on a project for a 30- to 45-minute sprint, then break for a few minutes before moving to the next item on your list.

Drinking two litres of water a day and having a sleep schedule has drastically improved my focus and ability to concentrate, but more so having a set plan already in place, I no longer open my books and waste precious time wondering what to do or where to focus. I can look at my chart and see exactly what I need to do and get started straight away.

Our brains aren’t meant to study for hours on end without any type of break. Instead, focus on a project for a 30- to 45-minute sprint, then break for a few minutes before moving to the next item on your list.

Rather than scramble to meet deadlines, set aside time in your weekly schedule to study. In the long run, you’ll get used to studying at a certain time each day, and avoid the unnecessary stress caused by cramming sessions or all-nighters.

Learn English From U.S. Instructors, Locals or Mentors

Prospective international students may also want to consider learning American English through a summer program on a U.S. university campus. “One of the best ways for international students to improve their English-language speaking skills is to participate in an English-language intensive program,” Jane Griffiths says.

School Mentors can be Great Guides

Nguyen says she spoke often with her school’s director of international admissions, who helped answer her questions about American life before she arrived on campus. She says having attended an international school all her life, she was already in the habit of practicing English with friends from diverse countries, which has helped improve her skills naturally. “English is the universal language that helps us connect with each other,” Nguyen says.

Have a Study Method

Routine has been a saviour of study for me. Creating good healthy study habits has made it so much easier to ‘get down to work’ and be in the mental zone with limited procrastination. I study for four hours a day approximately, but try not to set yourself goals by time, or you could find yourself watching paint dry and counting it as four hours study. It is much better to study a certain topic or certain activity before taking a break.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdRb8eX2Yns

Download a Language App or English Podcast

One option for prospective international students is to use an English-language app or listen to English-language podcasts like. “Successful communication requires both understanding what others say and being understood by others. This means that improving spoken language skills involves training both listening and speaking,” says Natasha Rustikova, head of learning science at Estudiar. Podcasts can also be helpful and often have transcripts, a written version of the audio, which allow users to listen and read at the same time. 

“English is the universal language that helps us connect with each other. And as we all know, practice makes perfect.

A few of my friends are also studying, not at the same university or even the same course, but having other friends who I can ‘study buddy’ with or check in, keeps us all determined and on track. Scheduling in catch-up time can give much needed respite without panic. This keeps your goals realistic and manageable.