Time Management Strategies for Busy Online Students

Master your approach to online learning

4 minutes reading

Juggling online studies with a busy life can be challenging. Balancing work, family, and personal time alongside coursework requires effective time management to get the best results. Let’s review some practical time management strategies and tips that, combined with Aston University’s excellent online student support help busy online students succeed.

Mastering Your Schedule

Creating a schedule and sticking to it is crucial for managing time effectively. A well-structured schedule ensures you allocate enough time to each task, reducing stress and avoiding last-minute rushes.

Time Blocking

Time blocking is an effective scheduling technique. It involves dividing your day into blocks of time, each dedicated to a specific task or activity. For example, allocate two hours in the morning for coursework, an hour in the afternoon for personal errands, and another block in the evening for study review. This method helps you focus on one task at a time, enhancing productivity.

Using a Calendar and Setting Reminders

Use a digital calendar to plan your schedule. Tools like Google Calendar or Outlook can help you visualise your week, set deadlines, and avoid overcommitting. Set reminders for important deadlines, classes, and study sessions to keep you on track.

Embrace Unconventional Techniques

Think outside the box when managing your time. Experiment with unconventional techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working in short bursts followed by breaks to maintain focus and productivity. Additionally, consider incorporating mindfulness practices or physical activity into your schedule to boost energy and concentration levels.

Minimising Distractions

Identifying and minimising time-wasters is essential. Social media, unnecessary phone calls, and other distractions can quickly eat into your study time. Use apps like StayFocusd or Forest to limit your access to distracting websites during study sessions. Create a dedicated and calm study space free from distractions to maintain your focus.

Setting Goals and Prioritising Tasks

Set clear, achievable goals for your study sessions. Break down large tasks into smaller, manageable ones. Prioritise tasks based on their urgency and importance. The Eisenhower Matrix, which categorises tasks into four quadrants (urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, neither urgent nor important), can be a helpful tool for prioritising, for example:

  1. Urgent and Important: Complete an assignment due tomorrow.
  2. Important but Not Urgent: Research for a paper due next month.
  3. Urgent but Not Important: Reply to an email about a non-critical issue.
  4. Neither Urgent nor Important: Watching a new TV show.

Visualising tasks in this way can help you focus on what truly matters and allocate your time effectively.

Incorporate Mindfulness and Self-Care

Don't neglect self-care in your pursuit of academic success. Incorporate mindfulness practices such as meditation or deep breathing exercises into your daily routine to reduce stress and improve focus. Schedule regular breaks to rest and recharge, helping you maintain a healthy work-life balance.

time management aston online

Practical Examples and Resources

Wanting to improve your time management skills? Explore this list of apps designed to enhance your workflow and boost productivity.


Todoist helps you keep track of your tasks and projects, ensuring you don't miss deadlines and stay organised. 

Key Features: Task management, project organisation, deadlines, and recurring tasks.


Evernote allows you to capture and organise ideas, notes, and research, making it easy to access your information anytime, anywhere. 

Key Features: Note-taking, web clipping, document scanning, and synchronisation across devices.


Forest helps you stay focused by encouraging you to stay off your phone and concentrate on your tasks. The app grows a virtual tree when you stay focused. 

Key Features: Focus timer, virtual tree planting, and app-blocking.


StayFocusd limits the amount of time you can spend on distracting websites, helping you stay productive during study sessions. 

Key Features: Website blocking, customisable restriction settings, and daily time limits.


Trello is a visual project management tool that helps you track tasks, deadlines, and collaborate with others. It’s great for managing coursework and group projects. 

Key Features: Boards, lists, cards, due dates, and collaboration.


RescueTime tracks the time you spend on various activities and provides insights into your productivity, helping you identify and eliminate time-wasting habits. 

Key Features: Automatic time tracking, detailed reports, and productivity scoring.


Notion integrates notes, tasks, and databases into one app, making it a versatile tool for managing coursework, projects, and personal tasks. 

Key Features: All-in-one workspace, notes, tasks, databases, and calendars.

Microsoft OneNote

OneNote is excellent for organising lecture notes, research, and ideas in a digital notebook format. 

Key Features: Note-taking, multimedia support, and synchronisation.

Google Keep

Google Keep is a simple note-taking app that integrates with Google’s ecosystem, making it easy to capture and share ideas quickly. 

Key Features: Note-taking, reminders, voice notes, and collaboration.


Asana helps you manage projects and tasks, keeping you and your team on track with deadlines and deliverables. 

Key Features: Task management, project tracking, deadlines, and team collaboration.

Find out more

By mastering these time management strategies, you can create a productive and fulfilling online learning experience while effectively managing your other commitments.

Aston University supports this balance by offering flexible, accessible, and high-quality education tailored to your needs. Our innovative approach to online learning ensures that you can pursue your academic goals without sacrificing other important aspects of your life.

Our comprehensive support services, industry connections, and commitment to excellence provide the perfect platform for you to thrive. Whether you're aiming to advance your career or embark on a new path, Aston Online equips you with the tools and knowledge to succeed. Embrace the future of education with us and unlock your full potential. 


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