Online School Success: The Art of Prioritizing

Posted on August 27 2013

Online high school opens a new door of learning to those who cannot otherwise get it through a “brick and mortar” school. For those who have health issues, who are pursuing an athletic career or who are working yet still want to earn a high school diploma, an online high school is a good choice as it provides a lot of flexibility and allows you to learn on your own pace.

However, the freedom and flexibility afforded by virtual high schools can be an advantage or a disadvantage. It depends on how you manage your time and priorities. There are only so many hours in the day and learning how to apportion those hours to accomplish your online learning tasks, as well as see to other responsibilities and commitments.

The problem is that, often, these tasks compete for our attention and time. One way to deal with this is to prioritize your tasks for the week. When it comes to your online high school program, it is important to outline the tasks you need to do for a certain term. If you have already signed up for specific subjects, you can take a look at the syllabus to learn just how many hours you need for lessons, as well as for projects and assignments. It will be helpful to outline all these in a week by week calendar so that you already know what tasks need to be done by a certain day.

After you have outlined your virtual school-related tasks, you can now start doing your priority lists. You actually need to do three lists – the “to-do” list, the “not now, but later” list and the “don’t do” list.

To-do list

Have a weekly and daily planner. The daily planner should have your to-do list for the day. Make sure you only have three to five items in your daily to-do list so as not to overwhelm you. Having a short to-do list will prevent you from being discouraged even before you start.

  • Put your list where you can see it. Ideally, as an online high school student, you should have your learning space, with your own table, computer and study materials. Post your to-do list in a prominent place.
  • Cross out an item when you finish it.
  • Celebrate your accomplishments. When you’re done with all the items on your daily to-do list, reward yourself with a quick break.

Not Now, But Later list

Aside from daily tasks, make a list of all the tasks that needs to get done for the term. Also include other personal and work-related tasks such as shopping for a loved one’s birthday gift, sending out that resume or completing that project at work. These are tasks that are not urgent, but still need to be done sometime in the future. It is also important to list this down because this will give you an overview of what the next weeks will look like in terms of tasks that need to be done. Also, when you have these tasks in mind, it’s easier to make the most of your free time, after you have crossed out all the items on your daily to-do list.

For your online high school English or other classes, it is important to write tasks in terms of major milestones so that work is evenly distributed throughout the term. This also makes it easier for you to make allowances for unexpected delays or additional workloads during the term.

Things to Avoid List

We already know what often keeps us from doing our tasks. Indeed, there are a lot of distractions that may prevent us from getting to our to-do list. Aside from Facebook and other social networking sites, there are online games, pop up chats from friends and other amusing websites. Thus, this list marks the things we should avoid, especially while we’re working on finishing the tasks in our first two lists.

Recognizing the activities, events and even people that distract us from performing activities towards completing your to-do and not now, but later lists helps you stave off these things. Remember, you are saying “no” to these because these are not your priority.