February 18, 2014 – The beauty and curse of online learning is that you get to set your own schedule (for the most part). This being the case, it can be easy to fall behind. Draper University Online asks for a lot of your time and energy - over and above what you put into other major life commitments. When it comes down to it, this is what starting a business will be like. Whether you choose to start your business on the side while you're still employed or take the leap and start full speed ahead, tasks will inevitably pile up faster than you have time to do them. Your experience with online learning in Draper University Online is a great opportunity to practice effective time-management, and we thought we'd get you started with a few pointers:
1. Set deadlines for yourself
It sounds like a no-brainer, but creating systems for yourself is probably the most effective way to keep on track. Write tasks down in your calendar and you'll be much more likely to finish them. Take time this week to plan ahead by carving out blocks in your schedule for your coursework.
Also, feel free to create your own events in the Calendar section of the site. This will be especially helpful for coordinating group activities like this week's virtual business plan meeting.
2. Split big projects into smaller tasks
The biggest projects are often the most daunting. Splitting them into smaller, more manageable pieces will make it easier to get started.
Take, for example, your Rube Goldberg assignment from Creativity. Instead of trying to attack this in one sitting, try splitting it into three separate 15-20 minute tasks: research and planning, gathering materials, and assembling, for example.
3. Make your online learning social
Make a point to engage your classmates, friends, and family about the content and work you encounter over the course of the program. Did one of the speakers blow your mind? Were you surprised by something you read in one of the reading assignments? The best way to deepen your understanding of new content is often to discuss it with others - plus, it can make for great dinner conversation!
Turn assignments like Painting into group activities: invite friends over to paint self-portraits and watch one of the recommended movies together (more great dinner conversation!).
4. Have fun with it!
At Draper University, we believe that online learning can and should be a good time! Starting a company takes a lot of work, so the ability to find an element of fun in every task at hand will make a huge difference in your ability to endure the hard times and make the best of the good times.