By Sarah K. – One of the most difficult things about learning online is just finding the time. Maybe you did manage to start a course, but then missed a day because you were too busy. You wanted to do it the next day, but then something else got in the way. Soon, it’s been a week, two weeks, a month, and you haven’t made much progress at all.

Don’t stress about this, it’s actually completely normal! So many of us are really busy, and just can’t find the time for all the parts of life that need our attention. Work, family, friends, education; they all demand your time. But, with a few simple time management techniques, you can maximise the time you spend on each part of your life. Here’s a few tips to help you get started.

1. Get a notepad

No fancy computer programs, no expensive scheduler. Just a little flip notepad and a pen in your favourite colour. In the morning, write down all the things you need and want to do. Set a limit to the amount of time you can spend on each one. When you get new things to do, write them down immediately. When you finish something, scratch it off, and really enjoy scratching it off. It’s simple, and a great way to relieve stress.

2. Schedule some blank space and hold on to it

Make sure that each day has some blank space scheduled in. Some parts of your day might take longer than you think, so you might need that extra breathing room. If your time with family or at work runs a little long, that’s ok. You scheduled for that extra time, so you can relax. But remember, keep that space blank for as long as possible!

3. Don’t be afraid to tell people you are busy

There are lots of people who will ask you to do something more in your day. Some are easy to say no to, some are hard. But everybody can accept that if your day is full, then it is full. And don’t worry! If you tell most people that you are just too busy at the moment, they will understand. Most people will know that some days are just busier than others.

4. Don’t always skip the same thing

Eventually, you will miss something. It happens, don’t worry. Work was busier than usual, your child just needed a lot from you today, and something had to be skipped. The trick is: don’t always skip the same thing. If you skipped out on family time yesterday, don’t do that today. If you missed your course twice this week, definitely not today! That way, nothing ever gets completely dropped.

If you can use these time management techniques, not only will you guarantee some space for your learning a few times a week, you will also feel a lot calmer and in control of your day. That can be a real boost. So go on, start managing your time today!

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