How to Plan Your Day for Online Learning

Transitioning to online learning hasn’t been easy, but planning ahead has softened the blow

Online learning can be made easier by planning ahead. (Pexels)

Two days before KPU shut down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I had a 10:00 a.m. class on the Langley campus. It was normal, except for one thing: During a group discussion about COVID-19 coverage in the mainstream media, most students believed it was receiving “too much coverage” instead of not enough.

Obviously, hindsight is 20/20. The following days would provide a different outlook on the novel disease. It was more serious than many anticipated.

The old perception of “normal” became a lost luxury replaced by a “new normal.” Cases were skyrocketing. Every major sports league in North America indefinitely suspended operations. Businesses began to shut their doors. People were being told to stay home. For students, in-class learning abruptly became a thing of the past.

In response to all of this, I bunkered down in the confines of my parents’ home and started to isolate myself from the rest of society. It felt like the world was being put on hold, but classes were still in session.

Welcome to the new normal!

Working on subjects I’m passionate about isn’t always easy from home. I blog about basketball for income, so I’m used to being around distractions like my dog and my consoles, but trying to grind out tedious papers or assignments — without the luxury of being at a library where I had no choice but to study — was new and challenging.

I struggled immensely with that. I had all this spare time and couldn’t seem to spend any of it on schoolwork. My concept of time and space had significantly deteriorated, and I was developing the bad habit of leaving assignments to the last minute.

That’s when my girlfriend suggested that I buy a planner.

I found one large enough to hang on my wall for $10 to oblige her, thinking I’d never actually use the thing. Then I got hit with a bunch of assignments at once and thought to myself, “What’s the harm in grabbing my Sharpie and jotting a couple of events down?”

It was a game-changer.

Suddenly, in a time of dire uncertainty and perpetual angst, my life had a semblance of order. I knew exactly when assignments were due, thanks to the planner taking up prime real estate on my wall. Gone are the days of relying on my often-shoddy memory. Now, I am ahead of the curve on all my papers. I can even tell you what day it is without looking at my phone.

Online learning is not for everyone, but planning out which subject you are going to study and when you will study it alleviates stress.

For me, this planner acts as a road map. I have a long drive ahead. Sometimes, just stopping to see if I’m still going down the right road or having to take an exit helps a lot.