How to manage your time when completing courses at home

female student using laptop

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown everyone’s daily routines out the window, as students across Ontario adjust to staying home and doing courses online. If this change is making it challenging for you to focus on your course work, you’re not alone. But there are strategies you can use to stay focused and achieve your goals. Here are some time management tips from George Brown’s Accessible Learning Services team:

Use your time wisely. There are 168 hours in a week. Take this online quiz to get a better understanding of how you currently use your time. Notice short pockets of downtime throughout the day – those 10 or 15 minute gaps when you’re waiting for something, or in between projects – and use this time to complete smaller tasks. This will free up time for the big things.

Identify goals

Think about the goals you are trying to achieve. Why are you in this program, what are your longer-term goals and how are you working towards them? If you need help identifying your goals, check out this quick online goal-mapping activity.

Prioritize your assignments

Not everything is important now. Make a list of your upcoming assignments and prioritize based on which are due first. It’s also helpful to keep in mind how much your assignments are worth. Spend more time working on the assignments that are worth more. Have a look at this video of how to prioritize effectively.

Break down your assignments

Plan how you will complete your assignments by breaking big tasks down into manageable steps with this assignment schedule tool.

Plan out your week

Incorporate your daily tasks into a weekly schedule and use it every day. A template of a weekly schedule can be found at A homework schedule is another tool that might be helpful.

Schedule some down time

Make sure to include time for fun or relaxing in your schedule every day. Identify activities that you enjoy, such as watching a movie, connecting with friends or exercising, and put them into your calendar.

Stop, start, continue

Spend a few minutes reflecting on how you’ve been approaching your learning and what might need to change. Now take a scrap piece of paper and write the headers STOP, START and CONTINUE. Under STOP, list the things you want to stop doing. Think about what habits get in the way of your success in school, and then write them down. Under START, write down what you will begin doing. What new ideas and things will you incorporate into your life? And under CONTINUE, write what you are doing well and what you will continue doing. Don’t forget to reward yourself after every small victory. Having something to look forward to will motivate you to finish your task!

Need more help?

If you need support with specific learning challenges, the Learning Strategists at George Brown’s Accessible Learning Services can help. Contact them using the following email addresses: