Time Management in Virtual School


While attending school during a pandemic, it was a known factor that at some point everyone was going to be virtual. The only question was when it was going to happen.  From Thursday, Oct. 1 to Friday, October 16, though, all students had to log on to Schoology for instruction while the district completed contact tracing after a number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the student body. 


At the beginning of the year families chose whether to send their child to school in person or virtually. For those who had been attending in-person, the dozen days of all-virtual was quite an adjustment. Because of this switch, it can be hard to keep up with classes. It gets tiring between all of the video conferences and homework, plus distractions and the fact that you are in the same place all day long.  


It can be a struggle to manage time virtually at home.  My brother is a freshman and from what I have observed, he and his friends have especially struggled managing their time. After years of learning and being in-person with other  students and teachers, it may be really hard to adjust.


To help people cope with this problem, here are a few pointers and tips to managing your time during virtual school, and maybe just time management in general. 


Phones tend to be a distraction. How many times have you been in a class on zoom and you hear a little “diing,” or you’ll be working on an assignment and you feel that buzz buzz of a new notification? Phones can be a big issue when it comes to time management because – let’s face it – most of us are pretty addicted to them. Maybe you tell yourself that you will just look at that one notification but then one minute turns into a few and then you just start wasting your valuable time and missing class/zoom time.  


What I do with my phone during the day is put it to the side until my work/school day is over.  If it is too tempting, put your phone in another room while you work. Then after the work is done, you can have a little phone break. Can’t bear to do that? Try putting your phone on airplane mode or turning it off.  


It is also important to follow a daily schedule. Whether it’s mental or written down, a good ol’ schedule helps conserve time and makes you stay productive. Now, you may already follow your school schedule but I’m also talking about planning out a break time in between classes and planning out study and work time. I personally like to follow the schedule that I use at school: I get on all of my zooms and in those classes, even though the zoom is usually only an hour, I use the rest of the time to do the work in that class, leaving the work that I don’t finish aside for “homework”. If I don’t have any work to do during a specific period, I’ll work on something else – but the point is to be productive. 


After school ends at 3:50 p.m. I take a good one to two hour break and go outside and skateboard or ride a bike in order to get some physical activity. Making sure you balance your time online and outdoors is also important.  Being outside energizes people and gives you a dose of vitamin D. 


Then after I eat dinner, I do the homework that I set aside for that day and go to sleep.  


Whatever you make your schedule, just make sure that it is productive and works for you while also putting in a little free time to relax and destress.


One last tip that I have is turning your camera on in zoom or whatever type of virtual meeting that you’re in. I know that this might seem silly or stupid, but trust me. I have noticed that when I have the camera on, I tend to pay attention a lot better.  When the camera is off, I’m more prone to zone out or get distracted because no one is watching me or what I do. But when the camera is on, I know that at least someone is watching me so it makes me pay attention – just as if I were in an in-person class.  And yes, some people might be camera shy but if you are easily distracted on zoom, turning your camera on will keep you more engaged in the class.