How to Set a Productive Routine during an Online Semester

Taking online classes is no piece of cake. It too requires you to effectively manage your sleep cycle, which, undoubtedly, is quite a tedious task. The fact that we are all isolated in our homes with limited mobility makes the feat even more difficult. The lack of physical activity has a major impact on the body’s internal clock, and that is why students find it hard to cope with the attendance and workload of online classes. It is imperative for freshmen to overcome these challenges in order to ensure a smooth transition to university life. Hence, for your convenience, we have some tips that will help you set a routine, that will make online classes, and life in general, just a little bit more manageable.

NOTE: All these tips are from the author’s experience. General scientific recommendations could be different.


1) Rise with the Sun

It is understandable that during quarantine, many students develop the habit of staying up late and sleeping in till noon. However, waking up early keeps your brain and body energised throughout the day and enables you to remain more alert and productive.

One easy way to achieve this is by forcing yourself to wake up and attend morning classes even if attendance is not mandatory. If you do not have a morning class, you should nevertheless try to develop a routine that compels you to wake up by 9:00 or 10:00 am.

Wake up early and make sure you remain awake throughout the day. Fight the urge to indulge in power naps because they tend to induce lethargy. Just drink a cup of tea or coffee and take a quick walk in the sun for 10-15 minutes to freshen up.

2) Get 8 Hours of Sleep a Night

Having a healthy sleep cycle improves your productivity for the day and helps you wake up with a positive mood.

To achieve this, make sure to fall asleep maximum by 2:00 am; adjust this time with respect to your class schedule. Even if your classes start later in the day, it is not recommended to stay up later than 2 am, because that may tarnish your morning routine and, consequently, your sleep time for the next day.

In case you sleep late one night, you can prevent ruining your cycle by forcing yourself to wake up early the next day. Engage in some exercise during the day to prevent productivity loss from sleep deprivation, and make sure to catch up on your sleep by going to bed early at night.

3) Try to Take a Walk Outside

We have all been restricted to our homes by COVID-19 and, as students, there is hardly anything that requires us to go outside our house and put in some physical effort. But, this does not mean that you cannot go outside your house and interact with nature.

It is recommended to take all the necessary precautions and take a stroll outside once or twice a day just to elevate your mood, and keep yourself energetic. Incorporating some form of fitness into your lifestyle will also keep you active and healthy, and can help minimise stress.

4) Finish Important Work Before Midnight

For those of us who are not night owls, there is an exorbitant amount of motivation required to complete tasks during the night. Therefore, it is best to complete important tasks like studying for quizzes, doing assignments, or writing essays by 10:00 or 11:00 pm during weekdays. Delaying them further will only mean that you either will not complete them on time or you will end up staying awake late and mess up your routine.

5) Maintain a Healthy Diet

Avoiding junk food and eating a few servings of fruit a day not only boosts productivity but also shields you from health problems like obesity and heart disease. Try to keep your diet healthy and balanced, taking special care to incorporate vitamins, calcium and other important nutrients.

6) Use Planners

There are various appealing and free printable planners that you can find online. Putting up a weekly planner in your room where you can see it easily will remind you of the work that you need to do and help you manage your time more efficiently.