Online learners who must balance study with many other responsibilities will soon discover that the single most important factor accounting for their success is time management. Here are 7 productivity tips to help you manage your time and complete an online course with minimal fuss.
Focus on your goals
The key to being productive is establishing a central goal and staying on-track by remaining dedicated to achieving it. Make the course your priority; if you know that completing your assignments and participating in activities might become problematic, consider taking the course at another time. If you know that you cannot make the most from this educational opportunity, you'll find yourself slowly drifting off, getting easily distracted and simply losing your motivation.
Have a study partner
There's nothing better for motivation than finding a suitable study partner to make the course less of a lonely experience. Be it your friend or colleague, having someone else with you while learning will increase your chances of completing the course and managing your time well. Other people will motivate you to keep going and help you manage your time in a smart way by allotting collective study sessions.
Create a schedule and stick to it
Given the complexities of our professional lives, expect some weeks to be harder than others, depending on what's happening at the office. Try to look ahead in your calendar to see how you can organize your coursework to meet your due dates – if a delivery of a large project happens at the same time as an important test, you'll be able to organize yourself to achieve success in both.
Moreover, you should make a study plan as well. Set specific times during the week to work on the course. Remember that it's not just personal study sessions or online lectures, but online discussions and real-time activities as well.
Knowing how to deal with distractions is key to great time management. Develop strategies for boosting your chances at completing the course and making the most of the experience. You might find out that home is not the best place to focus if you have family and friends distracting you from the job.
Turn off the TV, find a quiet cafe, turn off your cellphone, shut down your email, put on a pair of noise-canceling headphones and you're good to go. Take a moment to reflect on what really distracts you, and then work to gradually remove this from your learning environment.
To keep motivation levels high, come up with nice little incentives for completing a module or assignment within a given period of time. Reward yourself when you meet them.
Know how to multitask
Every e-learner considers multitasking an excellent idea for incorporating some coursework into their daily lives. The trick of multitasking is knowing how to do it. It's important to avoid cognitive conflict or overload. The former happens when you're reading a book while watching the TV, the latter for instance when you find yourself reading while on a Skype call. Avoid doing two similar things at once – listening to a podcast while running is a much better idea.
Create your own course timeline
When it comes to workload, most courses start out light and become increasingly more complex with every week of progress. If you happen to finish one module early, don't hesitate to start working on the next one. The beauty of e-learning is that you don't need to wait for other people to catch up.
Follow these tips and you'll be on your way to making the most of every online learning experience you delve into. For a great choice of short online courses head to: http://shortcoursefinder.com.au/.