Online studying can be a challenge to fit this in around your other responsibilities, and make the most of your study sessions when you find space for them. With that in mind, here are a few tips that will let you optimize your ability to study online even if you are working full time.
Balance your time and resources well
Most importantly, make sure that you organize your schedule so that you have enough time to make the most of your online studies.
Only allowing a short window to get to grips with the subject at hand is unhelpful, as you might not absorb the information, or worse still draw the wrong conclusions if you are rushed.
Likewise if you are provided learning resources as part of your course, be sure to take advantage of them, rather than spending time looking for information and guidance elsewhere.
Find the right online course
Speaking of online courses, you need to be on the lookout for reputable learning platforms that tick all the right boxes.
Check up on the courses available, the resources on offer, and the types of learning experience that you can expect to participate in, be that virtual seminars, video lectures, access to online journal repositories or anything else.
If in doubt, search for reviews and feedback from previous students. Also check up on any relevant accreditation for the course, especially if it is vocational and you want to work in a specific industry or region.
Create a quiet and comfortable study environment
Even if you have the right time and resources to study online, you can’t do so successfully if the space you are using is noisy, uncomfortable and full of distractions.
If possible, find a separate room where you can shut yourself away from the world and give your full attention to the course for an hour or two.
Trying to get anything done in spaces used by other members of your household, or even in a public place like a coffee shop, is rarely conducive to productivity.
Comfort also matters. If you have a home office, invest in actual office furniture, including a chair and desk, rather than settling for something made for domestic use. This is one of the core tenets of working from home.
Use reliable equipment and internet access
Another area where you shouldn’t try to economize is the gear you use to carry out your studies. You can consider a modern laptop an investment, rather than a luxury, if it means that you can access learning resources without having to put up with sluggish performance.
Likewise if your internet connection is underpowered or erratic, then it will take you more time to study online than if you had a speedy, consistent access point. If you can’t get this at home and you don’t want to upgrade, going to a public library could be useful.
This sounds broad, but it still bears repeating; if you approach your online studies in a disorganized way, then you will probably be wasting whatever time you have to spare for this type of learning.
On the other hand if you get all your ducks in a row and actually treat this like you would a work project, then the outcome will be far more rewarding.
Studying online does require self-motivation and discipline, so if you have trouble with procrastination, using tools to manage your time for you is sensible.
Hopefully you are now both motivated to embrace online learning, and also informed enough to achieve success when you get started.