Online education is an idea that has it all. You can do all the work from the comforts of your own home. You can do it on the go. In fact, you can pretty much do it anywhere. You can even be working a regular job and gain your new qualification at the same time. It is up to you, how you do the work and when you do the work. So what can possibility go wrong?
What happens if you take on this new and exciting online education only to find that you have no time to do all the work? What if it just seem to make your to do list even longer? Here are some tips and advice on making time for online education.
As your goal is to make time for an online education, decide realistically how much time you will need to put in each week to achieve your end goal. Consider your learning methods – for example, how long can you sit and concentrate on work in one go? Maybe you need to spend 5 hours a week on your online education and you like to work for an hour at a time. You could spend one hour, every Monday to Friday on your education.
After you decided how much time you need to put into your education. The important issue is how to manage your time effectively. Stop making endless to do lists with neat little boxes next to them and make a priorities list. This is a grown up to do list. You still have a list and the nice little tick boxes but you have one major difference. You assign each item on the list a priority number.
How do you decide on priority?
Think about what needs to be done urgently? For example, things with short deadlines, these will have to be done first and will be priorities 1. Make your online education a priority 1 event too, so you can timetable this into your schedule. What can be done tomorrow, these can be numbered priorities 2. What can be done at a later date? These will be priority 3 items. What items on your list that you can delegate to others? These are priority 4 items. Once you sorted out your priorities list, you can start making time to do each of these items.
Do not overload yourself
Be realistic. You cannot plan to do all the items on your list in one go. You have to space them out and do a few things each day. This way you have a nice balance and you will not be feeling burnt out. Make sure you plan carefully how much time each item will take. If you do them quicker than expected then great, however sometimes things do not go as expected. You may need extra time so make sure you have free time to spend as extra time for anything that may overrun the time slot.
Utilise your down time
How often have you been sat on a train or waiting for a friend in a coffee shop and have nothing to do. With online education and the number of portable devices, you can utilise these down time to read up on work or do the occasional short assignments.
Study with a friend
Do you have a study buddy? If yes then great, if not you can try and find one. If you have a study buddy, not only this would make studying more fun. It also makes you make time to study as you will be planning to meet up to study each week.
Space things out
There is always the temptation to do everything in one go, especially when you first start and you have all the drive to try and do everything. This is never constructive as you will soon get bored and lose steam. Space things out and do them in a structured way according to your priorities list and you will see results.
Have fun and be healthy
The important factor in achieving your goals is you. So make sure you look after yourself. You will not be as effective if you do not get enough sleep and work 24/7. You will also not be as effective if you just work and never have time to relax. So make sure you plan in some time to have fun.
Online education is growing in popularity with the busy modern lifestyles of today. Managing your time effectively can help you make time for online education, but make sure you are realistic when making your schedule. Most important of all, don’t forget to look after yourself.