Studying online is no easy task. There are a lot of things that can distract you from your studies (the Internet, your phone, etc.), and the fact that you’re studying at home means far less pressure to work hard.
But if your goal is to study online successfully, you’re going to have to approach it with the right mindset. Here are some tips to help you out:
1. Change Your Mindset
Instead of seeing your online education as "the easy way", think of it as the challenge that will force you to work harder and finish your studies faster. You can earn a degree in far less time than you would at a regular college, but only if you apply yourself and work hard.
First up, time management is key. You need to set aside a chunk of time every day to study, and a separate block of time for doing homework. Treat that time as sacred, and do NOTHING else until you have completed your study. Find the time of day that you are at your sharpest, and use that time to study.
Second, avoid distractions. Use apps like SelfControl or TrackTime to help you limit the things that could interfere with your work. Turn off your smartphone, sign out of your social media accounts, and close your email inbox. Whatever you do, do NOT allow yourself to be sidetracked by anything as you study.
Finally, remember that you are working toward a goal. Whether the goal is to acquire a useful new skill or get a good job, keep that goal in mind as you organize your time. It will help you to keep your eye on the prize and avoid distractions.
2. Set Up the Space
Without a good space to work and study, you’re never going to get anything done. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Quiet – This is the most important thing. You may listen to music as you study, but you need a quiet environment around you. If home is the place where you can find peace and quiet, work there. If not, find a quiet place to set up your computer and study.
- Reliable Internet – You can’t waste time waiting for a website to load or for your course material to be available. Find a place that has a solid Internet connection – both for access to your course materials and for doing research online.
- Good computer – The computer should have a keyboard you’re comfortable with, and it should have all the tools you need (Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Chrome, etc.).
With these tools, you have everything you need to study like a pro!
3. Improving the Quality of the Education
In order to really make your online education a success, you need to maximize the quality of the education. How can you do that?
One good solution is to work with a tutor. A tutor can help you understand difficult concepts, can ride you to make sure that you’re working hard, and can help you be accountable with your studies and time management.
If you need help but can’t afford a tutor, there are always online forums you can turn to. This doesn’t mean you should waste time surfing the Internet, but find chat rooms and forums where you can ask people for help and advice with your studies.
Got any advice for students studying online? Leave a comment below to help them out…