Are you currently looking to further your education? Perhaps you want to strengthen your CV, advance your career or get that qualification just because you want to, because you know that you can. Whatever your reasons, distance learning and studying online could be the answer as it offers such flexibility. It can be the perfect solution for so many of us, but that’s not to say that it comes without its challenges.
Distance learning can be tough. It can feel isolating, it can be difficult to stay motivated and it is easy to fall behind. Which is why today we want to share with you a few tips, whether you are looking to study Political Management at George Washington University or an online High School diploma, this advice will be sure to prepare and sustain you. This is how to succeed at distance learning.
Identify what works best for you
There are a variety of tried and tested study methods. Some will have you reading texts aloud, some will have you transferring what you read into paraphrased notes, some will have you creating visual aids to help you to understand something and then retain it.
The key here is to try each method early on and work out which one is the best fit for you.
Keep all of your study materials in one place
You are best to keep all of your study materials in one place, put a drawer aside for them or buy a box to put them in. This means that you will have everything to hand when you do manage to grab an hour or so to hit the books.
If you are going to be spreading out over the kitchen table, then pick up that box and you are good to go straightaway.
Work when you are at your best
When are you most productive? If you are a night owl, then schedule in your study time for evenings. Or maybe you are only able to settle down once you have got certain jobs ticked off your list otherwise you are a little bit on edge. Then get those things out of the way and get to it.
You will be amazed how quickly you work out your prime times to work, but you do need to look for them initially and recognize when you are at your best.
Our number one tip here would be to put your phone in another room. If you keep it on your desk, we can guarantee that you will look at it from time to time.
Music can be a distraction, though the right music can also be conducive to studying. You might find that music with no lyrics works better for you, as it will break the silence around you, but you won’t find the words running through your head and putting you off what you are reading.
If you know that you study better alone, without chat, the TV and general household noise, then set yourself up in a quiet space.
Build in regular breaks
It is unlikely that you will do your best work studying for five or six straight hours. You are going to be more effective if you build in regular breaks.
Everyone has different times available to study, so this will need to be tailored to your own study schedule, but whether you study for one full day a week or you work for an hour or so each evening, you will benefit from breaks. Every 25 minutes or so, stand up, walk around for a couple of minutes, perhaps make a coffee. Then get back to it feeling energized and refreshed.
Stay on track
Many online courses do have a suggested schedule for you to keep you. Wherever possible we would recommend staying with this, and even edging ahead where possible.
It can feel quite stressful when you do fall behind and suddenly that hill you are climbing becomes a mountain. Of course, this does happen from time to time, so it is important that if it does, you talk to your tutor to get some advice and keep on going.
If you can do, get ahead wherever possible. Perhaps start the course a couple of weeks early if you have your study materials, or put in a few extra hours if you have the time one week. This will allow for those times when life does get in the way and you cannot give as much one week. It builds in some breathing space for you.