Successful Online Learning Requires Discipline and Focus – Here's Some tips to Keep you on Target
Most people who engage in eLearning love the idea of being able to study at home. After all, who doesn’t like to take their business test in their pajamas or write their English essay while eating supper? However, it’s easy to let home distractions become problems. It’s also easy to become overwhelmed by the distractions in your everyday life.
If you want to be successful in your e-Learning endeavors, don’t lose sight of your focus. This means that you might need to set aside a special place in your home away from your phone calls, family or roommate interruptions, and disorganization, and create an environment where you can work. You should also really focus on organizing your study habits.
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Finding a quiet place
A quiet place is essential if you’re going to focus on studying and getting your work done. It’s easy to get distracted when the television is on or when there’s a lot of noise nearby. On the other hand, when it’s quiet you’re much more likely to focus on what you’re doing and less likely to listen in to what’s going on around you.
A quiet place might be a separate room, such as an office or a bedroom. If you’re not sure where the best place is, then try taking a walk around your house during the time when it’s the busiest. This might be first thing in the morning or right after dinner. This will help you discover the corner where it’s the quietest. You might have to actually leave your house and find a separate place altogether. Some people discover that they work better in a coffee shop or library.
If you do find a place in your home that’s going to be the spot for your studies then you’ll want to organize it. You’ll need a space, preferably a desk, that’s big enough so that you won’t feel cramped. The temperature there should be kept at a comfortable level so if you’re going to be in the basement, attic, or garage then you’ll need heating or air during the winter and summer.
Once you find a space, you’ll want to start organizing the materials you need and setting up a study space. Consider doing the following:
- Find a flat work space. If your work space is going to be permanent then a desk is great. However, if you’re not always going to be in the same spot all the time (like the dining room) then at least find a spot that’s flat so that you can spread out. You don’t have to have a desk if you have an office. A small table will work just as well.
- Get a chair. A good office chair that will support your back is more important than a good desk, at least in terms of tradition. You’ll be sitting for long periods of time so it’s essential that your back is supported. You can always work at a table, but if your back and legs hurt then you won’t feel like doing much.
- Find a way to organize your supplies. If you don’t have a desk to organize your supplies in, then purchase a small portable caddy to keep everything in. Stock it with pens, pencils, paper, ink, highlighters-and anything else that might come in handy. If you have to travel to the library or coffee shop to study, then make an easily transportable version of this, perhaps something that can fit in a backpack.
- Make it fun. Just because its school doesn’t mean it has to be boring. You might not be living in a dorm or working in a classroom, but you can still personalize your experience. Hang up a poster, put up some inspirational plaques, turn on your CD player (if it doesn’t distract you) and do anything else that keeps you motivated.
Set some rules
One way to keep yourself motivated and focused, once you’ve set up your space and organized it, is to set some rules. Some of these will be for you and some will be for others. Not only will these help keep distractions at bay, they will also help keep you motivated in your e-Learning. Some online learning rules could be:
- I won’t plan anything between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm. That time is reserved for school work.
- I won’t answer the phone as long as I am working on school work.
- When my door is closed, nobody is to disturb me.
- During my work time, I won’t sign into any social media sites.
- I’ll always break for lunch, even if I am behind in work.
It can be easy to lose sight of your focus when it comes to e-Learning. However, by carefully planning your study habits you can be successful with online learning. It just takes persistence.
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