If you have a lot of time on your hands, studying an online course is quite manageable. But if you’re one of those who juggle work, family and studying, it can be challenging, but certainly doable.
There are many reasons why some adult learners fail to complete their course on time – distractions at home, working full time, not enough time to study, and perhaps procrastination. To overcome these and ensure success in your online course, some planning and preparation can do wonders and help you stay on track.
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – Allan Lakein
Set your study goals
Before any kind of planning, you should set your study goals first. Setting a goal is like committing to an outcome that you are accountable for. It must also be specific, measurable and achievable by you. For example: “I will finish my diploma course in 12 months.” Complete your goal setting by committing to a number of hours of study each week, for example: “I will finish my diploma course in 12 months by dedicating (x) number of hours each week.” If you’re still unsure of the number of hours you can dedicate to studying, we’ll go to the next tip below.
Plan your study time around your personal commitments and activities
Because everyone has different commitments, lifestyle and routines, a study plan should fit your unique way of life. In a calendar or planner, start by making a schedule based on your current routine. Then look at the gaps in your schedule and see where you can fit in study time. You can also look into other ‘lower priority’ activities such as entertainment, socialising and other leisure activities that you can cut down on to make room for studying.
Choose your study time wisely
For the time that you have set for studying (for example: 7pm – 9pm on Monday and Wednesday), do you think you’ll be able to focus and have enough energy to study? Imagine coming home from work tired; the last thing you may want to do is study. If you have a full-time job, perhaps 7pm to 9pm on a weekday is not the best time for you to study. You can then make certain adjustments to your schedule. Studying during the weekend or in the morning before coming to work may sound like a better option for you. Also, consider studying during times when there are fewer distractions at home and you have more quiet time to focus on your coursework. It’s all about being more aware of your routine, your energy and environment, so you can choose the best time that will work for you.
Finding work and life balance
While it’s great to be productive and study hard, we always encourage work and life balance. Never miss out on important moments with your loved-ones and don’t forget to schedule some downtime into your plan as well. Give yourself a reward when you’ve reached your goal hours for the week. Some well-deserved time off to enjoy your achievements will motivate you to continue your great efforts and keep on progressing.
To help you with your planning, you can download our printable AOT Study Timetable.
We hope you will find it useful in your online study.