Sunday, December 21, 2014

Four Study Tips for a Distance Learner

If you're looking to get or complete your post-secondary education, but your job, family, or life commitments prevent you from attending school, then a course in distance learning can help you get that education at a time and place of your choosing. While it can be convenient and relaxing, it's important to remember that it's still a college education, and distance learning in Toronto can still be challenging. Here's a few tips to ensure you complete your education effectively.

  • Make a schedule and stick to it
    When something can take place without a set schedule, the temptation is to let it slide, and do it "later," with later translating into "never." If you don't set aside specific time for your schooling, it's entirely possible that it won't get done. Even if it's not during the 9-5 workday, you still need to specifically block some time off to get your studying and work done, and stick with it.
  • Set specific goals
    It's not just enough to say "now I will work on my school stuff." Two hours in the evening is wasted if you don't accomplish anything in that time. If you have notes to read, resolve yourself to finish them that evening. If you have an essay to write, get a certain amount of words done. Setting goals for yourself also has the advantage of ensuring you stick to your work, and don't wander onto social media or Youtube.
  • Choose a study space in advance
    Before your education even begins, figure out where you're going to work when it comes time. If you're at home, figure out a spot where you can be undisturbed and undistracted. It's entirely possible that your home isn't even the best place to work, and you're better off clearing out and heading to a library, community centre, or even a coffee shop somewhere. Only you know what will work for you, but the important part is to figure it out before you begin.
  • Don't overthink the prep work
    At the same time, don't waste too much effort building your ideal study space. You know, making coffee, getting snacks, maybe a pillow and blanket if it's cold, shooing everyone away, queuing up music, all those things. I've heard it referred to as "building a nest" before, and it's entirely possible to waste your study time preparing to study if you're not careful. While it isn't always the case, if there's little problems or distractions with your study space, it may be better to grit your teeth and keep working then waste time moving to another one.

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