Are you working or studying from home? Whether you’ve always done so or are just starting due to coronavirus shutdowns, you’ll likely quickly realizing how nice it can be. As a starting point, working from home is often going to be far more cost-effective which is great. However, you do need to be prepared for some of the challenges and work to avoid the issues that you might encounter. Let’s take a look at some of these potential problems and work out the right solutions.
Poor Time Management
There are some benefits to the more traditional university model. One of these is that you will have structures and individuals in place who will work to keep you on the right track. This means that you won’t have to worry about falling behind on projects or not getting assignments in on time. Essentially, you will always have someone breathing down your neck pushing you forward. When you are studying from home, you are very much your own master. You need to make sure that you are able to effectively manage your time to ensure that everything that needs to be completed is taken care of. That’s not always easy to do, so the first step is going to be setting up a schedule. This is one of the most important independent study tips.
You need to make sure that you are completing a certain amount of work each day. Your course should provide you with information on how much work they expect you to complete each day of your studies. However, you might also need to take your own initiative here. Next, you need to think about what you’re going to do to maintain high levels of productivity. There are numerous steps to take here but one of the best is to make sure that you are getting as much downtime as you need. This is just as important as ensuring that you spend enough time studying. It will guarantee that you don’t need to worry about issues with the burn out which we’ll talk about a little further down.
You do need to make sure that you are using the right resources when you are working from home. It’s important to make sure that you aren’t simply relying on the resources that are easily available. Believe it or not, this is a mistake that a lot of people do make. It’s understandable because people often mean online studying will only involve online resources and this isn’t true. There are various sources of information that could be useful to you which exist outside your home. For instance, you might want to think about visiting a library or accessing their records online if they’re currently closed. Now, this is going to be a big advantage because there are a lot of textbooks and other sources here that you won’t find online. It could also provide the perfect environment for working and we’ll talk more about that a little further down.
Stretching Yourself Too Thin
Many people who choose to study online are doing so because they want to continue to work a full or part-time job while completing their studies. This is again understandable. However, if you’re going to do this, you need to make sure that you’re not pushing yourself too hard. In other words, it’s absolutely vital that you don’t take on too much work in both areas. It can mean that you fail to perform effectively in either area. You won’t reach the high rates of achievement in your studies and you’ll struggle to stay on top of work. In short, everything can come crashing down. The first thing that you need to do is let your employer know that you are completing an online course or degree. By doing this, they should be able to provide you with some much-needed relief in terms of your responsibilities. They may also be more flexible with your working hours due to this. Particularly, if the degree could make you a more valuable asset in their company.
Next, it’s important to think about how you are going to fit your studies around your career as well as your personal commitments. In doing so, you can guarantee that you don’t become swamped one day and have nothing to do the next. For instance, you might want to consider booking some time off work as deadlines approach.
The Wrong Environment
We’ve already mentioned this briefly with reference to the library. But you do need to make sure that you have the right set up to complete your studies and work effectively. The library is perfect because it’s quiet and you don’t have to worry about issues with distractions. You will also have access to a wide range of different resources. So again, this can be perfect. But, it’s certainly not the only place where you can set up the perfect work environment.
You can get the right set up in your home if you take the right steps. First, you should make sure that you are avoiding working in bed or anywhere that you can easily take a quick nap. Your time between studies shouldn’t be spent sleeping because this can kill your levels of productivity. Instead, make sure that you work at a desk or in a chair. The temperature of the room is also important because if it’s too warm it will make you uncomfortable or quite drowsy. Again, this is going to make it more difficult for you to effectively concentrate on your studies.
You also need to make sure that you are not surrounded by distractions. It can be tempting to try and study while you’re watching TV. In doing so, you can make your studies more enjoyable. But it’s unlikely that you’ll be paying attention or absorbing all the information and that’s an issue. As for music, you can listen to music, but it should provide a passive background sound. Music without words is perfect for this because the sounds can just wash over you without you needing to focus. It’s really easy to get distracted while studying. Upskilled has some good tips on how to study online while staying focused.
Forgetting About Hell Week
Did you think that there wasn’t a hell week with online studying? Think again because countless students have claimed that this is still an issue. If you aren’t aware, hell week is one or two weeks of a course where all the deadlines hit you at once. While some universities have attempted to avoid doing this because it causes massive amounts of stress, others believe it prepares students for the real working world. This is why you should make sure that you are checking for a week like this on your schedule. You can then plan your studying and work for projects around this and ensure that you are prepared for it. Do that and it won’t be overwhelming when it does come around.
Failing To Socialize
You might think that you have to focus all your time on your studies when you are completing a course online. Perhaps, this was partially what inspired you to consider online studying. You didn’t want to get distracted by the parties and events at uni. While this is completely understandable, you have to remember that socializing is part of the package. It’s good to connect with people and great if you can find others who are on your course. You might discover that there are Facebook groups and similar resources online where you can connect with individuals and share different ideas.
We hope this helps you understand some of the major pitfalls that you can stumble upon with online studies. If you take the right strategies here, you’ll find that successfully completing your course is a lot easier.
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