To study online it requires time management skills and consistency. Something that I don’t really have 😂 I often found myself procrastinating by reorganizing my files and folders.
As a visual learner, I really enjoyed the classroom aspect of learning so I wanted to take classes face-to-face. However, I just landed a full-time job that made attending classes difficult. So I took the online learning environment route.
At the time I’m writing this, I’m undertaking a Diploma of Website Development with Australis College.
I substituted my free time to take up learning about websites, project management and the functionalities that make it all work. I’m just under half way through on a part-time pace with about a year to go. Here’s some things that I learnt along the way that I want to share:
- Sort yo’ work (File system or structure)
- Note taking
- Balance is key
- Limit distractions
- It’s still a debt
📁 Sort yo’ work (file system or structure)
I made the mistake of getting serious about my file structure a bit too late in. You can organise your files by how you receive them. Modules, exercises etc. You can also use Evernote to help you get by. I organised my files like this:
📁 Module 1:
- 📁 Assignments
- 📁 Content
📁 Module 2:
- 📁 Assignments
- 📁 Content
📝 Note taking
If it’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s find a solid note taking method that works. Because I ended up having them scattered as .txt, word documents, PDFs, Evernotes and paper notes. I’ve fiddled with Evernote and tried the Premium and found no increase in productivity. However, when doing my online quizzes I did find the search engine from EverNote to be quicker and more efficient than flicking through my notes. It was easy to snap web pages from modules and save them in my Evernote for later.
⚖️ Balance is key
To have a work/life balance I found part time study (15 hrs – 20 hrs) on top of a full time job (37.5 hrs+) means at most 57.5 hrs of my time is dedicated to my job and study throughout the 5-day (120 hrs) week. This is the assumption weekends are for social life or catch up.
I only take on what I can handle. Right now I put my full-time job first before my studies. It’s my only source of income and a career in the industry I want to be in. However, if I was in a job where it didn’t benefit me or my skillset, I would be putting studies first so I can land that job that’s in the open doorway.
🎮 Limit distractions
As I mention above that work/life balance is important, but so is creating a space to limit distractions and focus on studying. Since my main computer is also my gaming PC, I find myself justifying “reward games” of Overwatch between tasks. It just ended up being procrastination. 👀
The best way I found to limit distractions was to get my Surface Pro, cup of tea and sit outside under the shade. My cats love lounging outside during the day too so they made excellent company.
💰 It’s still a debt 🙁
We’re paying for it, whether it be through HECs, HELP, Vet Loans, Cash or our parents fund. Keep that in mind to stay motivated. It’s something we’re willing to put a price tag on, to buy, so we can gain this skill. For me these studies are a stepping stone to my dream job, so it’s extremely important I do well and pay attention. This course means something to me and that’s why I chose it.
- If you’re considering online courses, make sure you weigh up pros and cons
- If you’re in an online course, stay strong. There is an end.
- If you’ve just finished one, yewwww! Leave a comment below and tell me how it went!
If you’re still not understanding the material you’re studying, do talk to your lecturers because they’re there to help you! ✌️