Online Learning

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Online Classes Offer Students Superior Flexibility

Studies have shown that individuals who invest the time into gaining a higher education will enjoy a greater quality of life, earn more money, and have more job security than their peers who do not have a degree. And in today’s volatile economy, it can be more important that ever to have the peace of mind that you will be able to provide for yourself and your family no matter what. If you find yourself concerned about the future and worries about the security of your job, you may want to consider furthering your education. By gaining a higher education, you will be a more marketable employee and can rest assured that you will be able to earn the money that you need to survive a falling economy.

The major problem that hinders most adults from getting a higher education is time. Current work and family demands can leave little time to go to school and gain the education that you need. The good new is that there are many online classes available that can be taken at your leisure, from the comfort of your very own home. Online courses can help you get certified in a variety of skills and can help you work towards getting the degree that is so necessary in today’s job market. Taking online classes while maintaining a full-time job can easily be accomplished by effectively utilizing time management. It is easy to become distracted by things like social networking sites and personal issues while on the internet, so having some tips to follow while earning your online degree can make the process easier. The amount of courses you feel comfortable with taking while working a full-time job depends on your other commitments and current time allotment. Whatever the number may be, it can be done.

The first time management tip is to utilize an activity log. Do a search online for a “free time management activity log template.” You will want to print out the log and actually track how you spend your time when studying. Every time you change tasks, write down the time and how you felt. When you have compiled your data after a couple of days, analyze the difference in time spent on low-value, medium-value and high-value tasks and your energy levels. Once you have finished your analysis, schedule your hardest subject for when you have the most energy. This will ensure you can focus on the task at hand, absorb the lesson and get your work completed. If you find that you break to check your email or look up friends on a social networking site, aim to do this before and after your study time to increase productivity.

The second time management tip is to use a matrix formula meant to help you discern between how important tasks are. The “Urgent/Important Matrix” has been utilized by both Eisenhower and Dr. Stephen Covey in his highly-acclaimed 1994 business book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” This tool is a way to think of your priorities in a way that is truly beneficial to your goals. The first step involves listing everything you feel you must do at work and for school. Assigning a rank of importance to each task is the next step (on a scale of your choosing) in order of what needs to be done to get you closer to your goals. The third step is to decide how urgent these activities are so that you can effectively schedule your priorities. Urgent tasks are usually items that get pushed off onto you while distracting you from your own goals. Important tasks are activities that truly matter to your bottom line. Things that are neither urgent or important should be avoided during work and school time as they are typically just a distraction.

The final tip has to deal with concentration. Time management involves many different facets of prioritizing, scheduling and goal-setting. However, if you are unable to concentrate, you could be wasting not only time but the money you are investing in your education. There are three different aspects to look at when looking to improve your concentration. Being comfortable, surrounded by natural scenery (whether pictures or the real thing) and being able to shut out disturbances all lead to a better environment to study in. Nutrition also plays a huge role in how well you are able to concentrate. Drink plenty of water, eat breakfast and consistently throughout the day and incorporate some form of exercise (even if it is just taking a walk around the block). These all help your brain to focus on studying, even at the end of a long day at work when you may be feeling a bit sluggish. The third facet of concentration to incorporate is the actual mindset that you are in when you begin your studies. If you schedule “worry time,” focus on individual tasks, shut off communication devices and change between high and low attention items to give your brain a rest, you may find your concentration to dramatically improve.

When scheduling your time, it is highly recommended that you leave some room to deal with unforeseen issues that may arise. By planning for all of these known (and unknown) tasks to be completed in order of true importance when your energy levels are at their prime and your mindset is right, you will be able to avoid procrastinating and essentially meet all of your work and school goals.

Internet courses are just as effective as traditional classes—the only difference is that online courses are so convenient. Take time to start investing in your education with Internet courses. You will reap the benefits for years to come.

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