10 tips to study more effectively

Distance learning/home study courses are ideal for people who wish to further their career while still in full-time job employment, or for people who want to change their career completely. As much as studying at home is convenient though, some people struggle with motivation; others find procrastination rears its head.

If you're about to embark on a home study/distance learning course, here are ten top tips to help you get the most out of your study time.

  1. Draw up a timetable. Schedule in your study time each day and organise it around your work/family/social commitments. If you set yourself a reasonable amount of time, you shouldn't have any trouble sticking to it. Make sure your friends and family members also know when your study time is so they don't disturb you. Don't forget to schedule in some for them too though.
  2. Create your own working space. Find a space that you can call your office - whether that's a room of your own, a shed/summer house in the garden, or simply the corner of the kitchen table. Then, when you sit down at your 'work' space, you will feel mentally prepared to start studying.
  3. Be prepared. Get all your course materials ready and read through the notes taken in the previous study session so you're up to date and it's fresh in your head.
  4. Get rid of distractions. Although your chosen course may require you to be connected to the internet, there are software, apps and browser extensions that will block you from specified websites for the amount of time you tell them to. This is ideal if you find yourself browsing certain websites instead of studying. Close unnecessary browser tabs and close down your email software. To stop you using your smart phone to browse the internet instead, hide that in a different room.
  5. Set goals. Set yourself a target for what you want to achieve with that day's studying.
  6. Take scheduled breaks. We all need a break and burying your head in your studying for hours without a break will only leave you fatigued and lacking in concentration. Going for a walk or a bike ride will energise you and you'll go back to your studying refreshed.
  7. Find other students. Studying at home without the interaction with other students can be lonely. Find out if your course has a forum or chat room where you can meet other students on your course. Create a virtual study group or if anyone lives locally, see if they want to meet up weekly to discuss the course.
  8. Keep in touch with your tutor. Your tutor is there to help you so use their expertise if needed.
  9. Reward yourself. If you reach your daily goals, give yourself a treat at the end of the day.
  10. Enjoy it. Tell your friends and family how much you're loving your course and this will give you added motivation, commitment and dedication to carry on and pass with flying colours. 

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