Studying a distance learning course is different to studying at a traditional school or college, as the work flow is more independently led. If you are learning from home alongside a busy schedule, tasks can quickly mount up and a lack of organisation can often cause unnecessary stress. This is especially true around deadline time! Therefore, it is useful to draw on some basic study strategies for distance learning, helping you to manage your studies and make your journey more productive. These tips can be just as equally applied to work and personal life.
Plan your day
This may sound all too obvious, but the best place to start is to plan your day. This can be done the night before so that you wake up feeling organised and ready to go. The best approach is to aim to complete five key steps each day that have shorter or more manageable deadlines. Top tip: make use of the organisational apps on your phone such as calendar, reminders and alarms.
Make a to-do list
We all love to-do lists and the satisfaction of ticking something off once complete! To-do lists are also an incredibly useful method to help organise your studies, including prioritisation of tasks. Creating a list of things to do each day will also allow you to break these tasks into small manageable steps. Top tip: get a mini whiteboard and marker pens to keep up-to-date with your changing objectives.
Another point that we need to be mindful of as distance learning students is that we cannot do everything at once, therefore there need to be times when we say no. This is especially true when it comes to less pressing commitments. There will be times when studying needs to take priority because of upcoming deadlines or important projects. However, it is of course also essential that we periodically allow ourselves time out of our studies to rest or have fun. Top tip: don't say yes to commitments straight away. Take some time to consider your availability and bandwidth before agreeing to take on more tasks.
Finally, it is also a really good idea to reflect on your accomplishments whilst studying. All too often we get swamped with what we have to do, without looking at what we have achieved so far. Reflecting can also be a great motivator, as acknowledging our accomplishments makes us want to accomplish more.
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To get the best out of your distance learning courses, it is important to develop a tailored approach to your own specific needs and circumstances. A few study strategies that may help include breaking down larger tasks or topics into smaller more manageable chunks, setting specific study goals each day, and making sure to take regular breaks throughout the day. It is also important to stay organised when studying for a distance learning course as this will help keep you on track with your progress and make sure that any assignments are completed on time. It's also a great idea to communicate with tutors or peers studying the same or similar subjects as they can offer support, resources, and feedback when you need it most.