We’ve all been dealt a difficult hand in recent weeks. Many of us are going to be spending the majority of the foreseeable future indoors, and with a lot of extra spare time. While it might be tempting to vegetate on the sofa in front of Netflix, you could be seeing this as an opportunity.
With no FOMO to distract you and an increasingly svelte list of ‘little jobs around the house’ being chipped away by the day, this might be the perfect time to expand your mind and your horizons through e-learning. We have hundreds of courses available online that allow you to learn from home and become qualified in a range of exciting fields - from cybersecurity and business management, to digital marketing and data analytics.
Learning from home, however, is certainly an adjustment. You are in charge of your own time and the onus is 100% on you to make it work.
So, we’ve put together a list of seven essential tips to help you own your e-learning assignments whilst on lockdown:-
The first thing you’ll want to do is set out a daily plan of action. If your time has already been assigned, then it will be that much easier to stick to a regimented working schedule. Of course, you’re going to want time for lunch, your daily exercise and social time, but space this throughout the day, if you can.
Set definitive working times and ensure that you stick to them every day, even set reminders on your smartphone if necessary. It can be a difficult routine to slot into comfortably, but once you have, it will all click into place and become part of your new routine.
If you think just because you’re working from home that you’ll be working out of whichever room is free in the house, then think again. To cultivate an environment that’s conducive to learning, you need a space that’s calm, segregated from the rest of the home and comfortable. Of course, it might be nice to spend the odd afternoon working in the garden if the weather calls for it, but generally speaking, you’re going to learn more effectively if you can create an office environment.
This way you can distance your ‘learning space’ from the rest of your home, and your mind will start making automatic connections between your office space and your e-learning journey.
Our smartphones are truly glorious inventions, but they are also perhaps the most distracting things ever conceived. For this reason, unless you’re using your smartphone as part of your course, we would always recommend distancing yourself from your phone whilst learning in your dedicated space.
This can be something as simple as moving the phone to the other side of the room so it’s not within easy grabbing distance, but can still be heard in the event of an emergency (or when alerting you with a reminder). The same is true of whatever it might be that distracts you - be it a musical instrument, a games console or even that novel you’ve been ploughing through recently. Distance yourself from distraction wherever possible.
Just because you’re physically isolated, that doesn’t mean you have to remain an island for the duration of your lockdown learning period. Indeed, perhaps the most wonderful thing about e-learning is just how collaborative a process it can be, as long as you utilise the tools at your disposal. Swap ideas, trade tips and do what you can to help each other out - a problem shared is always a problem halved.
From video conferencing to messaging services, online forums and every in-between, there are dozens of routes you could take to find other learners either taking the same course or one with transferable skills and knowledge. You should also remain in touch with your course tutors wherever possible, and make use of all the materials and resources offered to you at the start of your journey.
The mind can only take so much learning, and when you’re in charge of your own time it can prove tempting to buckle down and power through something once you’re ‘in the zone’. However, without allowing yourself the chance to take adequate breaks, you run the risk of burning yourself out.
So, while you might have worked eight hours concurrently one day, you might feel like doing nothing the next day. Wouldn’t it make more sense to work 4 hours each day instead? Breaks should be an important part of your daily schedule, so don’t forget them!
This should go without saying really but - healthy body = healthy mind. We understand that it’s not exactly safe or easy to head to the supermarkets right now, but there are still plenty of corner shops and farm shops open for business and offering fresh produce at reasonable rates. You don’t need to rely on tinned beans and crisps just because you’re on lockdown.
There are also plenty of frozen alternatives to explore - from frozen fruit (makes excellent smoothies when blended) to packs of frozen veg that manage to retain their goodness, and can be added to just about any meal without taking anything away from it. As for snacks, meanwhile, try to limit yourself to two or three snack breaks a day, and get some fruit, which has proven links to cognitive function.
Your learning breaks shouldn’t just consist of hanging out on the sofa. Right now, in the UK, we’re allowed one period of outdoor activity per day during the lockdown. Don’t take this for granted. In fact, even if you’ve already used up your one daily external jaunt, there are plenty of exercises that can be done in your living room. And you don’t need to worry about looking ridiculous either!
You can do it!
There is no limit to what you can achieve from within your own four walls. Indeed, with the flexibility of today’s fully connected world, you can start your e-learning journey from just about anywhere at any time. With the help of these seven tips, we have no doubt that you’ll succeed on your own personal e-learning adventure, wherever it might take you.
If you’ve been inspired to start your e-learning journey, check out our range of digital learning courses today.