Whether you study online or pursue a course offline in a more traditional, physical classroom, you probably have to complete your coursework within a specific time frame. The same applies even when you are making use of free how-to guides that are available online.

Free guides on everything from how to make money online to how to start an herb garden can help you to start a business or achieve some other goal. However, people who download these e-books are sometimes unable to make good use of them because they do not make studying these texts a priority.

Adults in Emerson Class for Religious Science

Adults in Emerson Class for Religious Science
Credit: Wikimedia

Set a List of Priorities in Your Life and Allocate Time for Each One

Make a list of priorities in your life. These are things that are important to you. The list may include losing weight, exercising to keep fit, spending time with family, hanging out with friends, spending time studying the word of God, doing extra work to excel in a new skill at your job, excelling in an examination or learning how to fix your own car.

Talmud study

Talmud study
Credit: Wikimedia

All of these things are important to you because of the benefits you expect to receive from them. If you would like to learn a new skill on the job, it is probably because that will put you in a better position to apply for a new job or be promoted within the company. If you want to excel in a specific examination, you may want to use that new certification to earn more in the future or become more highly regarded as an expert in your industry.

Defining the benefits that arise from each action that you will take helps to provide motivation. For some people, it may be relatively easy to learn a particular skill or cover the work in a course.

You must decide, realistically, how much time you will need to achieve your goals. Then look at how much time you have before your goal has to be accomplished. That will give you an idea of how many minutes or hours you need to spend on a weekly or daily basis, preparing to achieve that goal.

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Set Up a Timetable and Stick to It

A timetable will help you to manage one of your most precious resources- your time. If you decide that you need 15 minutes each day to study a text on marketing, set that time aside. If possible, schedule it at a point in the day when you will be able to retain the most information.

Sticking to your timetable is essential. It I likely that obstacles will arise so think about what may come up and prevent you from doing the work that you have to do. For example, if you have a job, you may have to work overtime one day.

Decide how you will still account for your study time on that day. It is usually better to stick as closely as you can to your daily schedule. When you put off work for another day, it mounts up and seems bigger. Doing a little at a time helps you reach your goals steadily and it breaks you into a good habit.

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Choose the Time of Day that Suits you Best and Make Sure Your Textbook is Available

Some people study better in the morning while others are evening people. Make sure you can access your study materials at the appointed time, wherever you are. With today's technology, it is relatively easy to have a book available for viewing on a tablet or some other device. This makes it easier to have access to information wherever you go.

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Learning Styles

Learning Styles
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Make Good Use of Sessions with Tutors, Lecturers and Classmates

Maximize the time that you spend in lectures online or offline. Use recording devices to help you where possible. There are several apps for smartphones that make it easy to record others while they are speaking and you may already use them for business. If you like reading, check out apps that will convert voice to text for you.

Keep pen and paper handy to write down questions about anything you don't understand and email your lecturer or tutor after. If tutorials are held online or in person, use these sessions to ask questions that you have about the material. If study sessions are planned with other students, make sure that the discussion stays on topic so you don't waste your time and end up with nothing to show for it at the end of an hour.

Diagram of a hierarchy of purposes. The idea is that a person should organize less important activities in a way to support a larger goal.

Diagram of a hierarchy of purposes. The idea is that a person should organize less important activities in a way to support a larger goal.
Credit: Wikimedia

Make Your Learning Style Work for You

Students have different learning styles and teachers do their best to cater to all of these different styles, even when they have large groups of people to teach. As we get older and move out of elementary (primary) and high school, the possibility of having a lecturer cater to our unique style of learning decreases.

It just isn't possible to use methods that suit everyone with the way that university lectures are generally done. Some people learn best by doing, others by hearing. Some like reading and making notes on what they read. Diagrams, charts and pictures really help many people to retain information.

When you are studying a text on your own, think about the methods that works best for you and use those. For example, if you like listening, try to get the text in audio book format, or record yourself reading key passages so that you can play them to yourself whenever you want to review the material.

Keynote Speaker | Self Accountability | Eric Papp

Hold Yourself Accountable

Overall, as an online student or someone who is studying full time or part time in a physical classroom, you must hold yourself accountable. Understanding what your goals mean to you and taking steps to achieve them is up to you.

Marcus Garvey said that without confidence, any individual would be twice defeated in the race of life. Give yourself a head start by being confident that you will accomplish your goals. Keep yourself in the race by doing a little bit every day to move yourself forward. Being a student and working can be stressful but you can do it.

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