One of the truly awesome things about the modern world, and the wide range of advanced digital technologies it offers, is the fact that it is now more possible than ever before for the average person to study just about whatever subject they want from the comfort of their own homes.
When all is said and done, education is meant to be a lifelong pursuit. It’s meant to be an avenue for us to deepen our understanding and awareness of the world, improve our abilities, and expand our possibilities. Of course, for many people, the idea of “education” or “studying” is tightly connected with the classroom, and doesn’t go much beyond that.
If you want to study a particular subject from home, there is a huge range of different resources out there to help you do so, and to achieve your full potential in the process. At the same time, however, there are certain things you should keep in mind if you want to ensure that your at-home eLearning experience ends up being as smooth and fruitful as possible.
Here are a few tips for effectively studying a subject from home.
Keep Your Computer Organized
It more or less goes without saying that, if you’re going to be studying a subject from your home via the web, you will be relying on your computer to quite a significant extent. This will be the means by which you access your resources, manage your files and notes, and more.
If your computer is poorly organized, and if your hard drive is full of miscellaneous stray files, it will make it significantly more difficult for you to properly keep track of things, and to learn, revise, and stay up-to-date.
There are many different things that you might choose to do in order to properly organize your computer. For example, let’s say you are studying photography. It’s a highly rewarding pursuit, but taking hundreds of high quality images eats up disk space fast. There are many online tools, however, that will help you organize your photo library. If you want to learn about effectively organizing and managing your photos on a Mac, you can continue reading here. In any case, it’s a very good idea to come up with a system for making your files as streamlined and organized as possible to facilitate your learning.
Focus on One Thing at a Time
As a general rule, you should focus on one primary course or resource at a time when studying a given subject. You may certainly choose to supplement a particular course with additional material, but if you are jumping back and forth between two or more different courses at once, there’s a good chance that you will end up becoming sidetracked, disorganized, and will fail to properly absorb what you are studying to the best of your ability.
Choosing a good course, and some good study resources, is quite important. But don’t feel as though you need to endlessly research which course to start ad infinitum, or to keep second-guessing your choice.
Work on a particular course for a reasonable length of time, see how you get on, and then – somewhere down the line – you can switch over to something else if it seems appropriate.
As a general rule, consistency is likely to take you a long way when it comes to effectively studying and learning a given subject.
Schedule Time to Study
According to the writer Cal Newport, author of various popular books including Deep Work and Digital Minimalism, a major part of anyone’s ability to be successful and effective at any given endeavor relies on how able they are to focus intently on one thing at a time and do what Newport describes as “deep work.”
This isn’t just his idea, either. Researchers in the field of psychology have noted that when people attempt to multitask, they become significantly less effective at each thing they are trying to do, while also generating excessive psychological stress at the same time. Other teams, furthermore, have found that online learners are actually more prone to multitasking.
In order to be as effective as possible at your studying, set aside significant chunks of time for learning, and avoid multitasking when you do so.
Get Enough Sleep
According to leading sleep researchers, including Matthew Walker, author of Why We Sleep, people frequently don’t appreciate just how important a good night’s rest can be.
One of the many things that sleep appears to do is to consolidate memory and help us to make things we’ve learned “stick.”
If you can ensure that you get enough sleep each night, you stand a much better chance of consolidating your learning.
Featured Image: MayoFi, Unsplash.