How to be more effective when taking courses online

In our digitalised world, the use of online training to improve your skills can be a smart and efficient way to increase competence and knowledge. But how do you stay effective when taking courses online?

With the Coronavirus spreading all over the world, working from home has been one way of taking action to minimise the risks of a further viral outbreak. Google and Spotify are examples of companies that have asked their employees to work from home. A lot of conferences and other work-related get-togethers have also been cancelled or postponed.

As well as turning to remote work as a substitute for office work, online training can be used as a substitute for in-class training and courses. Digitalisation has provided us with the toolbox, and now is a good time to try to start to use it. In a recent survey about Chinese consumer behaviour by Kantar, 30% of the respondents answered that they used the extra time home for online education. 

In an article in Harvard Business Review, Carolyn O’Hara lists 5 tips for working from home. This, of course, also applies to online training from home.

Maintain a regular schedule

Setting a schedule provides structure to the day and also helps you stay motivated. Start the day as you would if you worked in an office: Get up early, get dressed, and try to avoid online distractions once you sit down to work. Be sure to set realistic expectations for what you can accomplish daily.

Set clear boundaries

When you work at home, it’s easy to let your work life blur into your home life. Therefore, it’s important to keep the two distinct. One way to do that is to set aside a separate space in your home for work. You also want to make sure your friends and loved ones understand that even though you are at home, you are off-limits during your scheduled work hours.

Take regular breaks

It may be tempting to work flat out, especially if you want to prove to yourself productive. But it’s vital to take regular ‘brain breaks‘. Recent research shows that the best workers typically worked intently for around 52 minutes and then took a 17-minute break. And these restorative breaks don’t need to take any particular form. Go for a walk, get some exercise, or just look out through the window.

Stay connected

Prolonged isolation can lead to weakened productivity and motivation. So it can be a good idea to put in the extra effort to stay connected. Schedule regular meetings with colleagues, clients, work peers — or fellow students. If it is not possible to meet in person, try to connect online. The use of online networking sites like LinkedIn is also a good way to maintain connections with far-flung contacts.

Celebrate your wins

When working on your own at home, staying motivated can be difficult, especially when distractions — Facebook, that pile of laundry, the closet that needs organizing — always is around. To maintain momentum, don’t forget to acknowledge what you have been able to accomplish that day. Keep a journal and note what you were able to check off your to-do list.

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