How many times have you seen somebody demonstrate a talent or a piece of knowledge and said to yourself, “I’d love to have the time to learn that,” while simultaneously convinced that you have no realistic prospect of ever finding that time? We know there are thousands – probably millions – of people out there who would love to take an adult education course. We also know that those same people resist the urge to start one because they don’t believe they have the time to see it through to completion. We think that’s desperately sad, and we’d love to do something about it.
There are some people who, for various reasons, genuinely don’t have the time in their lives to fit in another activity, and we accept that. This article isn’t aimed at those people. This is for those who do have the time, and just need better organization and motivation to do more with that time. If you’re brutally honest with yourself, is the reason you’re not doing a course right now due to lack of time, or due to not making the time? There’s a big difference between the two things, and we’ll outline that below.
Taking an adult education course is for your benefit. It will improve your knowledge and skillsets, and might even enhance your employment and career prospects. Think of your time as if it were written across the reels of Gamevy slot games. If you know anything about online slots, you’ll know that you get paid nothing at all if the contents of those reels are lined up in the wrong order. You also know that if the contents of those reels line up correctly, the online slots game will respond by paying out big money. All you have to do is make them line up in the first place, and it’s easier for you to do that with your spare time than it is on an online slots website!
Here are five ways you can create the perfect conditions for online learning as an adult.
Create A Study Space
Background noise impedes our ability to learn and remember. It’s been proven to slow the development of a baby’s brain at the ‘early learning’ stage, so imagine what it’s doing to you as an adult at a time in your life when learning new skills is more difficult? You need a dedicated study space in order to focus on your work. Ideally, it should be a room (not your bedroom!) in your home, or at least a specific corner of a room where you won’t be disturbed by anybody. If that isn’t possible, consider a library. If you can find the perfect study space, you’ll learn faster, and thus you’ll save time.
Put Your Study Time In Your Calendar
What’s the first thing you do if someone asks you if you’re free to do something on a particular day or at a specific time? You check your calendar, and these days your calendar is probably on your phone. We’ve trained ourselves to follow the appointments that are listed in our calendars unconsciously, and they’re now generally thought to be more effective as a means of keeping us on track than to-do lists. If your study time is in your calendar, your brain will accept it as an ‘appointment.’ You won’t promise that time to anybody else, and you’ll subconsciously take it more seriously. Create a regular schedule, and put all of it in your calendar. It’ll soon become part of your routine.
Hand Out Other Tasks
You won’t be studying forever. Whether it’s six months or three years, whatever you’re studying will have a start date and an end date. This is a temporary change to your life, and the people who care about you ought to support you with it. That means they should help out. If you have a partner, could they pick up any tasks from you that would save you time? Could your friends or family step in and take a few chores or other obligations away from you and free you up some time that way? There are usually a few things you could step away from and cut out, and a few people who would be happy to help you with that. All you need to do is ask them. You’ll often find that people are far more inclined to help than you feared they might be.
Find A Study Buddy
Despite our best intentions, as human beings we often struggle with endeavors that we try to undertake on our own. We’re far more likely to do something when we’re partnered with someone else because we don’t want to let that person down. Knowing that someone else is counting us can make the difference between going ahead with a planned study session or not when we’re tired, or we’d rather be doing something else. A study partner can also be someone to discuss problems with or to help keep you motivated. It would be great if you could find a study buddy from within your own social circle, but if that’s not possible, look online for someone who’s started a course at the same time as you. This could even be a way to make new friends!
Remind Yourself Of Your Motivation
You’re not just studying for the sake of studying. You’re studying because you want to achieve something, or you want to be able to do something. It might be a step toward a new career. It might be a life-long dream of being able to play an instrument. Whatever the reason is, make it the forefront of your thinking. Trying to tell yourself to study just because ‘you need to study’ is difficult. Telling yourself to study because it will lead to a desired outcome is easier. Whether you do this by including a note on your calendar appointments or putting post-it notes in your study area is up to you, but you’ll be surprised how much difference it makes.
More than anything else, stop making excuses not to study. If you know you’re lying to yourself right now, you’ll only be disappointed that you didn’t make the time in years to come. Be a friend to yourself and make a commitment to study!