Online learning is here to stay. From 1-hour webinars to multi-day conferences, we’ve shifted to virtual training out of necessity. It appears that it’s here to stay. Take control of your online learning to get the best out of the time you invest in yourself. Try these techniques:
Be aware of your own challenges
Each day brings unique challenges. Before you log into a virtual training program, take a quick check of the day’s challenges. Try completing this sentence: “I enter today feeling… and thinking…” Knowing what’s on your mind will help you get off to a good start.
Keep a to-do list handy
As you learn new things, you can be distracted by the things left undone. Capture those things that pop into your mind but don’t let them distract you from what’s going on in your course. Write it down and know that you’ll get back to it after you finish your class.
Close the chat box
If the chat box is distracting you, close it. As an instructor, I often use the chat box for class discussions. But I also know that sometimes the chat box is a way for you to have conversations unrelated to the material. Be careful that you don’t let what’s going on in the chat box keep you from focusing on the topic.
If you’ve been working from home, you probably use the same location each day. To get focused, try a different room for an online training. I’ve shifted to the couch which these days feels like business travel.
Turn off your e-mail notifications
Remove a major distraction by turning off your e-mail notifications. Remember that if you attended an in-person training you wouldn’t be checking your e-mail throughout a session. For online training, apply the same standard. You can always check your e-mail during a break.
Set your “out of office” e-mail response
Use your e-mail “out of office” notification to let people know that you will be slow in responding. Event for a one-hour session, your colleagues will appreciate knowing why they aren’t getting your normal speedy response.
Pretend you are away
Give yourself the work equivalent of a staycation. Take some time away from the grueling Zoom schedule and spend the time learning the things that will make you sharper when you get “back.” (But make sure your boss is OK with this before you attempt.)
No matter how long you spend in online learning, you will get the most out of it with these simple tips.