How To Make Time To Finally Create Your Online Course
We all need more hours in a day. Time has become the biggest roadblock standing between us and our dreams. Or at least that’s what we keep telling ourselves.
No time for learning a new language, although it would be really nice to massage the tongue with the sounds of French or Italian.
No time to research those pension investment options that everyone is talking about.
No time for morning jogs or evening pilates classes.
No time for crafting that online course you’ve been obsessing about for months.
How do I know you’re lying to yourself?
Well, you are reading this article, while you could be learning a new language, doing yoga, or mapping out your course.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m flattered, but the truth is - you do have time, you just don’t manage it very well.
And that we can fix. If you’re still here.
1. Is it something that would be nice to have?
Before you set out on this adventure, the most important thing to establish is why you’re doing it. Do you really truly want to create an eLearning course or is it just something that would be nice to have? I’ve been planning to learn to play chess since I read my first Sherlock Holmes story about 15 years ago. Although I still find the game terribly sophisticated, the idea has never made it to my must-haves list (I just continue to dream about it).
If you’re a bit like me and your motivation is built on a house of cards, it’s unlikely you’ll ever get started. Not because it’s extremely difficult to create an online course, just because you don’t want it badly enough.
Think about the people who queue for two days to get the new iPhone or people who go to gym every bleedin’ day to flex those muscles like Rocky himself was watching them. That’s motivation. Be more like them. Leave the niceness behind. Say that you really want it and then sweat for it.
2. One BIG goal at a time.
I often have a hundred things that I want to do and learn (usually all at the same time). It is not manageable to juggle a bunch of life projects at once, but I still continue to torture myself with the guilty thoughts of wasting my life every time I log onto Netflix. Multitasking is a myth. It robs us off the opportunity to enjoy the process of achieving important milestones as we buzz around ticking to do lists.
Having too many goals will drive you to the ground - you’ll start losing energy without getting any results. And that will not help you stay pumped-up for your mission. So pick one big goal that you will concentrate on and plough on. Depending on how skilled you are, it may only take you a few weeks or maybe a month to create an online course. Can you postpone the other dreams while you’re realizing this one?
3. Show that you’re serious.
If developing an eLearning course has become your next big project, it’s time to officially commit. Sit down and make a plan of all the project stages: What steps do you have to take to accomplish this goal? Assign time estimates to each stage to calculate a rough final deadline - it will help you to track your progress and stay focused. There’s always that possibility that you’ll just ignore the deadline and the plan altogether (let’s face it, it’s a bit like taking a gym membership), but in that case, we’re back to square one - how badly do you want it? Every stage of your plan should clearly state: a) What needs to be done, b) how you will do it and c) how long it will take you. It’s the only recipe for productive work, so make sure all the ingredients are there.
4. Make it your priority by reducing other commitments.
Quick meetings for coffee, online shopping, binge-watching TV series, playing silly games on your phone, catching up with your favorite show, napping or having too much wine at 8pm - these are just a few temptations that will be lurking around, waiting for your moment of weakness. Giving in to your typical indulgences will deter you from the goal.
So how can you reduce the unnecessary commitments to the minimum while working on that dream? Well, here are a few simple ideas to try: 1) Tell your friends and family what you’re up to and make them promise to keep the distractions to a minimum; 2) treat yourself with something exciting when you achieve your milestones on time; 3) when you get distracted, write the random ideas down to follow up afterwards - it will help you stay in the moment; 4) visualize a steady decline in future incomes every time you waste time on unplanned tasks. Keep your eyes on the sea, captain!
5. Block off time.
Having time is a luxury. No one has time. But you make time for the things that have a special place in your heart. It’s all a matter of one’s priorities. So if you need to, go as far as blocking off time in your calendar for meetings with yourself or for your creative time. It will also serve as a precautionary measure to make sure you don’t plan any outings with friends on that day because you “forgot you have to work on this thing”. iCalendar makes it very hard to fool yourself these days.
6. Keep it simple.
If your plan is to put together a course on English grammar that includes 5 video lectures, 3 practical exercises, and 2 interviews in a week, chances are you’ll drop the idea very quickly. It’s just a little too overwhelming. One of the most successful tactics in overcoming the brain’s natural resistance to a huge load of work is to chunk it up. Or keep it simple.
If you break your big project into smaller tasks, every time you complete one, you’ll feel like a champion. It’s important to maintain the enthusiasm levels high, so be smart and don’t attempt to outrun yourself. Every great success starts from a step in the right direction. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Photo Credit: Helena Constela via Compfight cc
7. Stay focused.
When working on large-scale projects, people often tend to go through a dark phase that sees their determination quiver. Suddenly, the whole project seems like a hot mess. You will agree that it’s not the most energizing feeling in the world. So it’s important to leave reminders for your future-self why you are doing this: Schedule emails, leave post-it notes on a fridge, or stick a poster on your bedroom wall. Do what works for you, but don’t leave your future-self marinating in self-doubt. Seriously, not cool.
8. The first 30 mins of your day are for you.
Planning your day first thing in the morning is the best way to ensure that you don’t over-book or forget anything important. It doesn’t have to be a very detailed, neat plan - sometimes it’s enough to simply ask yourself “what do I need to accomplish today?” and make a mental note of that goal. Think about it as your no-nonsense shopping list: Get things done and get out.
9. Guard your time.
If you don’t have a “do not disturb” sign yet, it’s about time to purchase one. You will see that everyone’s after a piece of you… Learn not to pick up calls just because the phone is ringing: Your me-time is just as important and shouldn’t be interrupted. Log out of your social media accounts and mute phone and email notifications when you get ready to do some work. It may not seem like much, but you will soon notice that minimizing distractions helps you maintain a laser-sharp focus and uncluttered mind. That’s just the kind of peace you need to develop something outstanding.
Now take a deep breath and make it happen. Download the free help guide and build your money-making online course.
This post was first published on eLearning Industry.