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As professional magicians, we are always trying to improve ourselves in performance and business, and it got me thinking about distance learning. Distance learning is a fabulous new way to get an advanced education. It allows you to work at home on your own schedule and it allows you to set your own pace for learning. But remember, you still have to do all of the work. It’s just like that old saying, easy does it; but do it!

In order to be successful in achieving your distance learning goals you will have to develop a sense and source of personal motivation and you will also need good study habits. Just as successful students almost always have good study habits, so too is your online success directly tied to good studying in your distance learning program. Here are a few tips to help you get started off on the right foot.

Set up a study schedule and stick to it. If you need to do two hours of study for every online hour then schedule a fixed time when you will do your studying. Pick a time when you are least likely to be interrupted, it can be early in the morning before the rest of your family wakes up, or it can be later in the day when everyone is gone to work or school.

Don’t pick just before dinner when everyone is unwinding and catching up on their day or listening to their favorite, and very loud, music. You need the peace and quiet in order to concentrate. Some people study in the basement or even the garage. It doesn’t matter where it is as long as it is convenient, quiet, and conducive to your studies.

Plan your study time when everyone else is busy with their own activities. It might be when the kids are gone to sports or dance class or when your spouse is at their bowling night out.

It might be Saturday morning while the kids watch cartoons or your wife is sleeping in. It helps if other people are busy because they won’t be able to interrupt your studying.

Another tip for successful studying in your distance learning program includes creating a space for yourself within your home where you actually enjoy spending time. Some people like to study on the back porch on nice days or in front of a cozy fire on colder nights. As long as you are comfortable it is a good place to study.

Try and protect that space by telling all of your family that this area is off limits during your study time. Make up a small sign that says “Student at Work” or even “Quiet, Please”. You may have to tell them a few times, especially your kids, but sooner rather than later they will get it and respect your need for this study time and space. You’ve got this!

Remember to look for the magic that is all around you.