So you’ve made up your mind that home study is right for you. You’ve decided to invest the time and money, so why not make the most of your learning experience?

Home study courses in massage therapy are a convenient way to learn new methods and techniques to benefit your current clients or attract new ones. But by taking a course outside the traditional classroom setting, there are a few things to avoid that might distract you from your ultimate goal. While eliminating those distractions can be a challenging thing to do, it’s only going to help you in the long run of your educational pursuits.

The following is a list of five tips you can use to make your home study experience more fulfilling.

1. Create a study space. Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed during your course time. That place might be at a desk or a spare room, which allows you to escape the confines of your everyday life. But make sure that place is comfortable so you can focus on nothing but your massage home study classes. Within this zone, you should be able to keep your notebooks and other study materials. And when you’re in this zone, you should always be in a study mode.

2. Manage your time wisely. Set a schedule to pace yourself in your home study course. To create the schedule, evaluate the length of time you anticipate it will take to complete your chosen course, taking into account your life and demanding work schedule. During your study time, make sure you won’t be disturbed. To help your loved ones, it also is a good idea to tell them what you are doing so they don’t feel you’re neglecting them.

3. Participate in every aspect. Don’t shortchange yourself; if you’re taking a course that allows for direct interaction with course instructors or other students through e-mail or online chats, take advantage of these opportunities. In these forums, you can ask questions and gain a better understanding of the material you are studying. And you might pick up added information that isn’t included in the given coursework.

4. Complete the course you have chosen. Make sure you finish the course. If you’re not, why make the purchase? The only person you are going to hurt is yourself. Also, take your time. Refrain from hitting the fast-forward button on the DVD player, or avoiding chapters in coursework that you find mundane or think you already know. You just might learn something new or become more skilled at something you have already learned.

5. Reward yourself. Give yourself something extra to work toward. By setting incremental goals throughout your home study process you can feel better about your accomplishments by rewarding yourself with a little treat. There’s no need to get extravagant, but a little something to reward yourself for doing a good job makes the process better for you and your learning.

As always, make sure to check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for continuing education credits.

–Jeremy Maready