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Four tips on how to fit online learning into a busy schedule

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

In the fast-paced world we live in, juggling various responsibilities can be challenging. Balancing work, family, and personal commitments often leaves little time for pursuing further education. Fortunately, the rise of online learning has revolutionised the way we acquire knowledge and skills. However, incorporating online learning into an already busy schedule requires careful planning and dedication. To help you make the most of your learning journey, here are four tips on how to fit online learning into a busy schedule:

Create a realistic online learning plan

The first step towards successful online learning is to create a well-structured study plan. Begin by assessing your daily and weekly schedule to identify available time slots. Be honest with yourself about how much time you can realistically allocate to learning. Keep in mind that quality matters more than quantity, so try to focus on consistent short study sessions rather than sporadic long ones.

Set clear goals for what you want to achieve with online learning and break them down into smaller, manageable tasks. Prioritise essential topics or modules and allocate specific time blocks for each. Consider using productivity tools and apps to help you stay organized and track your progress. Remember, your study plan should be flexible enough to adapt to unexpected events while still holding yourself accountable.

Embrace microlearning

With a busy schedule, it's natural to feel overwhelmed by the idea of committing to lengthy learning sessions. One effective solution to this challenge is embracing microlearning. Microlearning involves breaking down educational content into bite-sized, easily digestible chunks. Instead of sitting down for hours at a time, opt for short, focused sessions that can be completed during short breaks or downtime.

Many online learning platforms offer microlearning courses, allowing you to learn at your own pace and on-the-go. Whether it's watching a 10-minute video during your lunch break or completing a quick quiz while waiting for a meeting to start, embracing microlearning enables you to make steady progress without disrupting your busy routine.

Cranfield’s online learning is broken down into bite-size chunks, making it easy to pick up and consume learning in shorter spans of time.

“The idea upon which this learning approach has been built is very clever. It is very convenient and content is very brief and informative. Messages are communicated very clearly and quickly within the short span of each module page. I have been learning whilst on the train, waiting at airports or during 30 min downtime breaks.”

Andrè Lupi, Senior Research & Development Director, Epredia

Eliminate time wasters

To make room for online learning, it's crucial to identify and eliminate time wasting activities from your daily routine. Take a critical look at how you spend your time outside of work and essential commitments. Are you spending too much time on social media or watching TV? Are there any unproductive habits that could be replaced with more learning-friendly activities?

By cutting back on non-essential time wasters, you can free up valuable minutes and create a more conducive environment for online learning. Consider setting specific time limits for leisure activities and reward yourself with learning opportunities once you accomplish your goals.

Communicate and seek support

Balancing online learning with other commitments can be a daunting task, but you don't have to do it alone. Communicate your educational pursuits with your family, friends, and colleagues. Seeking their support and understanding can make a significant difference in staying motivated and accountable.

Additionally, consider joining online learning communities or forums where you can interact with like-minded learners and share your experiences. Being part of a learning community can provide you with valuable insights, tips, and encouragement, and it can help you feel connected even in your busy schedule.

Learning with Cranfield online – you are not alone. The learning platform gives you the opportunity to connect with your peers, discuss module content and real-life business issues.


Fitting online learning into a busy schedule requires careful planning, dedication, and a willingness to adapt. By creating a realistic study plan, embracing microlearning, eliminating time-wasting activities, and seeking support, you can successfully integrate online learning into your busy lifestyle. Remember, learning is a continuous journey, and every small step counts towards achieving your educational and personal goals. Happy learning!


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