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17 Free Online Learning Sites that Provide High Quality Opportunities

17 Free Online Learning Sites that Provide High Quality Opportunities

One thing that you should never stop doing is learning, even if you are no longer in school. With the Internet, our opportunities to learn have never been so great, and there is no excuse for you to not be learning at least one new thing every day. Check out these 17 awesome free online learning sites.

1. ALISON

Alison

    This site is partnered with some of the top publishers to provide courses on just about anything you can think of. From HR practices to nursing, there is bound to be something that you are interested in learning. This site makes the best learning materials available to everyone.

    2. EdX

    edx

      If you want to take university classes online, this is the place to do it. You can enjoy classes from the top universities, including Harvard and UC Berkley, and you can search for courses by school, subject, or topic. You will be amazed at the amount of great courses that are available on this site, and they are all free to take.

      3. Microsoft Virtual Academy

      microsoft

        This is a great way to learn all about IT, cloud computing, and everything else that people do every day on the Internet. There are even live events such as tutorials, and there are courses for students of every level.

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        4. E-Learning for Kids

        elearning kids

          This is a great site for kids that is loaded with elementary courses. Kids ages 5-12 can take courses in math, science, health, language, and more, and they will end up with much better grades in school.

          5. MIT OpenCourseware

          MIT

            When you want coursework from MIT that is very concentrated, this is the site to check out. You will find most of the most popular MIT courses here, including animal behavior, statistics and probability, and a whole lot more.

            6. Udemy

            udemy

              This site offers more paid video tutorials than anything, but there are some freebies, and the paid ones are also worth looking into. Topics include personal development, marketing, lifestyle, photography, and more.

              7. CodeAcademy

              codeacademy

                This is for anyone who wants to learn about software programming and data science. Most of the courses are web-related, and there are courses for all age groups. There is even an in-browser coding console for some courses. This marketable, money-making skill is easy to learn with this useful online resource.

                8. Ed2Go

                ed2go

                  These courses aren’t free, but they are affordable, and there are courses from more than 2,100 colleges and universities. The training is virtual, but led by instructors, and there are loads of categories.You get the opportunity to interact with your classmates which allows you to make connections and get further course recommendations from them for the future.

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                  9. Open Culture

                  Capture

                    This site is great because it divides free online courses into various disciplines and connects you to resources relating to those topics. If you like history, this site connects you to hundreds of history resources relating to your interests.

                    10. HubSpot Academy

                    Hubspot

                      This site offers courses and e-books about content marketing, and you can even get certifications. This is going to make you stand out when you are on the hunt for a new job in marketing. Most people add their earned certifications to their resumes!

                      11. iTunesU

                      iTunesU

                        Not everything here is free, but there are enough free courses that you can load onto your phone or computer at no charge that it is worth checking out. You can even learn on your daily commute to work!

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                        12. NovoEd

                        Novoed

                          Most of the courses here are free, and come from professors from some of the top universities in the world. This social learning platform connects you with other learners.

                          13. Stanford Engineering Everywhere

                          stanford

                            Engineering courses are free to both students and educators, including all of the materials you need to complete each course, from syllabi to videos to exams and more.

                            14. Coursera

                            Coursera

                              There are more than 1000 courses here from the top learning institutions, including Stanford and Duke. You should have no problem finding loads of great courses that you will want to take for free. Coursera is great because you can take quick classes to learn about programs like Excel, Photoshop, and more.

                              15. Moz

                              moz

                                Here is a site that offers loads of resources about everything to do with search engine and content marketing. You will find guides to link building, social media, SEO, and a whole lot more.

                                16. Scratch-Imagine, Program, Share

                                scratch

                                  This is a program from MIT that allows children to learn about science. They will learn about the solar system, music synths, the science behind paper planes, and a whole lot more.

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                                  17. HippoCampus

                                  hippo

                                    Find loads of free video collections for 13 subjects for students in middle school all the way to college. Teachers can get free accounts, and courses are from such schools as Khan Academy, NM State Learn Games Lab, and STEMbite.

                                    Featured photo credit: philosophygeek via flickr.com

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                                    Published on January 16, 2019

                                    How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                                    How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                                    We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

                                    You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

                                    You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

                                    That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

                                    Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

                                    1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

                                    Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

                                    We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

                                    To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

                                    At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

                                    The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

                                    2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

                                    Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

                                    The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

                                    In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

                                    It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

                                    It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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                                    So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

                                    • Are you a great strategist?
                                    • Are you an effective planner?
                                    • Is Project Management your strength?
                                    • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
                                    • Are you the ideas person?
                                    • Is Implementation your strength?

                                    Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

                                    3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

                                    One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

                                    Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

                                    Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

                                    Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

                                    4. Take Time for Planning

                                    “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

                                    One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

                                    You can take the time to think about:

                                    • What’s the purpose of the project?
                                    • How Important is it?
                                    • When does it need to be delivered by?
                                    • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
                                    • What are the KPIs?
                                    • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
                                    • Who is working on this project?
                                    • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
                                    • What tolerances can I add in?
                                    • What are the review stages?
                                    • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

                                    Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

                                    5. Focus on Priorities

                                    Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

                                    Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

                                    One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

                                    1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
                                    2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
                                    3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
                                    4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

                                    James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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                                      The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

                                      If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

                                      If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

                                      6. Take Time Out

                                      To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

                                      If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

                                      Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

                                      In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

                                      Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                                      7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

                                      Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

                                      I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

                                      Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

                                      If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

                                      8. Stop Multitasking

                                      Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

                                      So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

                                      When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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                                      If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

                                      9. Work in Blocks of Time

                                      To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

                                      I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

                                      Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

                                      Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

                                      Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

                                      Then take another 10-minute break.

                                      Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

                                      By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

                                      10. Get Rid of Distractions

                                      Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

                                      “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

                                      Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

                                      If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

                                      11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

                                      You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

                                      Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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                                      Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

                                      12. Take a Time Audit

                                      Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

                                      Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

                                      You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

                                      Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

                                      Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

                                      At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

                                      If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

                                      13. Protect Your Confidence

                                      It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

                                      When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

                                      Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

                                      When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

                                      Final Words

                                      A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

                                      The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

                                      If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

                                      Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

                                      Reference

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