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5 Online Courses To Equip You With Knowledge You’d Only Get After Years At Work

5 Online Courses To Equip You With Knowledge You’d Only Get After Years At Work

Do you want to get ahead in your career, but need to bring your skills up to date? Thanks to the power of online learning, you can give your skillset a boost in just a few weeks. These courses are convenient and free, meaning that your learning can easily fit into your life.

If online learning sounds good to you, why not check out these five courses from Coursera, a hub connecting you with the best online courses provided by world-renowned universities and training organizations.

Learning How To Learn: Powerful Mental Tools To Help You Master Tough Subjects

Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5

This course will teach you how to learn. Why is this so important? Well, before you can hope to expand your knowledge in any domain, it’s useful to understand exactly how your brain picks up, stores and makes sense of new information.

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You will learn how to overcome procrastination and make the best use of your memory along, with other cognitive skills that will be useful in any line of work. The course is interesting and engaging, with users reporting that the presenters are likeable and that the activities (including quizzes) are fun.

Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills

Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5

This negotiation course has helped many people pick up the basics of positive negotiation. Even if your job role does not officially involve much negotiation, we all have to work with other people on a daily basis, in such a way that means we need to work out how to make sure everyone’s needs are met.

This course includes plenty of helpful video materials that demonstrate the skills vital for successful negotiation. As part of your learning, you will undergo a live negotiation process with a friend or online partner. This course really allows you to put what you have learned into practice.

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Effective Problem-Solving and Decision-Making

Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5

Whatever your job, you will need to undertake some degree of problem-solving and decision-making on a regular basis. Those who can think critically and use the information they have at their disposal to make well-informed, balance decisions will always be popular in the workplace.

Master this skill and not only will you be respected, but you will be seen as a reliable individual with leadership potential. The course contains real-life case studies that will help you appreciate the importance of critical thinking in day-to-day situations.

Successful Presentation

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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There are few forms of communication more persuasive than a high-quality presentation, but many people find public speaking to be a daunting prospect. In this course, you will learn how to overcome your fears, put together a great presentation and make use of verbal and non-verbal cues in getting your message across.

This course is essential if you are looking to obtain a leadership position or wish to learn how to influence others in the workplace.

Influencing People

Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5

If you want to make an appreciable difference within your organization and ensure that your ideas are heard, you need to learn how to influence other people. This course will equip you with the skills you need to share your ideas with others in such a way that they take notice.

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You will discover how you can exert your own personal influence over your managers, those you supervise and other stakeholders. Once you learn how to influence other people, you will find your work much more rewarding, because you will be able to see the firsthand effect of your own personal power.

Online courses are increasingly popular as a cheap, effective way of broadening one’s set of work-related skills. If it’s been a while since you took steps towards your personal development, why not sign up for one or more of the above courses today?

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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