How I Took an Online Course in 1 Week - Jenna Kutcher

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How I Took an Online Course in 1 Week

Jenna Kutcher 

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Most of us purchase online courses with the purest of intentions: to learn or master something new all from the comfort of our home! When you think about it, it’s crazy that we live in a world where we can learn thousands of skills through a screen! Today I will be sharing five strategies to help you not just start but FINISH your next digital course and how you can make learning a part of your everyday life without overcomplicating it! 

Let’s face it: digital learning has absolutely transformed my life over the past decade and has equipped me with knowledge that I truly believe has compounded as the success you now see. I’ve taken a lot of digital courses in my career, courses on how to market my business, how to sleep train my baby, how to parent an emotional toddler. I’ve taken courses on masterminds and I’ve even taken a digital course on creating digital courses – how meta, right Amy Porterfield? 

Each course I have taken has given me so many takeaways and as a course creator myself, it helps me to truly understand what my students go through and how I can better facilitate their learnings in their own lives. But in this episode, I want to actually share my recent experience of taking an online course and a few simple strategies that helped me to follow through! 

Strategy One: Shorten the runway. 

I had talked to Marie Forleo months ago about her program Time Genius and we actually committed as a team to taking the program together before I even had Quinn. A week or two before it was about to start, I felt a lot of my normal excuses coming up. I had texted Marie almost in an attempt to back out when she replied to me: Just commit for me ONE week and two hours a day and it can literally transform the rest of your year, heck, the rest of your life. 

I paused and thought about it: I could do one week. I could do one week of extra or hard to reap the rewards for months and even years to come. The truth is, I have watched how knowledge compounds in my life – meaning I learn something once and it gets me results over and over and over again for years. 

So I was back to all in. I know a lot of courses are set up so that you take the content for months or weeks and I feel like in today’s world, even knowing what next week will look like for you can feel impossible. We’re certain there will be uncertainty, basically and so instead of having a long runway that feels so far away, what if we shorten it for a small spurt of time and dive on in? Committing to a shorter time frame helped me block the time I needed and hammer through it in a way that gave me momentum and kept me on track. 

Along with this, I literally inserted all of the dates into my calendar and set daily reminders of what module I would be in. Marie also did 3 live coaching sessions, so those also went into my calendar for the following week and just blocking those off like an appointment made me respect them and the commitment I had to myself.

Whenever I join a new program, I literally print off a calendar and write in what modules I’ll do and when based on how much time I have to commit. Some programs I’ve taken over the course of a month devoting an hour or two each week and some I’ve Netflixed binged and busted out in a week’s time. Regardless of the approach, blocking them on my calendar helps me to stay consistent! 

Strategy Two: Have accountability. 

Since my team was also committed to going through the program, there were a handful of us checking in daily to ensure we were tuning in and sharing our takeaways! Knowing someone is going to ask you if you followed through on that thing you said you were going to do and better yet, having people doing that thing with you? It changes the game. 

The funny thing was is that this course was about learning how to use your time better and to simplify and stop the overwhelm and so it was almost ironic when a few people who had committed to the course backed out because they were too busy — whew, reminder that a lot of times we need things in our lives and we’re prioritizing the wrong stuff. We all laughed that the fact they were feeling that way was the perfect indicator that THEY needed the content the most! 

If you’ve signed up for a course on a topic but then you’ve been pushing off taking it, really look at the amount of time it would take for you to learn a better, simplified, streamlined method ONCE and how much time that can save you in the future. A simple math equation will tell you to make learning a priority! It was a lesson for us all! 

Strategy Three: Habit stacking.

So this was THE biggest game changer for me personally. Since I was being a full-time mom, while still juggling a bit of work, and lots of family time, I had to get super creative about how and when I could consume the content. Remember it was about 2 hours of course content per day to watch, so I had to find two hours to make that happen for five days straight. 

Every day I would take Quinn on a walk and prop my phone up in her stroller and listen and watch the content. I was able to incorporate learning with my daily workout and with mom life. While it’s probably NOT the recommended method of learning, it was what I had to do in order to get it done and stay as focused as I possibly could. I ended up walking over 40 miles the week I took her course and this method worked super well for me. I actually found myself able to focus easier because I was taking the course on my phone (so I wasn’t sitting there scrolling Instagram) and I didn’t have a toddler running around or the regular distractions of home. 

Most online courses these days are courses that you can visit time and time again and courses where you don’t lose access to the content, so even if the way you’re consuming the content isn’t perfectly ideal, getting it and reviewing at all in its entirety can help you to understand and then be able to implement and revisit when you need to master it or need another nudge or reminder. 

Strategy Four: Take what you need and let the rest go.

One thing I’ve learned time and time again when learning new things is that I could hear ten different ideas or strategies or systems say at a mastermind or inside a course but if I tell myself that in order to be successful I have to do them all — well, then I’m paralyzed and overwhelmed and I don’t take ANY action. Instead, if I just take THEEE best idea or the thing that resonated most and I implement that first, I’ll start to see results and when I see results, I gain confidence, and confidence leads me to momentum and momentum turns into more action. What’s my point here? I had to take this course with a discerning ear based on what I know about myself, where I’m at in my life, and what’s possible for me right now. 

While I listened to every single tip and module, I recognized that if I could implement even just three of her tips or strategies, I would get results and after I had successfully implemented, I could go back and do more and retake portions to gain the next step. It’s this idea of taking what serves you and letting the rest go and it’s been something I’ve done for a long time but it’s something I tend to forget with the curriculum. So each day, I would write down the #1 takeaway, the ONE thing I could commit to implementing and it gave me a much shorter list that would still give me results. 

One tip here is to take a portion of the course and then the next morning right down the thing that stood out to you or the thing that resonated or felt right for you the most and let that be your first commitment. A lot of times we get so caught up in the minuta that we miss the big picture and we get stuck in the details that we just stay stuck. Just like this podcast or that youtube video or that book — take what serves you and let the rest go — and when you let it go it doesn’t have to be forever, it could be til next week or next month but just start small. 

Strategy Five: Have something tangible. 

So one thing with digital courses is that you can stare into a screen and learn a skill which is so beautiful and with a ton of online courses there are downloads for worksheets and workbooks and bonuses – also awesome! This time, I wanted to have something tangible that I could work through as I worked through the program. Marie had what she called “fun sheets” for each module and so I actually downloaded them and printed them at a local Office Depot and got them bound like little books for each module. 

I wanted to put true pen to paper and found myself struggling to get into filling them out on the screen so I swapped the medium and not only does it give me something tangible to do and take notes on, it’s now a workbook that I see in my home to remind me to dive back in or implement that thing or revisit that exercise. Digital courses are amazing because they are digital but sometimes we need a tangible reminder for accountability or we need to change mediums to let the knowledge really settle in. 

Bring your own level of self awareness to the courses you take and really be honest about how you learn best and what methods will help you to follow through. Your self awareness should always be the copilot in life and the more honest you are with yourself and what will truly help you to follow through the better. 

The Big Picture

Before I close out I want to share 5 reasons why online education is important and encourage you dive back into a course that maybe you purchased but didn’t get around to or to invest in yourself to master a new skill or learn a new system: 

When you are poised as a student you are naturally more creative and open minded to change and ideas. A lot of times we are so head down in the work but putting yourself in the position of a student can open you up to more possibilities. 

When you learn something new, you get dopamine, heck, we all need more dopamine in our life but a lot of times small results can lead to more action, more action can yield big results. Online courses have been massive catalysts in my life and in my business. 

I’ve said this before but you can literally learn something once and reap the results of that learning for months and years to come. The time it takes you to take a course right now will likely save you time, money, energy, or frustration in the future so just like that saying goes; your future self will thank you. 

Commit to letting more shades of gray exist in your life and recognize that learning and implementing something is better than nothing. You don’t have to be a perfect student or take the modules perfectly, here’s where progress is progress no matter how small. 

You can learn all day through things like books and podcasts but the real results come when you partner that learning with action and implementation. Most courses are set up to teach you but then to help you take that action and so if you’re really wanting change, stop just listening and start DOING. 

All in all, I had an amazing experience and I can’t wait to share more of my results of what happens after implementing Time Genius in my life and I can’t wait to implement some of the ideas into my business alongside my team of time geniuses.


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