Depending on your own learning style, you may think attending a brick-and-mortar school is easier than online learning. You have a set schedule when enrolled in an in-person interior decorating course. On school days, you force yourself out of bed, stop by the local coffee shop, and attend class. Then, you meet friends afterward, rinse and repeat. Having a routine makes going to school and doing homework easier. But here’s the thing: you can have that routine when taking an interior decorating course online!
You definitely have to be more proactive in your approach to studying. But if you’re ambitious and want your dream of becoming a certified interior decorator to come true, you need to work hard. The key is to set yourself up for success. Optimize everything around you to make working from home easy.
Let’s jump into the 5 tips to learn interior decorating online!
Create a study schedule
When you’re enrolled in a self-paced course, you have the take to bull by the horns if you want to graduate. When you block off time each week to dedicate to your course, you’re making time for your career. It’s not easy to bring yourself to study when you don’t have it in your mental calendar in advance, so make it easy on yourself. Dedicating just a couple hours a week can mean graduating in as little as 4 months!
But you’ll want to schedule your time beyond sectioning off two hours on a Sunday afternoon to study. When you first sit down to study, take a pen and paper and write out a to-do list. Break down every large task into smaller ones. Start by listing off a few tasks that you’ve already completed or a few tasks that are easily completed. Seeing a few items checked off will motivate you to complete more tasks.
Know how to properly set learning goals
Take a page from your college textbook and write SMART goals. This allows you to create goals that are manageable and actually achievable! Take a look:
“Complete the Color Theory quiz by Sunday to be halfway done Unit A”
When you dissect it using SMART goal setting, you can see why this method works!
- Specific: Break down larger goals into smaller ones. Then, add detail so each goal is clearly distinct from the others.
- Measurable: Is there a way to track your progress on achieving the goal? How do you know when it’s complete? Measuring your goals could be as simple as seeing how many pages deep into the course text you are by the end of the session.
- Action-oriented: When you use specific verbs like “identify the lighting type” or “watch the video”, you’ll know exactly what you need to do.
- Realistic: Is the goal relevant to your overall goal? Is it achievable? Good goals are realistic.
- Time-bound: Specify a deadline. Make sure you can actually get what you need to do by then!
When you adhere to all these criteria, you’ll find achieving them much easier than just saying “Step 1: Take an interior decorating course… Step 2: Graduate”!
Dress for success
Motivation can quickly come and quickly go, often leaving a trail of abandoned projects in its wake. But it doesn’t have to be the case for you with your online interior decorating course. If you want to get stuff done, you need to dress for success!
This may seem like the most trivial item on the list, but hear us out! When get up to go to school/work, you eat breakfast, brush your teeth, and change your clothes. It’s a ritual that tells your mind that you’re leaving the sleeping state and are getting ready for a day ahead. We’re not saying that you need to deck yourself out in a power pantsuit to take on your readings! You may feel a little silly at first, but getting out of those jammies and putting on a pair of shoes can make a huge difference.
Create a good learning environment
When working from home, you should ensure you’re not working on the sofa or a bed. Being too comfortable makes it easier for you to slip into unproductivity. You don’t want to slowly be drifting into an afternoon nap during your designated study time!
Ensure you have a designated study spot. Whether it be the outdoor patio, the dining room table, or a home office. Then make sure you have a desk or table with a chair. And make sure that if you are working at a desk that it’s decluttered! You may believe that a messy desk is your ticket to creativity, but for most people, too much clutter can hinder their mind. Get rid of any distracting bobbleheads and unrelated magazines. Tidy it up, and then optimize your study environment!
Play a study playlist in the background or hop onto YouTube to play gentle rain sounds. And then bring everything you need for the study session to the table. Snacks, pens, water, laptop, coffee, etc. Many people waste a lot of time getting up to grab stuff when the clock is running instead of actually studying! It’s procrastination at it’s finest, so ensure everything you need is already within reach before starting.
It’s not all readings and video-watching—you need to do hands-on work, too! Some courses only ask you to do readings and pass a final multiple-choice exam at the end. But you need practice if you want to succeed in the real world! Practice sketching floorplans or creating boards on Pinterest by color scheme and decorating style.
Most of all, get hands-on practice! Apply your knowledge first to your own house and then to your close family and friends’ homes. Of course, the further along you get in the course, the more refined your technique will be. Start charging for your services even if it’s a fraction the cost of what a certified professional decorator would. Just make sure that when you’re doing larger projects that you get covered with a business license!
Have study tips you want to share? Let us know in the comments!