Creating your online course should be an exciting and empowering experience. You’re building your business and creating a new income stream, after all. But for a lot of people, it’s hard to imagine fitting course creation into their daily schedules when they’re already so busy.
Yet, every day, hundreds of new creators launch their courses and thousands more are working on creating their first course, too. These are creators who work full-time, some are parents, some are students, and very few of them are able to devote all of their working hours to building these businesses. But they all make it work.
You’re not alone if you’re wondering how they make the time to build their courses when they’re already so busy. How do they prioritize course creation over the other demands in their life, and what are their best productivity tips? In this article, we’ll be taking a look at just that. Take a look at some of the best productivity tips by some of the most successful online course creators out there.
6 Productivity tips for course creators
Building an online course requires consistent dedication. If you want your course to be as good as it can possibly be, you will need to devote time to ensure that all your materials are high-quality – this can be tough when you have a full-time job or a million other things vying for your attention. The following tips can help you to make time, and then make the most of that time to create your online course.
1. Jot Down your Ideas Throughout the Day
Ideas for online courses don’t always arrive while you are sitting at your desk trying to come up with them. Many online course creators have their best ideas when trying to get to sleep at night while commuting to their day job, or while doing mundane tasks like cleaning dishes. Don’t let these flashes of inspiration get away!
Jot down your thoughts and new ideas as they come to you. So, whenever you get an idea about a new course you could offer or a new lecture you could add to the course you’re working on, simply jot it down on a sticky note, in a notebook, or on a productivity app (like Trello).
You need to have a system in place that allows you to capture good ideas no matter when or where they come to you. Whatever system you decide to use, be consistent. It is important to have all your ideas collected in one place. That way when you get some free time you can open up your app or notebook and immediately start working on one of your fantastic ideas.
2. Drive the Restrictions Away
With most people swamped up with various professional challenges, working distraction-free is a real luxury today. However, it is not impossible. Follow a deep work session (typically 90 minutes) where you completely focus on your course. This might seem impossibly initially, but with time you will get used to it.
You could also turn off your email notifications and WhatsApp notifications to stay focused. Every time a notification comes up, you will get distracted and end up with an unproductive day.
3. Shift to Batch-based Production
A batch production approach helps you stay focused on your work. It is one of the proven ways to get more work done in a limited time. As a course instructor, you might be well aware of the challenges in creating and running an online course. There are multiple tasks involved in it and switching between tasks in a disoriented fashion is never a good practice. Group the tasks into batches and work on a single batch at a time.
The easiest (and most efficient) way to work in batches is to go through your weekly goals, group similar tasks together, and plan to work on them in batches. For example, if you have three outlines that you’d like to draft, two-course videos you want to record, and two assignments you want to create in a week, you might batch them as follows:
Day 1: Draft Outline #1, Outline #2, and Outline #3.
Day 2: Record Video Lecture #1 and Video Lecture #2.
Day 3: Create Assignment #1 and Assignment #2.
4. Long-term and Short-term Deadlines
You might be all set to start your online course, but are you prepared to achieve the different milestones that come your way?
You probably already have a launch date in mind for your online course, but do you know when you plan to hit major milestones along the way to the launch? For example, do you have a date in mind for when you will finish shooting videos and start editing them?
Set mini-targets in your journey and complete them. More importantly, set a deadline for each of these tasks that will give you a sense of purpose and urgency. Mark specific target dates for every work such as content creation, video making, taking lessons, uploading courses, and so on.
5. Don’t Try to Chase Perfection
When creating an online course, it is easy to get hung up on small details that are not really that important. While it might be tempting to re-shoot every video in which you stutter or make a slight mistake, you have to ask yourself whether doing so will actually benefit your students.
As long as your videos are easy to understand, does it matter whether the lighting on one of them is not quite perfect? Do you really need to rewrite an entire section of your course because you thought of a slightly better structure, even though the students you have asked for feedback had no issues with the original?
At some point, you have to stop trying to make your online course perfect and focus on getting it out into the world. Set a target launch date and try to stick to it, even if there are still minor details about the course that you don’t like.
6. Repurpose your Content
Productivity doesn’t just apply to the time and effort you spend on creating your online course. It also has to do with how you’re producing the course content. What this means is that you should focus on getting the most out of the content you’ve already created – in other words, by repurposing it.
For instance, if you organize live training you can record your training sessions and package them up as online courses or lead magnets. Similarly, if you’ve written an e-book, you can use that content as a starting point to create a complete online course.
There are several benefits of repurposing content. First, you’ll never run out of content since you’ll always be able to modify old content and combine it with new learning material. Second, you can use the repurposed content to offer as a free mini online course which will help you bring in new students.
As an online course creator, the best thing you can do is devote some time every day to creating your online course. Between determining market demand, drafting course outlines, producing course videos, and setting up a website, there’s so much that needs to be done to create a successful online course. Hopefully, these 6 effective tips will help you be productive with your online course.
About the Author: Abhishek is a marketer with a specialization in SEO with ContentNinja, a platinum-tiered Hubspot Partner Agency based out of India.