Over the last ten years technology has made it possible to learn many different things from the comfort of your own desk. Whether it's having better access to training documents, streaming video from an archive, or joining a webinar or online class we have the ability to pick up new skills left and right.
This instant access to so much knowledge is great, but do you have the time to access it and gain the mastery you need? Most of us do, however constant interruptions can make it difficult to get the total sum of time you may need to complete a webinar or online class. Sure, you can block out time on your calendar to participate in an online class; you won't have other appointments or obligations scheduled in that window. But will you get an unexpected call or email? That is very likely.
When you're trying to learn a new skill, especially one in an area that you don't normally practice in everyday, it may help you learn more effectively if you leave your desk or office and go to a classroom. Opting to gain knowledge away from your day-to-day life gives you room to focus without the normal interruptions that cross your desk.
Make sure you get the most out of your time away from your desk by turning off your cell phone or putting it on silent. If your class is using computers with web access, resist the urge to log into your email to check-in. Wait until the class' allotted break time to check your phone or email. Not only will these things allow you to focus on your class, it may even clear your mind to come up with new ideas or find a solution to an issue that has been eluding you.
With your new understanding you will return to your desk refreshed and with a mastery of the skill that would have taken much longer to gain if you had been fielding phone calls and emails while trying to learn.