Studying online is becoming increasingly popular. If you are thinking about furthering your education down this route, then it is important that you should know how to stay motivated in order to complete your studies.
There are many perks to studying online, but it is also fair to mention that it could take more self-discipline and motivation than you might originally have thought it does. With no need to go to university for lectures, it is very easy to get distracted and caught up in everyday life. Finding the motivation to study can sometimes be difficult.
Here we share 8 tips to keep you motivated and make sure your studies stay on track.
An easy-to-share infographic is located at the bottom of this post.
1. Choose the Right Degree for You
It is much easier to enjoy learning and be motivated when you like the subject you are studying. It may even seem self-explanatory, but choosing the wrong degree can affect your motivation right throughout most parts of your studies.
If you need to decide, take the following into consideration. In high school which classes did you enjoy most? What subject do you love reading about? What do you excel in? Deciding which subjects you are interested in, and what your career goals are, will help you determine which degree to study.
Your long-term goals of actually attaining the degree, and the career you’d like to step into upon completion will help with motivation.
You may not love all the individual classes involved, but they will help you reach your goal. Therefore, being passionate about your goals will also make you more motivated to succeed.
Once you have picked your perfect degree course you can enjoy the perks of studying online. However, with so much flexibility, it is hard to stay focused, and more importantly, stay motivated on a daily basis. So, here’s what you can do?
2. Plan Your Schedule
First of all, create a schedule for yourself. Whether it’s a daily planner, an online calendar or a paper calendar on your fridge, use whatever works for you.
Plan out your schedule for the month. Make sure to put in all your assignment deadlines, exams, and any other important dates. Also, very important, include any social commitments or holidays. This way you will have a clear view of the month ahead.
You can then plan weekly projects in order to prioritize your work. Give yourself enough time to study and complete all the work required. If you feel that you would need an hour to complete a task, add another 15 minutes to it, just to be on the safe side.
Attainable daily goals and to do lists are a great way to break down your work and schedule time to get
everything done throughout the day. Don’t take on too much because you will feel drained at the end of the day. Completing your to do list tasks or weekly goals does boost your mood.
Changes are bound to happen sometimes, and you may need to rearrange your schedule. Having a basic plan to refer to can be very useful when this happens.
It will help you stay organized and act as a reminder of deadlines. If plans do change, rearranging things is much easier and less stressful if you have a schedule in place.
3. Take Breaks
It may seem strange to encourage taking breaks when talking about motivation. However, research has shown that breaks are an important part of a successful work ethic. Taking strategic breaks can refresh your mind, restore motivation and increase productivity.
Studying for long periods of time without taking a break can leave your mind exhausted. Your brain needs to rest. Taking a short break after 90 minutes of studying can help you remain focused. This is not an excuse to go watch Netflix though.
Take a break to do some yoga, walk your dog or just get some fresh air. Movement is good for the body and can help boost your energy. A change of scenery and environment will also do wonders for your energy levels and reduce stress.
Other ways to take a break include getting something to eat, enjoying a coffee or tea, a short power nap (10 to 20 minutes), or meditation. All of these options will give your mind some valuable downtime. You can then return to your studies refreshed and ready to focus.
4. Create an Inspiring Study Space
Studying from home is a nice perk of online learning. You may be tempted to get comfortable on the couch or even stay in bed and study in your pajamas. Whilst comfortable, this does not generally promote productivity. Creating a space where you can study will help foster good work habits and make you feel more motivated.
A tidy, well-lit space will help you focus and study more effectively. Make sure that your area is comfortable and has personal touches so that you would want to spend time there. It is a good idea to reserve this space solely for studying. Doing this will separate it a bit from your home environment. This helps you get into your work frame of mind faster and avoid distractions to focus on your studies.
Studying online means you can work from anywhere, not just your home. So, if you prefer working from coffee shops or the local library feel free to take advantage of this. Changing up your surroundings can also increase motivation and keep your mind active.
5. Keep to A Routine
Having a routine is related to scheduling, but your routine is more about your day to day habits. Finding a routine that works for you and sticking to it can help you be successful and get more done in the day.
If you build time for studying into your daily routine, you are more likely to actually do it. Otherwise, it is easier to procrastinate and put things off due to lack of motivation. Making studying a regular habit in your daily routine will help you be more successful and reach your goals.
6. Reward Yourself for Achievements
Finishing an assignment or passing an exam are things you should be proud of. Even meeting your study goals for the week or completing your to-do list are achievements. Don’t be afraid to celebrate them.
Share your success with friends and family or treat yourself to something nice. Celebrating and acknowledging your achievements creates positive energy and encourages more internal motivation. So, go ahead and celebrate the little triumphs, you deserve it.
7. Connect with Other Students
Studying online can be isolating, but there is no reason for that to be the case. With modern technology and the internet, there are so many ways to connect with people. If you live in another town or country, you may not be able to meet people in person, but you can connect online.
Make use of the online resources and interactive groups in the university. You will likely be able to connect with other students on your course. Join an online community or create a group on social media where you can all connect to discuss your studies and help each other.
Connecting with local students in your area is another great option. You do not need to be studying the same thing. Meeting up with fellow students can be a great opportunity to network and build new relationships. You can help each other stay motivated in your own studies.
8. Stay Balanced
It is important to study and to be successful in your degree, but do not let it become overwhelming. It can be very easy to neglect your personal life. Having a healthy balance will help you stay positive, motivated and focused on your goals.
Balancing your studies, family, friends and work life can be complicated, especially if you are studying from home. You can easily fall into the trap of studying or working all the time which can lead to burnout. Learning to separate work and studies from your social and home life will help prevent this.
Remember to accept help. If you are feeling overwhelmed talk to your instructor, fellow students or a family member. They can offer support and help you step back and focus on what’s important. Reassessing the situation can help reduce stress and create a healthier work/life balance.
Staying motivated does not need to be difficult. Using these simple tips will help you keep your studies on track and enjoy your online degree.
Interested in Studying Online?
If you have any questions about studying online or degree possibilities at NAU Canada Online, please give us a call at 855.210.5641. We’re always happy to help!