So finally you have decided to take your college courses online – congratulations! Taking online courses provides flexibility for a wide range of students and staff. Especially working adults can balance their educational classes with other commitments such as family and career goals through flexible online courses. To adapt to this new lecturing environment, students can create their program of study depending on their learning styles.
Those with financial difficulties can take classes part-time while working to pay for tuition, or they can look for scholarships and other financial aids. Online education is mainly self-directed, and finding ways to keep motivated is the key to your success. Here are some ideas to keep you motivated through your online course:
- Choose the Right Degree Program for You
It will be much easier to stay focused and motivated when you like the subject you are studying. But choosing an online degree program out of your interest can affect your studying skills throughout most parts of your class.
If you are still in doubt about what to choose, take the following into your consideration. In your high school, which classes and subjects did you enjoy the most? What do you excel in? Deciding what your career goals are, which subjects you are interested in, will help you to determine which degree to study.
You may not love all each and every class you are going to attend, but they will surely help you reach your goal. Hence, being passionate about your career goals will make you more motivated to succeed in your classes.
There are almost every course is available online; even courses like programming, engineering, and associate nursing programs are also available online. Once you have picked your online degree course and university, you can enjoy the perks of studying online.
- Schedule Your Plans Ahead
Start your class with a perfect schedule. You can create it as a daily or weekly planner, paper calendar on your fridge or online calendar, use whatever terms work for you.
The best way will be planning your schedule for a month – so you don’t have to work on it daily. Remember to put in all your exam dates, assignment deadlines, or other important dates. Moreover, very importantly, include any holidays and social commitments in your schedule chart. Like this way, you will have a clear view of your academic month ahead.
You can then further plan your weekly projects in order to prioritize your work. Plan yourself enough time to do background work, study and complete all the work required. If you think that you would need an hour to complete your task, add another 15 or 20 minutes to it, just to be on the safer side.
Attainable to do lists and daily goals are a great way to break down your complex works and schedule time to get everything done in a day. Don’t assign too much time on every task because at the end of the day, you will be exhausted. Creating and successfully completing your tasks will boost your mood.
Changes to your plans are bound to happen sometimes, and according to your needs you may need to rearrange your schedule. Having a basic plan to refer to these times will be useful in this situation.
- Create an Encouraging Study Space
Studying from home and comfort level is a nice perk of online learning. You may even be tempted to stay in bed or get comfortable on the couch and study in your pajamas. Being in a too cozy place will not generally promote your productivity. Being in a creative space where you can study will help you boost your focus and foster good work habits.
A well-lit, tidy space will help you to stay focused and study more effectively. Make sure your study area is much comfortable and has a positive environment so that you would feel like you want to spend a lot of time there. It would be better if you could reserve this space solely for studying. This will help you get into the study environment and avoid other distractions.
As studying online means you can work from anywhere, it doesn’t even have to be your home. So, if you prefer taking your online classes from the local library or from coffee shops, feel free to take advantage of this. Changing up your surroundings as per your studying mood increases motivation and will keep your mind more active.
- Take Breaks
Find enough time to get frequent breaks to refresh your mind and clear your thoughts. Research has shown taking enough quality breaks are an essential part of a successful learning strategy. Taking quality breaks can restore your motivation, refresh your mind, and increase productivity.
Sitting in a place and studying for a longer period of time without taking any break can leave you tired and exhausted. Your brain and mind need rest. Taking a short break after 60 – 90 minutes of studying can help you remain focused. Even though a short break is not an excuse to go watch Netflix.
Take a break to walk your dog, do some exercise or yoga, listen to your favorite tracks, or just get some fresh air. Movement is good for your body. It can help you boost your mind. A change of environment or scenery will also do wonders like reducing stress and increasing energy levels.
- Keep to A Routine Strictly
Having a steady routine is related with proper planning and scheduling, but your routine is somewhat more about your day to day habits. Finding a routine that incorporates your studying and personal needs and sticking to it can help you be more motivated.
If you put time for studying into your daily routine, you are more likely to do it. Otherwise, chances are you will procrastinate and put things off the task due to a lack of motivation. Giving priority to studying in your daily routine will help you to reach your goals.
- Reward Yourself for Accomplishments
Every time you complete an assignment within time or passing an exam with a high score, reward yourself. You can reward yourself for achieving your to do list or completing your study goals for the week. When you meet your every goal, spend some time celebrating your goals.
Share your success with your family and friends or find time to treat yourself to something nice. Celebrating and supporting your achievements creates a positive mindset and encourages you to achieve more goals.
- Connect with Other Online Students
Studying online can sometimes feel like you are isolated and lonely, but there is no need to feel like this. With various modern technologies and the internet, there are so many ways to connect with your loved ones. If you are living too far away from your friends, you can arrange a zoom meetup call to communicate with them.
You can also build an online class buddy by making use of interactive groups and online resources in the university. Create a group or join an online community on social media where you can all connect and share your study tips and help each other.
Connecting with other students in your area is another considerable option. It doesn’t need that you have to be in the same class. Meeting fellow students will help you to build more connections and relationships.
- Stay Balanced
It is important that you have to study and be successful in your life, but it doesn’t mean that it has to be everything. While concentrating on your studies also focus on your lifestyle, sleep, healthy eating, and other goals too. This may seem overwhelmed and stressful when balancing your family, friends, studies, and work life, especially when studying from home. You can practise meditation to calm your mind thus reverting your mind from stressful thoughts.
Chances are you can easily fall into the trap of balancing all these factors all the time, and it may lead to burnout. Learning to separate your studies from other tasks will help you to prevent this. Remember to accept help. If you are too overwhelmed to talk about your stress or other mental health problems to your family members, instructor, or students, consider consulting a rehab center if needed! They can help you offer further mental support and help you to focus on what is important and what is not!
Staying motivated in your online classes does not need to be difficult and stressful. Using these simple strategic tips will help you keep you motivated and your studies and life is on tracks.