Distance learning is on the rise. But with online learning comes a need for (plenty of) self-motivation.
Learning from home comes with many great benefits. You have near-total flexibility over your working hours, you don’t have to change out of your pyjamas if you don’t want to, you can have snacks whenever you want and, more importantly, you can even pursue other ventures like work or travel.
But it isn’t without it’s drawbacks too.
In the world of online learning you need to be dedicated, focused and committed. So here are five tips to keep yourself in tip-top shape.
1. Get into a routine
One of the most important parts of successfully managing distance learning is getting yourself into a routine. If that routine is waking up at the crack of dawn and getting all your work for the day done by midday then kudos. If it means waking up at midday, slowly making yourself coffee and breakfast and starting work at 2pm then that’s okay too.
If you allow yourself to drift from one day to the next, you will struggle to get much done. Act like you have a specific time to do everything.
Find whatever works for you and stick to it. Which leads us on to…
Know what you have to do that day (and do it!). Get a planner and make sure you give yourself clear goals, targets and deadlines for the day. This way you will manage your work effectively and make sure you get everything done.
3. Get out the house
If you spend every minute of every day within the same four walls, you will drive yourself crazy.
Whether you nip out to pick up some groceries, go for a walk, meet a friend, do an exercise class, or even just pick up your work and move locations, getting out the house is a great idea.
Go study from your favourite coffee shop, or find a quiet spot in your local library. A change of scenery will freshen your mind and keep you sharp and on the ball.
4. Accept support
It’s okay not to feel 100 percent on top of things all of the time. Who does? If you have a little wobble (or a big wobble in fact) remind yourself there are people there to help.
Email your tutor, reach out to a friend or confide in a family member. No doubt someone will be on hand to help.
You might be surprised who will listen.
5. Don’t forget to socialise
It can seem difficult to switch off from working, but don’t spend every waking hour glued to your studies.
Meeting other students can be tough as well when you’re not all squished into one classroom or hanging out at the same on-campus coffee shop. But take the time to find your like-minded peers.
Online Course Leader Chris Coffey told The Guardian academic success relies on being a core part of the online community.
Your university is likely to have an online space in which you can connect and collaborate with your classmates.
“It can be isolating otherwise,” said Coffey. But using these communities “creates the sense that you’re not sitting at the computer on your own.”
Still not feeling motivated?
Give yourself a day off and come back to it fresh in the morning. Time away from your work and a good night’s sleep will do you wonders.