Studying at home is hard. During the COVID-19 pandemic, students all know the common traps of home distractions and procrastination. Highly stressful times compound these issues, making it even more difficult to motivate yourself to study productively at home.
While it is understandable to experience reduced levels of motivation at the moment, here are some ways you can gently push yourself to achieve your best.
- Set yourself small and big goals. It can be overwhelming when you feel you have too much to do, whether you have thirty unread emails or three essays due on the same day. Instead, set smaller goals so that you can tick off several tasks every day and keep a feeling of forward momentum. It is also important to have larger guiding goals – consider writing out your goal so you can see it every day, as explained in this article.
- Target the root of the problem: stress. Often, a lack of motivation comes from immobilising stress, so focus on stress management techniques. Make sure you have a positive study and social life balance. This article looks at some ways you can reduce stress. Firstly, you should identify the signs of unhealthy stress, and then try out a variety of strategies which target physical health, mental health, and general wellbeing.
- Take a break. Many students have complained of difficulty focusing during the period of online learning. Staring at your laptop for a two-hour class is exhausting in a different way from attending a class in person. When you’re studying at home, it is extra important to take regular breaks away from technology and schoolwork so you can regain your focus.
- Stick to some kind of schedule. If you can’t be at school, it can be very jarring to move from a regimented daily routine to one which has almost no parameters. Try setting yourself a new daily routine at home – it may be more flexible than usual, but it will help you get motivated and feel productive. Make sure you program in some breaks, as discussed above! A general schedule might look like this:
- 8am: Get up and have breakfast
- 9am – 12pm: School work and study (take breaks at least every hour)
- 12pm: Lunch and call a friend
- 1pm: Exercise or get moving in some way
- 2pm – 4:30pm: Finish school work and study
- 4:30pm – 6pm: Relax and do something fun
- 6pm: Dinner
- 7pm – 9pm: Study if needed or spend time doing a hobby – play music, play sport, listen to music
- 9pm – 11pm: Wind down by reading a book, watching something, or talking to a friend
- 11pm: Go to sleep
- Keep to a specific study space. It can be motivating to have a specific spot in your home where you study – when you leave that space, you can leave your work behind and have a proper break. Read more here about how to set up an effective at-home study space.
- Reward yourself. Have you achieved any goals recently? Remind yourself of how incredible it is to be motivating yourself from home, and consider planning out small rewards for yourself for completing your goals. This might give you that little bit of extra motivation you need.
If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: How to Develop Problem-Solving Skills in Students, Benefits of Using Technology in the Classroom and How to Study in Times of Stress.
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