Motivation points to the desire and inclination toward an objective. A strong sense of self-motivation is a critical skill for day-to-day living. Only with the right motivation will you get things done, experience success, and gain personal fulfillment.
If you’re in college, motivation is everything. And if you’re one of the nearly 3 million American students enrolled in online degree-granting programs, staying motivated at all times can be tough.
Distance learning does have its advantages! Now growing in number, online students enjoy the flexibility and convenience of completing their coursework entirely or partly online. It is ideal for adult students who are employed or fulfilling other obligations while studying.
Despite its obvious benefits, a web-based learning setup presents a myriad of challenges and distractions for an online student. It requires self-help and initiative for students to successfully keep up with the demands of their coursework.
A study emphasized how an online learner’s extrinsic and intrinsic motivation significantly enhances their perceived skill development. It also underscored the importance of an online learner’s motivation in ensuring the effectiveness of the distance learning program.
Are you looking for ways to stay motivated in your distance learning journey? Here are ways to develop self-motivation and set you up for success:
Do you need some exercise to clear your mind? Check this out: 10 Benefits of Yoga and Exercise Breaks While Studying
How about some inspiration? Read this: 15 Ways to Get INSPIRED!
Time for some socializing? Take a look at this: Virtual Social Clubs for Online Students
Set realistic goals.
In every life decision you make, always start with the questions, “Why am I doing it? What do I want to achieve?” Think about your reasons for attending an online school. You should also ask yourself, “What is my long-term goal? Am I looking for career advancement? Is there a specific career path I wish to take?’
Creating a measurable and achievable goal is your first crucial step to become motivated and keep moving forward. And while at it, determine your strengths and weaknesses, and find ways to resolve the latter. Re-evaluate yourself and keep track of your progress.
Keep a positive attitude.
Distance learners aren’t insusceptible to failed expectations and underwhelming results that exacerbate a negative frame of mind. Just like regular college students, online learners also struggle with discouragement, laziness, and procrastination. When unchecked, the negativity will slowly creep into your system.
When this happens, always recondition your mind: go back to what motivates you. Practice positive self-talk! Focus on your past achievements, and stay true to your motives. Remember where you’re at and what else you can achieve. A positive mindset sets the foundation for motivation and eventual success in an online school.
Create a timetable.
Consider when you want your objectives to be met. With a timetable, you can identify your academic obligations and other commitments and determine your priorities. Getting it all done entails a schedule that you are willing to stick to.
A timetable also helps you keep a close eye on your progress, particularly for academic projects with due dates. With a timetable, you’ll know exactly how and when you’ll beat those deadlines. A timetable also helps you strike that elusive life-work-study balance.
The absence of in-person interaction brings out feelings of isolation among distance learners.
It is possible, however, to mingle with your fellow online students or instructors! Communicate with your professors and classmates through video conferencing and phone calls. Most online colleges also encourage students to openly communicate with their teachers in an online forum board. Do project collaborations through the university online engagement.
Get the connection and support you need. You use modern technology to earn a degree; why not make a socializing tool out of it?
Manage your time wisely.
In an online school environment, you are generally in control of your own learning pace. You can set aside time for watching instructional videos, listening to learning audios and reviewing your lessons.
Sounds ideal but the reality is that it’s easy to get distracted. Before you know it, you have wasted precious time browsing through social media!
As an online student, prioritizing and working based on a schedule is a must for efficient time management. But the question begs: does multitasking work? Not in all situations, according to a study. Heavy multitasking can reduce brain efficiency and performance. Splitting your tasks into small and attainable to-dos will do the trick.
Manage your time properly to beat your project deadlines. Doing this gives you a clearer picture of your day, and keeps you motivated to accomplish academic tasks.
There’s always someone whose online learning strategies work better than yours. They have smarter ways of managing time or produce better results in their distance learning journey. Others draw inspiration from those that do it right, but if you compare yourself to others and feel demotivated, remember that no circumstances are exactly the same. Even the most proven strategies don’t always apply to everyone.
Turn that comparison into inspiration. Instead of worrying about the mistakes you’ve been making in your projects and the deadlines you’ve been struggling to beat, redirect your focus on making improvements. With a complete understanding of what truly works for you, motivation will come!
Take a break.
Huddled in front of the computer for hours, online students need a moment to relax and reboot. Those extended periods of live classes and virtual assignments can be exhausting! When you burn yourself out studying too much, it’s easy to lose motivation.
Both your mind and body need to rest. Leave your study spot for a while and get some fresh air. Yoga and other forms of meditation also help. A strategic downtime can get you back on track, keep you focused, restore your motivation, and increase your productivity.
Unless you know how to manage all its demands, online education will feel much like a chore. Keep yourself motivated through a reward system. As you tick off the to-dos on your list, give yourself more than just a pat on the back. Celebrate such milestones by giving yourself something that you’d be glad to receive!
Keep a notebook chronicling your accomplishments and read them on days when you need that extra push. Overcome burnout, stress, and discouragement by rewarding yourself! Rewards, after all, are incredible motivators.