How To Stay Motivated
Now that you have signed up for your distance learning courses, you are probably very excited and eager to get studying! After all, learning in a non-traditional format can be challenging and rewarding, as well as lots of fun. However eager you are with continuing your education, you may be a little bit worried about some aspects of student life. Many distance students or e-learners find it particularly troublesome trying to stay motivated throughout the duration of their courses.
Why is Staying Motivated So Difficult?
When it comes to studying or going to school, it can be very difficult for anyone to stay motivated over the long term. Exams, assignments, and tests can get you down, and studying for classes can be tiring and sometimes unexciting. But motivating yourself can be even more difficult though when you are a distance or online learner.
Online education courses and distance classes lack many of the support systems that traditional schools have to help to keep you motivated. Distance education offers few or no in-class sessions, which means that you may never interact with, or even speak to, your instructor or fellow classmates. This lack of social interaction can make it difficult for some types of learners to stay motivated. Additionally, distance or online courses have to be completed according to a schedule that you set, which means good time management skills are important. Though this allows for greater flexibility, it may also mean studying when you just don’t feel up to it. And on top of all this, you may also have to balance work and family distractions while you are trying to learn.
What Happens When You Lose Motivation?
Losing your motivation can make it very difficult to stay on task particularly when it comes to your distance learning courses. Impetus is what helps to keep you on task when its time to study for tests and exams, or completing assignments and projects. Motivation is also what helps you get through particularly stressful times during the learning process. And of course, having enthusiasm for the subject at hand makes learning enjoyable and fun.
But when you lose your motivation, the distance learning process loses all sense of meaning and purpose. If you are worried that your motivation may just up and leave, here are some easy tips that will help you to stay inspired, aiding you in succeeding with your distance learning courses.
If you are struggling to stay upbeat and enthused for your online or distance learning experience, here are some ways that you can bring back that desire to learn!
Set Goals and Chart Your Progress
In order to stay motivated, you need to have a goal to work towards. Focus on small goals that you will be able to achieve. Purchase a calendar and mark off daily and weekly goals that you can accomplish. As you reach these goals, check them off with a marker or pen. This will help to give you a sense of pride and accomplishment. Keep a list of your long-term goals handy too (including career goals), so that you can refer to them when you begin to feel a little stressed out or down. Reminding yourself why you signed up for classes in the first place can really help bring that motivation back!
Talk About What You Are Learning
Traditional classroom settings help to cement the learning process by providing you with a forum to talk about what you have learned. Talking about class material can really help you to understand more of the information and can also help to peak your interest in it. Unfortunately, learning online doesn’t always provide such an opportunity for this type of support. This can leave you bored or uninterested in the subject matter which you are studying. In order to stay interested in what you are learning, try to find a friend or family member with whom you can discuss the class material with. Or, you may want to contact your instructor in order to set up some time during which you can talk about the curriculum.
Get Socially Active
Even though distance learning doesn’t provide a physical space to meet with your fellow students, most online courses do provide chat rooms or forums where you can meet and talk with your classmates. Take advantage of these message boards, as well as email and instant messaging software, to get to know the other students taking your class. Try setting up an online study group that all the students in your class can use. If possible, try to find a student who lives close to you, and meet up with them to study or talk about your class.
Staying positive is a big part of the motivational process. Many students, out of fatigue or stress, begin to develop negative associations with their school courses. These negative associations can cause you to start skipping class sessions or stop producing class work. If you are finding it difficult to stay positive about your classes, talk to your instructor. Your school should provide you with a contact number. You may also want to talk with other students in your course to help you through tough times.
With all the hard work that you are doing, you are going to need to take some time out to reward yourself. When you accomplish a goal, no matter how small, be sure to reward yourself with something that will make you happy. Whether it’s a fancy dinner, a night on the town, or just renting a favorite movie, these rewards can really help you to stay motivated and on task. Also be sure to take some time out for yourself from time to time. You can’t be expected to study, work, and manage a family all of the time, so be sure to reserve some time that is just for you.