Now that classes are being conducted online, students are also studying at home while trying to keep themselves motivated in lockdown. In these strange circumstances, many students are finding it difficult to concentrate or get things done without access to the campus or the support of their peers.
Self-motivation is one of the most important factors that contribute to productivity. People tend not to acknowledge what motivates them, but one of the crucial steps towards self-motivation is understanding the things that are more likely to make you feel content and energised. Of course, putting them to practice might require willpower, so let’s go through some of the things that contribute to self-motivation (especially during times of uncertainty or stress).
Here are some of the things that will help you stay motivated to study during the lockdown:
1. Begin With the Smaller Daily Goals
Feelings of productivity help in keeping you motivated, but you will need motivation in order to accomplish the bigger goals. Begin with the smaller goals, something that is easier to get done. You could break the material into smaller chunks, and assign yourself manageable study chunks each day. Not only you will get a sense of productivity, but you will also give yourself a hand by distributing the workload and thus being able to meet deadlines.
You might choose to read four pages per day, write 500 words, or simply prepare the outline of your paper. It depends on the time you have left until deadlines and the chunks you think are manageable for you.
2. Create Your Own Study Area
Having a designated study area where you go when you have to study also helps to feel productive and motivated. Instead of having your books and study materials all over the place or carrying them around all the time, find a place you think is comfortable enough and make it your study space. Even if this serves as a temporary study space, as soon as you sit there to study, customize it and make it comfortable. In some cases, it might be difficult to have a study space that is all your own since other family members might need the space as well. Talk to your family members and work out a solution that works best for everyone.
Whatever your study space may be, keep it tidy and organized. Some people might find it difficult to study when the room or the desk is messy. Give yourself a few minutes every day to tidy up, be it the kitchen or your bedroom. When everything is all packed neatly, studying will be much easier, since you will no longer have other things in your mind to distract you.
3. Wake up With a Plan for the Day
Plan ahead. Create your own schedule, and try to stick to it. Creating a schedule for each day helps you stay committed and motivated. Knowing what you are going to do the next day helps you sleep with the sense of purpose and responsibility. You will wake up with a goal in mind: finishing the day’s study load.
For each of your subjects, make a list of the material that needs to be completed. Try downloading a study schedule template to help you and give you an idea on how you could organize your days. Try to set a study schedule that is easy to remember and do not forget to leave some time aside for breaks so you can eat, rest, and relax before you continue. Review your study schedule at the end of each week and adjust it whenever necessary.
4. Communicate With Peers
Communicate with your friends, especially the ones you used to study with before the pandemic. Talk to the people who have the same exam or workload as you. Discussed what you have learned and even plan study sessions together. You can try starting video calls with your peers and asking each other questions or talking about any uncertainty you might have.
Just because you cannot gather at campus does not mean you can not organize virtual meetings and study together. Sometimes, the biggest motivation might come in the form of a friend (or a group of friends) who push each other to do better.
5. Recognize Your Study Style
Knowing which study style works best for you helps you manage your time well and meet deadlines efficiently. Study styles differ from one person to the other, which means that what might work best for your friends, might not work for you. Students typically know their study style once they get into university due to all the years of experience before. However, things might change from time to time, and if you were usually used to studying at the public library, the pandemic has now made this impossible.
What you should do is try to improvise the environment in which you would like to be studying in. Get rid of the distractions by turning off the internet access on your phone or put your phone out of your reach. Some students like to study while listening to music, others are comfortable with the white noise, some might like to take notes while others simply like to highlight. Find what you like and go with it. Knowing that a particular learning style works for you helps motivate you to start studying since you will know that the study session will be efficient.
6. Avoid Being Exposed to the News Excessively
Negative thoughts, stress, and anxiety might discourage you and make feel demotivated to study. As the world is trying to overcome a pandemic and people are urged to stay inside, it is a lot easier to spend a lot of time browsing the internet and reading about the current events in the world. However, it is crucial to put a limit to media intake. Decide to read/watch the news only once or twice per day, try to expose yourself less to information about the virus and only read from trustworthy sites.
Instead of scrolling through social media, take a bit of sunshine in the garden, balcony, or window. Follow social media sites that promote art, culture, and things you are interested in. Having negative thoughts, caused by current events, might bring your motivation down, so it is important to take the necessary steps and avoid these thoughts and whatever might be causing them.