Studying online has many benefits, allowing you to access quality education regardless of your location or work schedule.
It also comes with its challenges, especially staying motivated while studying remotely. It can be difficult to maintain that drive and remain focused while working alone, without face-to-face interactions with your peers and teachers.
Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to stay inspired and make your online study as successful as possible.
5 Tips for Keeping Motivated When Studying Online
1. Set Up a Dedicated, Productive Workspace
This is crucial when you’re studying online. Having a dedicated space to study — whether it’s a separate room or just a desk in the corner — means one less barrier to sitting down and hitting the books. You may like to change things up by working from cafes, the library, or a co-working space from time to time. This can be a great way to stay motivated, but having a reliable space is crucial.
It’s easy to become unmotivated if you’re trying to attend an online lecture sitting on your bed or write an assignment crammed in on the kitchen table.
Make sure your study space has everything you need to make your sessions productive and enjoyable. It should be well-lit, comfortable, and ergonomic.
Most importantly, create an inspiring space. You could put up pictures of your role models, quotes from people you admire, or anything that reminds you of your long-term goals.
2. Get Organised
It’s much easier to stay motivated when studying online if you’re well organised. Managing your deadlines and keeping on top of your various tasks and projects will help you avoid becoming overwhelmed, which is a big motivation killer.
Some effective ways to get organised when studying online include:
- Plan out your schedule for the coming month, including all your study, work, and social commitments and deadlines.
- Schedule each week, dividing it into time blocks. For example, if you’re studying part time while holding down a full-time job, block out time for your work commitments, study sessions, and personal time. Within your study blocks, plan out what you’ll work on during these sessions, such as attending online classes, revising content, or working on projects.
- When planning out your week, add a time buffer. Many tasks will take you longer than you think, not to mention that you’ll probably need to deal with interruptions. As a general rule, add an extra 15 minutes to every hour you think you’ll need to get something done.
3. Use the Pomodoro Technique
Studying online involves a fair amount of focused work, such as writing assignments or studying for exams. The Pomodoro Technique is an excellent way to stay focused and motivated when doing work that requires deep concentration.
The technique involves working intensively for 25-minute intervals, with 5-minute breaks in between. After four of these intervals, you take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes. There are plenty of online Pomodoro timers to remind you when to start and finish each work block.
This allows you to focus intensively, while taking mini breaks to recharge and refocus your attention.
4. Value Your Down Time
You may think being a successful online student is all about working hard. However, taking breaks is just as important.
Research shows that taking regular breaks helps people to be more productive. Furthermore, a healthy balance between work and rest lowers the risk of burnout, helping you to stay motivated over the long term.
This is a particular risk for students who study online, because there’s a lack of a clear distinction between learning and personal time. It can be easy to spend all of your spare time studying, especially if you’re also working.
Following the Pomodoro Technique will help to enforce short breaks into your study schedule. However, make sure you also prioritise having time to rest and recuperate as part of your weekly schedule.
This could be going for a hike, spending time with friends, getting creative, or doing a spot of gardening. Anything that puts you in a different headspace and takes your mind off your studies for a while!
5. Choose the Right Programme
Let’s face it, you can adopt a bunch of tricks to try to stay motivated, but nothing will work if you’re simply not interested in the subject matter.
A big part of staying motivated when studying online goes back to picking the right programme in the first place. Choosing a course that you’re passionate about will help keep you inspired and excited to learn over the whole length of the programme.
Make sure you choose a programme that fits your long-term career goals, with subjects that inspire you. Of course, you may not love each and every subject that forms part of the programme. However, you should enjoy the majority of your classes and feel that even your least-favourite subjects help contribute to your overall goals.
The institution you choose can also have an impact. Some online programmes give you plenty of support to help you stay on track and maintain your motivation, while many fall short in this area.
Access Top-Level Support at EDHEC Online
Studying online can be challenging, especially when it comes to staying motivated. Keep yourself on track by being well organised, having a dedicated workspace, balancing productive work with downtime, and choosing a programme that inspires you.
Studying with an institution that is supportive can also make a huge difference. At EDHEC, we understand the challenges faced by our diverse student cohort, and adapt our online degrees and certificates to your own needs. We also offer personalised coaching support to keep you on track to meet your career goals.
We offer a number of programmes, from a specialised Bachelor of Science and Master of Science programmes to diplomas and online certificates, all taught by EDHEC Business School professors and company experts.