Top tips to stay motivated while studying from home

Has your enthusiasm for studying at home reduced? Are you distracted, even finding other tasks (except the washing up, never the washing up) to fill your time instead of learning?

It sounds like your motivation needs a boost!

Here are five simple tips to keep motivated to make studying from home and staying on top of your workload easy.

1. Create a study routine

Don’t press snooze again just because you’re studying from home! You should still get up, dressed and ready, so you’re prepared to face the day just as normal. 

Set up a dedicated study area, free from distractions (yes, we’re talking about you, social media) and structure your day. You could develop a timetable – perhaps work in 90-minute blocks before having a break.

Research shows we learn better in short bursts of studying. So, when you’re taking your coffee break, your brain uses this quiet time to embed memories of what you’ve just learnt. Cool, huh?

With a schedule for your day, your decision making is on autopilot and you’re more likely to stick to it. 9am? Time to research your essay, then at 10.30am it’s your class video call. 11am already? Take a screen break and grab a drink, you deserve it! By making studying from home part of your routine, you’ll find it far easier to stay motivated.

2. Break it down

Hands up, we’re all guilty of procrastinating at some point. Understanding why you procrastinate is a key step to getting motivated. Maybe you think the task is beyond your abilities, or so big that you don’t know where to start.

But break your day and your tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks, and suddenly those big tasks don’t appear so overwhelming. A 2,000-word dissertation is less daunting if you aim to write 500 words over four days.

We experience the most motivation when we work on tasks that are on the edge of our current abilities. It’s called the Goldilocks Rule (if you’re not familiar with the Goldilocks story, check it out): tasks shouldn’t be too hard or easy, just right. Don’t set yourself up for failure: set achievable goals for your day. Feeling challenged but capable is incredibly motivating.

3. Remember your end goal

You know what career path you want to take, and to be successful you’ll need to study hard and graduate with the right skills and knowledge. Reminding yourself of your end goal and what you’re trying to achieve is always a great motivator.

For some, this goal may be some way off, so it’s also a good idea to set a series of interim goals. Handed in all your Semester 1 assignments on time? Tick. Passed one of your exams. Job done. Each interim goal is a step closer to your end goal.

And if you do need an occasional motivational boost, just remember what you’re working towards.

4. Check in with classmates

When you’re studying at home, especially for long periods of time, maintaining social relationships is important for your mental wellbeing. If you feel happy and socially connected, you’re much more likely to be positive, optimistic and ultimately motivated to achieve your goals!

Arrange virtual study chats ­– or even non-study chats – with your classmates. Call your friends and family. Even your teachers are likely to have an email address you can contact them at. If you’ve got a question, want to run an idea by someone or just need a bit of support, connect with others.

Remember, studying at home can be as solitary or as social as you make it. You may not be physically close, but technology means we’re more connected than ever. A friendly face and words of encouragement are only ever a video call or WhatsApp away.

5. Relax, recharge and reward

Successful studying at home is about getting the balance right. You can’t work all the time. Remember what we said earlier about forming memories of what you’ve learnt in the gaps between studying? You need time to relax in order to recharge and learn better.

A lack of mental motivation is often linked to a lack of physical movement. Get your blood pumping and your heart racing and you’ll feel energized again. You should also find your ability to think and concentrate improves too.

And finally, don’t forget to reward yourself. What better motivator than a treat of your choice when you achieve a task or successfully complete your goal for the day. Well done, you’ve got this!

You may also like to read 7 things successful people do or Hira’s 9 secrets to successful study.

Find out more about studying abroad by visiting INTO Study.

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Clare Allan

Hi, I’m Clare, one of the Content Editors here at INTO in Brighton. I find hearing students’ stories about studying abroad so inspirational. When I’m not in the office writing, I love to travel, discovering new places and cuisines.

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