Our top tips for staying motivated whilst studying online at Warwick Uni
You know you are in danger when your weekly screen-time report is above 4 hours on social media
We all know how hard it is to motivate yourself whilst being stuck inside all the time. It’s so easy to grab your laptop to join lectures or seminars from the comfort of your bed to only roll over and sleep more once they are done.
With Term 2 in-person teaching being staggered, online learning isn’t magically disappearing after the holidays – no matter how much you wish it was (or maybe this is really what you were hoping for so you can spend more time on TikTok).
Here are some top tips that can hopefully help to spark some motivation after the New Year.
Having a tidy study space
You’ve definitely heard some version of the phrase ‘messy room messy mind’ and it is so true. We are all guilty of getting two lines into an assignment to then looking around your room getting distracted by the smallest things – ‘hmm I wonder where that stain on my carpet came from’…
Having a clear study space and removing distractions will stop some of that procrastination (unless you’re the daydreaming type – in that case even the walls can be distracting).
Eating and sleeping properly
This is definitely something that is neglected at uni. Of course, sacrificing a few hours of sleep to go to a flat party or a bar is worth it – even if that cuts down your beautiful slumber in half. But without good sleep, it becomes even harder to concentrate. Pair that with eating frozen pizza four times a week and then your energy is almost non-existent. Making sure to prioritize healthy eating and a good sleep pattern can give you the extra energy to accomplish even more.
Planning and organising how you spend your time prior to study will reduce that overwhelming feeling that there is too much to do in too little time. This could be anything from writing in a daily planner, a weekly one, or a super in-depth and to-the-minute schedule if that’s what you like. Whatever suits you the most whilst stressing you the least is best. But make sure to factor in those breaks! Setting unreasonable expectations tend to only make you feel guilty for not achieveing what you set out to do.
Getting out of bed and dressed
Staying in bed whilst studying makes napping way too tempting. So the best thing to do is get out of bed – and actually make it so you don’t want to ruin the masterpiece – and get dressed. Getting dressed for the day will help to put you in a productive mindset and make studying easier. Studying at a desk will also help to improve your posture and reduce back tension. With COVID, no one has time for back massages.
Do not disturb
This is one of THE best things about phones. With all the distractions phones bring into our lives – looking at you TikTok – putting your phone on DND makes it so much easier to focus. There are those times when you’re trying to focus on an assignment when you get a TikTok sent to you (literally anything that makes your phone light up) and you can’t resist the temptation to unlock your phone and see what it is. Not being able to see your notifications can stop these temptations, but if this isn’t enough, you could always set a screen time limit or even get your password consistently wrong so that you can’t unlock your phone. This might seem extreme but we know this is sometimes the best way for pro-procrastinators.
With these bits of advice in mind, sometimes it can still be hard to gather the motivation to do anything and even when trying, it seems almost impossible. If you feel like you can’t do anything, don’t force yourself. It might seem as though you can’t waste a second because there is always so much to do but remember your mental health is most important. Your personal tutors are always there for you and your seminar tutors should be understanding. When planning and organising, factor in some self-care time and check up on your friends to lift their spirits.
Related stories recommended by this writer: