Online courses allow you to complete an advanced degree, complete work training or enhance your skills. Staying motivated to show up for classes, complete the work and follow through on assignments can be a challenge, though. Because success in your online courses depends on your ability to finish the course, stay motivated with these tips.
Connect With Classmates
Even though you don’t physically sit in a classroom where you’re surrounded by classmates, you can make valuable connections. Join or set up an online study group, connect with students who live near you or ask questions as you build relationships and encourage your classmates and yourself to stay motivated.
Contact the Teacher
Your professor holds the responsibility to help you understand and master the classwork, so reach out for help. Ask questions, clarify expectations and verify facts to ensure you know the material and feel confident completing class requirements.
You will retain more information and finish each assignment on time when you share information you learn. Start a blog to summarize what you learn each week or share insights with a friend or co-worker who’s also interested in the subject. You can even make videos and teach others after you finish each course.
Chart your Progress
After you receive your class list and syllabus, divide the assignments into daily, weekly and monthly goals. Then enter those goals into a calendar or other goal app. Tracking your progress in each class allows you to know exactly what you need to do each day in order to finish each class on time, and it reduces the temptation to procrastinate.
What keeps you from focusing on your school work? Maybe you’re a perfectionist, have too many other tasks on your plate, spend too much time on social media, or don’t know how to find the info for your class presentation. Discover the common distractions that keep you from working, and take steps to limit them.
If you’re like most people, rewards will motivate you to stay on track with your classes. Plan a nice dinner with friends or buy a new novel as you finish assignments. These rewards help you stay focused in the moments when you feel like quitting.
It’s impossible to work when you feel tired, discouraged or worn out. You’ll work smarter, though, when you take breaks during the day or while you study. Try the Pomodoro Technique where you work for 25 minutes and take a short break, with a longer break after four pomodoros. Or plan to exercise, sit in the sun or chat with a friend as you reboot your brain.
You definitely need to meet class deadlines, but you also need to have fun. Otherwise, you’ll feel burned out and will be tempted to quit. Carve out time at least once a week to visit a museum, listen to good music or play basketball with your kids. Give yourself permission to let your hair down and balance your studies and personal life.
Focus on the Big Picture
Sure, online classes can be hard, but you can improve your focus when you remember why you started school in the first place. Is it to better yourself professionally, earn a raise or feel a sense of accomplishment? Keep the big picture in mind, especially when you feel discouraged, and you’ll find the motivation you need to finish your classes.
Online courses give you flexibility as you finish your college degree, improve your career options or find personal fulfillment. Stay motivated and finish each class on time when you follow these tips.