After prolonged lockdown and border closures, it’s not surprising that students, studying either their bachelors or masters degrees whilst taking their education remotely may be lacking the motivation and drive to keep doing their best. It can be hard to stay motivated studying and working from home.
Indeed, The Pie News reports that higher education undergraduates exhibited a drop in learning satisfaction, from 75% in 2019 to 63% in 2020. This can be attributed to the anxiety felt by all students who are affected by the pandemic—studying at home takes away the excitement of mingling with peers in person, attending ICMS events, and going out for rest and recreation. So, it is understandable that students may find it difficult to stay motivated.
ICMS understands. There are some habits that you can establish in your daily routine, however, to help you cope with these negative feelings.
Reorganising or redecorating your personal space is perhaps one of the most reliable pick-me-uppers to get motivated. ICMS student Sophie Gibbons emphasises the importance of choosing your work area wisely. They admit that working on a desk leads to a better sense of focus, compared to staying in bed. Your body naturally associates your work area with efficiency and conditions itself to be alert and awake. A well-lit, comfortable environment with few distractions will work best.
Organise a daily routine, preferably one that is similar to how your days went when you were studying on-site. It’s certainly tempting to get things done only whenever you feel like it—but studies show that this doesn’t exactly help with motivation and productivity.
According to Samantha Dutton, Ph.D., the social work program director and dean of the University of Phoenix, establishing routines makes simple tasks like making breakfast and writing to-do lists second nature to us. This frees up our brain to focus on more complex tasks, such as projects and online classes. Additionally, human bodies rely on the comfort and mindlessness that routine offers.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to naturally be a morning person in order to develop a great routine. Adapt one based on when you best feel the drive to work and be consistent with it in the long term. After all, forcing a morning routine won’t be effective if it only lasts a few days.
It’s a no-brainer that your physical and mental health will affect your motivation levels. Make sure you fuel up for the day and get the nutrition you need. Find the time to get your blood moving, even if it’s just light exercises such as jogging or yoga. ICMS offers student Wellness and Support to students, and offers Sports and Recreation both on and off campus.
James Gonzales highlights how yoga can help you both physically and mentally. It helps improve sleep quality and also helps relieve any body pain that can come with stress and studying on your desk for long periods of time. Taking care of your body will help you work better and smarter a holistic way in fact to get motivated.
Part of setting a balanced, sustainable routine is looking forward to the rewards at the end of the day. Set aside time for yourself to relax and unwind, and dabble into your other interests. A hobby can work wonders for bachelors and masters students who are experiencing burnout or stress due to their academics.
A feature in Today points out how music, art, and even video games can help take your mind off the work you’ve done for the day and set it to ‘resting mode’. These activities can also serve as your emotional outlet, and even encourage creative thinking—which in turn boosts your overall productivity.
Now that you’ve read our tips on staying motivated in this pandemic, which ones are you going to incorporate into your life? Keep in mind that every student is different and that it’s okay to take your time trying to find what will work best for you.
Guest post penned by: Jenine Biston