As a distance learning student, you will need to be a more self-directed learner. To ensure that you can do this, you need to be highly motivated. Many students get discouraged along the way. It is normal to start doubting yourself when poor test results come back and the pressure to juggle everything becomes too much. The following tips will help you to stay motivated throughout your studies.
Cultivate the right attitude
- Goals: The best way to stay focused is to have a clear goal in mind for what you want to achieve with your education. If you are working towards a diploma, your goal may be to graduate and get a better job.List everything that motivates you to achieve your academic goals, for example grades, parents, money and other personal reasons.However, if you are enrolling for courses without a specific goal in mind, it may be easy to lose motivation.
- Discipline and responsibility: You need to be very organised to set out study times and dates when you would be completing your assignments.Make a commitment as to when you will work on an assignment. Be specific about when you want to complete it and put the date for starting the assignment on your calendar where you will see it daily. Then stick to your commitment!
- Confidence: Make a decision to believe in yourself and your abilities.Develop realistic expectations for yourself and develop a positive attitude towards learning.Failures does not define you and the firm believe that you will succeed through hard work is what makes most students successful.
- Minimise self-defeating behaviours and thoughts: Eliminate aspects such as procrastination and low confidence, as well as things like wanting a “perfect” product, which may impede academic achievement. Look for small improvements and small successes as you change your behaviours.
- Reward yourself: When you finish each task and complete an assignment treat yourself to something nice. Feel good about what you have accomplished – doesn’t just focus on what you still have to complete.
Manage your studies
Do not overextend yourself as this will soon make you feel overwhelmed. Use this tips to work smarter – not harder – and feel in control of your studies.
- Break down big assignments into smaller parts and work on the assignment a little at a time. Set dates for completing each section.
- Set daily and weekly priorities: If you want to stay focused on your goals, it is necessary to prioritise tasks on your daily to-do-list. Arrange tasks from “Very urgent and extremely important” to “Not so urgent and important”. This allows you to safe time and to focus on the tasks that are really important throughout your day.
- If you are having difficulty with assignments, complete the small and easier tasks first in order to build your confidence.
- Ask for help if you do not understand an assignment. Getting clarification from a lecturer or tutor may put you back on the right track and decrease frustration.
- Find ways to relate class material and assignments to your life or future career.
- Find ways to deal with distracting personal problems that are making it difficult for you to fo-cus on your academic work.
- Energising and enjoyable activities
Another tip to stay positive is to include at least one enjoyable and fun activity into your daily lifestyle. A hobby or spare time activity that fills your soul will let you recharge your batteries to pursue your visions and dreams with enthusiasm and fun.
It would be even better if you could include such an activity in your daily routine before you start working. Listen to your favourite music while you to study. This will not only lift your spirits, but also motivate and energise you. Another activity that allows you to stay positive could be regular exercising. Scientists have proven that regular exercise allows you to reduce stress and help you stay focussed during stressful periods.
- The impact of positive people
You might have noticed what great influence a person with a positive attitude has on your life. Surrounding yourself with optimistic people will help you to stay in a good mood and become optimistic, inspired and motivated.
It is demoralising and unnecessary to blame yourself for past failures and mistakes. Instead, learn from the mistakes to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Accept the past and do not allow it to have a negative influence on your attempts to stay positive.
Do not allow yourself to worry about huge workload, assignments and examinations ahead of time. This will only de-motivate you and reduce your energy and enthusiasm. Stay positive by creating aims and objectives that you can reach daily and weekly.