Doing your schoolwork from home might seem like a holiday, or maybe it’s a bit daunting.
Either way, you might be needing some tips to help keep you motivated each day and stay on track with the work that’ll be expected from you.
Here are some ideas that could help:
- Read our blog 7 ways to set yourself up for online learning and get some tips that could help you prepare to focus on your work. Including how to set up a study space and work area, plus ideas on how to create a routine and schedule.
- Connect with other students
Make sure you join any groups that your teacher or school has set up so that you stay in touch with classmates and the rest of your cohort.
Hearing about what they’ve achieved could inspire you to try more or spark some level of competitiveness.
Plus, it could help you feel less isolated and more supported, you can ask them for ideas or help if your unable to get a response from your teacher.
- Be patient
You’re learning something new, schools are having to adapt very quickly, and your teachers are also working hard to change the way they work, accommodate all of their students, and juggle life at home as well.
Remember everyone is going to need a little wiggle room so you may not get answers as instantaneously as you normally would. Try asking your parents, searching online, or asking members of your study groups if they can help while you’re waiting to hear back from a teacher.
- Reward yourself
A little treat can be a great incentive to get your work done. Whilst that might seem hard when you can’t get out and about as much as you would like, think outside the box. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but once you’ve achieved your goals for the day you could:
- Watch a bit of your favourite show
- Treat yourself to a movie
- Enjoy some food that you’ve been craving
- Get outside for some fresh air and exercise
- Organise a phone or video call with a friend or family member
- Get back to the computer game you’ve been missing
- Have a meditation session
- Do some yoga
- Make your favourite meal for dinner
- Spend a bit of time doing your hobby
- Read a great book
- Soak in a bubble bath
For each milestone that you achieve, for example submitting a big assignment, completing a tricky unit of work that you’ve struggled with etc., you could try and think of more tempting ideas to reward yourself – perhaps you can negotiate with your parents on this one.
- Make an online purchase of something you’ve been eager to get your hands on
- Get a takeaway from the restaurant you’ve been missing the most
- Take a “day off”
- Have a lie in
- Get your family to join you doing something fun – dance challenge, games competition, have a mini sports day, picnic on the patio.
- Conquer procrastination
Recognise when you are procrastinating.
- Are you actively choosing to do something other than work you’ve scheduled?
- Are you sidelining the subjects or assignments you don’t want to tackle and only taking the easier options?
- Are you spending longer than you should on other tasks so that you’ll run out of time to do the thing you’re avoiding?
- Delaying making a decision about that email, essay or project?
- Taking unscheduled breaks because you just need that drink so much right now?
- You’re waiting to be ‘in the right mood’ or ‘a better frame of mind’ to complete the work you’re supposed to be doing?
If you answered YES to any of the above, then you’re probably procrastinating.
But what can you do about it?
Well, you could:
- Tackle the work you’d least like to do first up and get it out of the way
- Get stuck into work as soon as you receive it rather than putting if off
- Assign a monitor. Ask someone to check up on you, it could be a parent or carer, sibling, friend, or teacher, it doesn’t matter who. Tell them what you need to get done and by when and give them permission to keep you on track – even nag if they have to.
- Keep a daily to do list and check off each item as you go. It could serve as a visual reminder of how much you’ve achieved and what you still have to accomplish
- Set yourself a deadline and use a timer to help stay focused, seeing those minutes tick away could really help to motivate you
- Calm down. Sometimes when you look at a new task or schedule you might feel overwhelmed and become frustrated, angry or upset. The reality is you’re probably more than capable of getting the job done ask your teacher or friends for some helpful tips and advice that’ll set you off on the right track
- Be realistic. Don’t try to achieve more in a day than you would have at school and don’t place too much pressure on yourself, just do your best
- Break down tasks – when something seems to big, too challenging, find ways of breaking it down into chunks that seem doable, then set deadlines to achieve each point
- Remove distractions
– turn off the TV or computer games
– turn your phone off or leave it another room
– don’t sign into social accounts on your computer (until you’ve finished your work)
– put a sign on your door saying you’re studying, ask your household not to interrupt you.
– if your house is noisy, try putting on some headphones and listening to some quiet music or the radio to help you concentrate.
- The bigger the challenge or the more you are procrastinating, the bigger the reward you could set yourself for when you’ve got the job done.
- Build a great relationship with your teachers
Teachers want you to succeed, they’ll want to help you out, so ask them when you need help or advice and let them know if you are struggling.
Provide them with feedback when they ask, and sometimes when they don’t. For example, if you particularly enjoyed a task or found a great way of approaching it – let them know.
Building a good online relationship could make it easier for you to ask for help and could motivate you to try harder with your work.
- Work with your energy levels
When you’re scheduling your work, set your hours according to your energy levels. We’re all different some of us work better in the mornings, some later in the day. Some of us need a big break early in the day and some of us prefer a longer lunch.
This is one of the benefits of remote learning, you’ll get to be a bit more flexible to suit yourself….. as long as you don’t treat every day like a holiday that is.
- Stay Positive
Just like going to school every day, there will be days when you just don’t want to sit down at your desk and work, there’ll be days you dread because you’ve scheduled in something that you’re not happy about doing.
Utilise your growth mindset, acknowledge that studying is hard work or that you feel fed up, but don’t let those temporary negative thoughts become your permanent identity.
Remind yourself that you can do this and that you will do this. Ask for help or let someone know you’re in a funk – a pep talk might be all you need to turn your mood around.
Look forward to the reward at the end of the day, maybe swap it out for your favourite treat as an incentive to push on.
- Have a little brag
Had a great day?
Really challenged yourself?
Got a project done?
Give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy your reward, but also consider sharing your sense of achievement and pride. Share with family, friends, or your teacher, let them celebrate with you and boost your sense of pride in what you’ve accomplished.