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Tips for Staying Motivated and Organized While Learning Virtually

This week marked the beginning of our third semester of remote learning. While it is beginning to feel like second nature at this point, staying glued to a computer screen is physically, emotionally, and mentally draining; zoom fatigue is very much a real experience we all will face at some point this spring. For myself, the best way to get through this was by hyper fixating on staying on top of my schedule, organizing as much as humanly possible. Here are a few tips and tricks I use to stay motivated and organized.

Know Your Schedule and Know It Well

In this, I’m referring to your weekly schedule that is not subjected to change. This includes classes, clubs, work, and any stagnant event. I used freecollegeschedulemaker.com to print this out and keep it in the front pocket of my planner. While it seems tedious, there will be a morning or two where your brain is a bit jumbled and a quick reference will put you right on track for the day.

Plan Out Your Months and Weeks

For this I use a traditional planner to keep track of when assignments are due and what reading/small assignments need to be done each day. This will eliminate the need to keep referring back to the syllabi each day and give you a complete overview of what you need to place priority on. Using calendar apps on a phone or computer would allow you to set up reminders for each item throughout the week, as well.

Make a Daily To-Do List

I like to do this at the end of each day in anticipation for the next. With such you’ll be able to jump right in on your day, having the flow of it pre-planned takes away the stress of “where do I even start?”

Schedule in Time for Yourself

This may seem like a no-brainer, but realistically I can’t count the number of times I had never ending days where I wasn’t even making sure to eat or drink enough. Plan your days to include breaks and give yourself a stopping point in the evening – if your day starts at 9am, there is no way you will still be able to learn after 9pm, it’s okay to call it quits for the night.

Prioritize Your Health

I cannot stress this enough; there is no reason for your work to come before your health, especially during a public health crisis. This includes your physical, emotional, and mental health. Create a personal support system (friends, family, mentors, doctors) that you can rely on. Also, be upfront with your professors- if you show respect for them and their course, there is no reason for them to not be flexible. And, if there is a course you know will hurt you more than help you, drop it – do not stay in a class that will negatively contribute to your semester in any shape.

Reward Yourself

Working on an undergraduate degree during a time of such national and global uncertainty is a feat within itself! Each week do something to celebrate that you are doing your best with the situation at hand.

Do Things That Do Not Include school

If every second of every day is spent sucked into academics, you will eventually burn out. Take a step away, make an effort to do things for pure enjoyment. Just please make sure it is socially distanced and mask up!

Madison Turunen is a student of the Class of 2023 at Pace University, on the New York City campus. She is double majoring in History and Peace & Justice Studies with minors in Women & Gender Studies and Politics. Someday she hopes to go into human rights advocacy. She is a huge activist and environmentalist, with a lean towards gender equality and peace-building. As a part of Her Campus, she has published articles on lifestyle, entertainment, wellness, and news.
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