With the many restrictions we’ve had to face with COVID-19 the last couple of years, our daily routines may not be the same. Instead of having to wake up early to go to campus, we just simply roll out of bed and turn our computer screens on. Some of us were laid off from work, while others had the opportunity to work from home. Those who were able to go to work found themselves to be less busy than they were before.
Speaking from personal experience, with school being online, I sometimes found it difficult to stay focused. At home you are in your comfort zone. It is a place where you can relax, so watching lectures and doing schoolwork is the last thing you want to do! With a pandemic, professors are not able to be as involved. It is so much easier for them to post the lectures and keep the classes asynchronous. Keeping up with an online class requires a lot of independence and it is easy for students to fall behind.
As we are not following a set routine and do not have to actually leave the house most days, it can be hard to stay motivated to complete all our tasks. But fear not, I have some advice that will help keep us on track!
- Keep an agenda
One of the best things I did this year was buy an agenda. In my agenda, I am able to make a list of each thing that I wanted to get done for that day. As I completed a task, I would check it off. This allowed me to stay organized and helped to keep track of what I needed to get done.
2. Surround yourself with others
It can be very hard to stay motivated and productive when you are on your own. If you have friends in your class or friends that just need to study, you can use each other for support. Having someone who can keep you accountable to complete assignments is a huge help. For example, if you were alone, you would get distracted to go on social media. But with your friend studying with you, they can remind you that your work needs to be completed first.
3. Create a schedule
This schedule is most effective if you have an agenda. In the agenda I bought, there was a calendar for each month. I would include all major projects and assignments I had due in that month, as well as my work schedule and other commitments. This helped me visualize how my month is going to go and how I should manage my time. By having this schedule, I was then able to create my daily to-do lists that helped me to stay on track.
4. Reach out to your professors
With the greater majority of classes being online, it is very difficult to create connections with your professors and get the help you need to succeed. Many courses provide online office hours, but it’s not always easy because you might have work, another class, or just completely forget to attend. You might even find it a little strange to speak to your professor through a screen. With in-person classes, you didn’t necessarily have to go to their office, but instead you would just stay after class. This was super convenient because you would remember exactly what you wanted to ask for that lecture. Since class is all online now, you might find it helpful to send your professor an email that includes all your questions. Most of the time, they will answer your question in an email, but if the answer is too long, they might ask for a time when you are available for a virtual meeting. This is almost better than in person classes because it allows for flexibility with the student and professor.
5. Have a goal
It is important to set a goal for yourself! This goal could be as small as completing all your assignments on time or as big as reaching your dream career. You could have weekly goals that lead up to your one big goal. To keep track of this, I suggest writing whatever your goal may be on a sticky note and keep it somewhere you will see it often. So, when you’re feeling like you don’t want to do anything or just unmotivated to complete your tasks, take a look at your goal.
The most important thing to remember is to not be so hard on yourself. You are not the only one! So many people are having a hard time staying motivated because of the state that the world is currently in. There are many people and resources available to help you out, and I hope these tips can help you out as well!