The past few months have been a time of unprecedented change and disruption for many of us in our normal day-to-day lives. While for some this has led to additional time at home to dedicate to things such as courses and self-care, for others it will have led to the opposite. With work, family and schoolwork all needing to be squeezed in at home, there is little time left for other responsibilities such as studying.
As lockdown restrictions ease and glimpses of normality can be seen on the horizon, many ILSPA Students will be starting to think it is time to get back to their coursework. For others, deadlines may be coming up and they now have no choice but to get back on top of their work. Whichever group you fall into, here at ILSPA we want to offer some helpful, practical tips to help you motivate yourself and get back into your studies.
Throw away your existing study schedule
We often advise our Students to create a study timetable or schedule to help them keep organised and motivated throughout our course. However, if you haven’t been able to follow your schedule for the past few months, you will no doubt be feeling overwhelmed and unsure how to catch up. The reality is trying to “catch up” with your previous schedule is going to be impossible and cause stress. So, start afresh.
Just like you would have done at the start of the course, sit down and work out what is left to be done and how it needs to be scheduled to fit into your time. Having a plan and feeling in control is hugely motivating. It relieves the stress and dread that often leads to procrastination.
Break work up into small chunks
Just because you may feel like you have a lot to do, it does not mean you need to suddenly find a lot of hours to study at once. The likelihood is that currently you still have some restrictions on your time, which means that you are unable to accommodate your normal study patterns. So, start by just finding small chunks of time to dedicate to coursework.
These small achievements, alongside knowing that you’re now starting to progress with your studies again, will help build your motivation. You can add more study chunks in as your momentum and confidence build.
Get rid of distractions
This may be easier said than done in the current climate, but in order to be motivated you need to remove the things that make you procrastinate. So, turn off the TV, put your phone away, log out of social media, close the door on other members of your household and, if you have kids, study in the evening when they are in bed.
Remember that you may have only small bursts of time, so do what you need to do to create a calm and productive environment.
Rewards really are a great source of motivation. Give yourself something to look forward to. It could be small, such as a nice cup of tea and a cake once an assessment is finished. Or it could be bigger, such as treating yourself to a bunch of flowers if you finish a whole unit. Whatever it is, keep giving yourself something to work towards, to build momentum and motivation.
Ask for help
If you are struggling with studying from home at the moment, reach out for help. You can contact your Course Assessor for assistance with your coursework at any time. If your deadline is looming, you can contact ILSPA by email to request an extension.
It is also helpful to explain your study plan to the people you live with so that they understand when you need time alone, or when you may need them to step up with childcare, for example. If they are aware of your plan, they can support you and even remind you that it’s time to get to work. Keeping others in the loop will make you accountable and motivate you to do what you have said you want to do.
Be kind to yourself
The current pandemic is completely unprecedented. The disruption it has caused to our daily lives was unpredictable. If you have been unable to study, it is completely understandable. Be kind to yourself and use our advice to ease yourself back into it sensibly and motivate yourself to keep going.