Given the current situation, it is highly likely that some degree of next year’s degrees will be online in some way, shape or form. (realistically this will probably be the lectures at a minimum). online learning is quite different to ‘offline’ learning – after all, you technically don’t even have to get out of bed to participate in online learning. This, naturally, can lead to extreme levels of procrastination previously thought scientifically impossible, which won’t get you anywhere. To avoid this, there are a few things that can be done to reduce the procrastination to sustainable levels, or perhaps even eliminate it entirely.
The main thing to do is create – and stick to – a consistent routine. Without a proper schedule to organise yourself, you may get work done at the beginning, but before long the quality and duration of said work is likely to deteriorate relatively quickly. Having set ‘study hours’ for each day will help you to study effectively and in an organised manner. Additionally, it may also make it easier to return to offline learning , if such a change is to occur once the novel coronavirus poses a much lower risk.
Finding a fun way to learn is also a good idea, doing so will reduce the risk of boredom, and it could potentially increase the effectiveness of said learning. It is also likely a good idea to vary the methods of introducing fun into your studies, so as to keep the excitement relatively fresh.
Taking breaks every so often is crucial to avoiding becoming ‘burnt out’ and losing focus. Breaks of between 30 minutes and 1 hour are likely to be ideal to allow you to, for example, eat lunch. Upon returning to studying, you should be better able to focus. The ideal length of the breaks will probably depend on the individual, so it would be wise to experiment to find your ideal break. *it should be noted that, although the breaks should generally be taken at regular intervals, it would be unwise to take a break in the middle of a task, as this may cause one to lose focus on the specific task. In this case the break should be extended until the end of the task, and the schedule for the day to be slightly modified.
Rewarding yourself for completing specific goals can be an effective motivator for you to continue studying, especially if you usually struggle with motivation. The reward in question could realistically be anything, from chocolate to playing a game to watching a movie to going for a walk, as long as it feels rewarding. Combining this with something like personal daily or weekly goals could allow you to accomplish significant amounts that you may not have bothered to otherwise. *it is very important to set realistic goals for this reward system (and set a realistic schedule), as unattainable goals may demotivate you.
Creating a dedicated work space for yourself could help to eliminate distractions, causing you to be able to utilise your studying time more effectively.