The COVID-19 pandemic has caused most academic institutions to shift their course offerings online. As a result, students are forced to learn independently with minimal to no supervision. This remote setting suits fast learners who are good at setting their own schedules. But for those who retain knowledge better with assistance, online schooling can be a nightmare. For anyone who is in an online school, it’s important to look out for your mental health to avoid burnout, which can lead to poor academic performance.
To help you, here seven ways to stay on track and motivated while learning online:
1. Set a daily schedule
Traditional schooling imposes strict schedules when it comes to completing coursework. Students attend classes at a defined time and end them at an exact period. In a physical classroom, the lectures are interactive, and students can ask questions whenever needed.
On the other hand, the only scheduled part of web-based learning is the lectures. These moments are one-time chances to gain knowledge.
After a session, you cannot go up to your professor in person and ask about something you might have misunderstood. That leaves you scrambling to complete projects and exams with whatever information you’ve remembered.
Since online schooling is a more independent learning environment than on-campus, students must create a schedule that works well for them. Therefore, one of your priorities at the beginning of a semester is to efficiently divide your time for every course or class, taking into account other responsibilities, such as kids and a job.
To effectively create a manageable schedule for online schooling, estimate how much time a task will take, such as an essay. From there, you can easily define the start and end of your day.
Make sure you allow time for meals, doing chores, taking the kids to work and picking them up, and more, alongside your class schedule. In this way, you won’t miss any responsibilities.
2. Allocate 5-minute breaks between tasks
Most students think that they need to finish their everyday coursework requirements in a single uninterrupted sitting. However, that’s not the best thing. Surprised? Yes, doing it without breaks will only lead to mental exhaustion, which means making mistakes and poor academic performance.
Instead, take breaks. When you take one part of the paper, for example, stand up and stretch. Or, go for a walk. Another option is to make a cup of coffee and a snack.
Don’t spend those breaks in front of the screen. Step away from your laptop and phone.
What you do is up to you. It could be that you sit in another room and simply let your thoughts run free. The main point of the break is to give your head enough time to rest and prepare for the next task at hand.
By giving yourself five-minute breaks in between tasks, you let yourself take a breather. You calm your senses.
It also provides you time to reassess your goals. In turn, your motivation will increase to continue your day and the academic responsibilities within it.
3. Procrastinate responsibly when online schooling
Students can be some of the biggest procrastinators ever. However, they are also the best at being active procrastinators. That means that most pupils do well under pressure, wherein they tend to produce more quality results when a deadline is rapidly approaching.
To understand why procrastination is good, you must know the difference between active and passive procrastination. Passive procrastinators are those who put off tasks due to lack of motivation or, sometimes, laziness. On the other hand, active procrastinators are individuals who set aside certain responsibilities to attend to more immediate ones.
With that said, one of the keys to avoiding mental fatigue is to procrastinate responsibly. That means you can simultaneously do tasks.
For example, let’s say you are writing an essay. However, you feel like you have lost motivation in the middle of the process or just feel like putting it off.
Instead of completely stopping the activity, why not focus on another assignment and continue your essay later? Doing so helps refresh your mind and possibly finish both tasks faster in the end.
4. Online schooling: Take a power nap, seriously!
Online schooling adds more obligations to your everyday life. Instead of lounging around the house to rest after a chore, you will have to go to a virtual class. Then, do assignments afterward. All of this can leave you more tired than usual.
There is no harm done in taking a break. As earlier mentioned, it’s actually a good thing!
Furthermore, experts recommend you make time for power naps. These short sleeping patterns are better than a cup of coffee.
Power naps usually range from at least 10 minutes to a full 20 minutes of sleep. This slumber encourages a jolt of alertness and reduces fatigue.
Power naps can enhance your memory and creativity too. It is best for students as it can help you with tasks like logical reasoning.
How? During a brief nap, the brain enters a slow-wave sleep, which is the deepest kind of sleep. This rest gives people the ability to retain information better afterward.
Therefore, if you want to have more energy to finish your academic tasks, go to bed and rest. But, make sure that it is no longer than 20 minutes or you risk waking more tired than alert.
5. Set short-term and long-term goals
The best way to go through a semester is to have a good understanding of your curriculum. To help you, teachers provide a syllabus at the beginning of a semester.
This document details every requirement for the course and the time that you need to accomplish the assignments. Therefore, it is the best tool to know what your academic priorities should be.
When you determine your short-term and long-term goals, you can make it easier to finish the class with a good grade. That’s because you will know which tasks to do immediately and which ones can wait for a later time.
Then, you can efficiently create a schedule that will let you properly complete the assignments. Space out study time and work on assignments to achieve more things, avoid student burnout, and maintain motivation.
6. Actively participate in online schooling discussions
Physical interaction is obviously absent in a virtual learning setting. However, most classes are available through web-based communication platforms. This process allows students and teachers to interact with each other through video calls. Online forums and discussion groups are becoming available at many online colleges too.
Do your best to actively participate in the online group settings. Speak up through your keyboard or reach out to your professor for a Zoom call. Consider attending an online career fair too, which provides a convenient way to network with potential employers.
An added benefit here is that you have interaction with people outside of the home in a safe way. During the pandemic, it’s been a lonely time. Being able to actively participate in class and engage with your classmates via your laptop is a great way to avoid a sense of isolation.
7. Maintain an organized school setting at home
Believe it or not, your environment plays a key role in your productivity. It has an effect on cognition, emotions, and subsequent behaviors. Therefore, having an unorganized and messy living area can be bad for students enrolled in online academic programs.
When you are surrounded by clutter, you become less productive. This happens because mess promotes anxiety and avoidance strategies, as well as reducing your ability to focus.
The reason why is the brain typically functions better when it has reminders of order. Therefore, try to keep your table or room organized while doing schoolwork.
Also, clutter can be a cause for distraction. A messy environment means that there are many things out in the open, which you’re looking at and thinking about how you have fix that in the future. Instead of focusing on your tasks, your senses will steer towards noticing the disorganization around you.
So, to stay productive and keep your motivation, try to have a tidy home. Then, you will get to your desk and focus right away on what needs to be done. In turn, you will get more done than if you’re around clutter.
The abrupt migration of classes to a web-based platform has been a jolt for many students, adding to the stress of the pandemic. It can take a toll on students’ mental health.
However, with the help of the tips mentioned above, you can reduce the risk of emotional and mental stress. You will have a more productive and comfortable learning experience without overexerting yourself. That decreases tension and can yield good mental health for a solid academic performance.
Why education stays relevant in COVID-19 times
It is essential that education be a top priority. This is because academic recognition will continue to stay relevant, even during a worldwide health crisis.
Earning a degree through online schooling is more important now more than ever. That’s because after the pandemic most economies will restart, and job opportunities will increase.
Those who choose to get a degree today will have an advantage in the job market. Having a college degree can open up more opportunities. Therefore, it would be best to take classes if you have the means to do so.
When you feel overwhelmed by online learning
If you are suffering over-fatigue or experiencing depression symptoms related to isolation and COVID-19, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional. Never try to shrug off feelings of sadness or anxiety as that can only make things worse.
Remember too that you are not alone, and help is available. Therefore, if ever earning a degree becomes too much for your emotional and mental well-being, talk with loved ones or an expert. They will provide you with appropriate ways to cope with the stressful effects of remote schooling.
In case of an emergency, please take note of the following numbers:
- US helplines: 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)
- UK helplines: 116 123 (Samaritans)
- Canada helplines: 1-833-456-4566 (Canada Suicide Prevention Service)
- India helplines: 1-800-233-3330 (The Health Collective India)
Of course, many local areas have specific emergency hotlines dedicated to mental health assistance. Through these hotlines or numbers, you can easily contact a professional or consultant who can better address your needs.
Do not neglect your holistic well-being. No matter how important getting a degree is to you, it serves no value if you cannot reach graduation or use it later because you are sick.
Fast online schooling and its benefits
When you have a college degree, you better your chances in life. Besides gaining career-essential knowledge, you will also have a solid foundation for a prosperous future. Those with degrees earn a respectable income that can go beyond those who do not have this academic credential. You also can land better-paying job positions at established companies.
If you truly want to improve your financial situation and have a better investment for the future, consider getting a degree online from verifiabledegree.com. This website can help you achieve impressive academic recognition to use for future employment opportunities.
But do not forget to avoid websites that sell fake college degrees. Only trust the services of websites like Verifiable Degree that have official partnerships with real and accredited schools with physical campuses.
Getting a college degree is a big undertaking but it’s one that is much easier with the tips above. Education is more relevant than ever before, and now is your time to get the online schooling needed to begin the path to your dream career.