Ways to Stay Motivated While Learning Online

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Written by Brooke Anderson

When the going gets tough, the tough get going! And sometimes it can be tough to stay motivated while learning online. In both in-person and online formats. It can be easy to get burned out if you don’t find balance in your life. Not everybody has mastered the ability to do this, adults included. So it may seem impossible to stay motivated 24/7/365. But that isn’t the case! In fact, there are plenty of ways to keep your spirits up and stay productive. Here are a few:

1. Set Goals

Setting goals can help you to organize your time. Create realistic expectations for yourself and give you something to work towards. One way to stay extra motivated is to set both long-term and short-term goals. Some goals should be extensive and overarching, so they can carry you through the whole school year. For example, one could sit down at the beginning of the year and say to themselves, “I’m going to aim for straight As!” In addition to long-term goals, it also helps to have goals to get your through the week or even the day. This can help you to focus and make achieving those bigger, long-term goals seem more attainable. If the satisfaction of crossing things off your list isn’t enough, you can give yourself mini-rewards to incentivize reaching your goals.

2. Take Breaks

Staring at a screen all day will do nothing for your motivation. It’s important to take small-frequent breaks to put your mind and body at ease. This can of course mean many things and mixing it up is always a great idea. For some breaks you should go for a walk or get fresh air! For others, you should get a healthy snack to re-energize yourself. If you want to learn anything, you literally need to feed your brain. For other breaks you can chat with friends and family because socializing can be a great refresher. Nobody gets through life alone. So avoid becoming a hermit. Other people can help you to stay particularly positive and fervently focused! Finally, it’s always fun to have a little jam session. Listening to motivational songs is a great way to shake the stress away and get amped up for a productive day. Plus, when it comes to horribly/proudly belting “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” into a hairbrush, there aren’t many problems that that can’t solve. A quick break can refresh you, encourage you to tackle your studies, and to be the person that Kelly Clarkson wants you to be.

3. Look at the Big Picture

In any situation, it’s important to put things in perspective. If you’re struggling to muster up the impulse to complete a certain assignment, think of your goals and your future. Picturing yourself with your dream job can definitely push you to do your best on even the most challenging of assignments. Putting things into perspective can also mean not beating yourself up about one failure. Getting a less than ideal score on a single assignment isn’t the end of the world. Don’t let this failure get you down, because when you remember the big picture, you’ll know that one assignment won’t make or break it. In the end, it’s your continuous choice to work hard that’ll help you to achieve your goals. Finally, perspective can rejuvenate your gratitude. If you remember all the good that has come your way, it’ll be easier to stay optimistic about school and life in general.

Before I go, here are some resources to stay positive, grateful and encouraged throughout your time as an online student:





The next time you’re feeling stressed, burned out or down in the dumps, remember that motivation is your secret weapon. Take the time to put things in perspective, take a breather, get ambitious, and push yourself to be the best you can be! You’ve got this!

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”Zig Ziglar, motivational speaker