Losing study motivation during lockdown? The Progression Coach helps out with some tips to maintain focus
We’re two months into quarantine and although many restrictions are easing, many pupils are still studying from home. Even those who started off at the beginning of lockdown with bundles of enthusiasm for hunkering down to accomplish some serious work are starting to slow down, become distracted and increase the time spent scrolling on social media feeds.
So how can you continue to remain focused and motivated over the next half-term in order to keep on the right track? We’ve got some top tips to help you along the way.
If you’ve not done this already: make yourself a calendar. Use Excel or Google Docs to create a spreadsheet for the week. Block out times for study remembering to include breaks for meals, fresh air and connecting with friends – be it a walk or a Zoom catch up. To keep it fresh, mix it up a bit to include a few fun things like dancing, watching a comedy YouTube channel or baking a favourite cake.
Losing motivation for your studies is totally normal and even more so during 2020! Try to look beyond exams and research different careers or jobs that spark your interest. Are there any skills they require that you could focus on alongside your revision?
It’s more important than ever before to communicate with friends and share your bad days as well as the better ones. Because everyone’s coping with the same situation, we can develop empathy with others, relieving our own negative emotions. This has been proven to increase our own motivation.
Breaking your studies into ‘chunks’ can be a real win for most students. When planning your day, avoid writing ‘Do geography homework AM’ and ‘Revise Maths PM’ which can feel very daunting. Instead, chunk your day, for example:
Create Flashcards for Tropical Ecosystems – 30 mins
5 min break
Write 3 essay plans for Pollution in Urban Environments – 30 mins
10 min break
Geography Past paper question 2016 – 45 mins
Lunch and exercise break – 1.5 hours
Create flashcards for Trigonometry – 20 mins
5 min break
Practice Probability questions – 30 mins
10 min break
Maths Past paper questions 2017 – 50 mins
These short bursts can seem a whole lot more achievable and ticking them off as you complete them will enable a fantastic feeling of satisfaction and inspiration to keep going.
To avoid distractions install apps on your phone such as Forest to incentivise you to leave your phone in another room whilst studying. You can reward yourself with a catch up once you’ve completed your set tasks.
Reduce negative inputs
Switching off the news can keep your motivation on track. Keeping negative vibes to a minimum leaves you the headspace to keep going with a positive mindset.
Probably echoing your parents’ daily suggestion, getting outside and into nature is actually proven to increase mood when motivation is running low. Just leaving the house, feeling fresh air on our skin and being around trees and greenery reduces blood pressure and heart rate, lessens muscle tension and encourages those stress hormones to melt away. Add in your daily dose of Vitamin D, too.
Lastly but no less import is the need to get plenty of sleep. Research has shown that those pupils who have the recommended 8-9 hours are the ones who maintain focus and motivation.
There you have it. Even if you only take on some of the above recommendations, you’ll soon benefit from a sense of accomplishment which leads to that all important motivation.
Next week: Personal Statements
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