How to Stay Motivated Working Remote While Taking Classes Online

male sitting outside with laptop with coffee in hand.

Working from home and going to school at home haven’t been part of the same sentence until recently. Nowadays many have joined the two together and created a work and study space in their house where they are sitting in the same spot for many hours at a time. This can take a toll on your mindset and your body. 

It is important to stay productive in taking care of yourself and adapting to a normal healthy lifestyle. Staying home all day can feel like the days are joined together and - poof - it's Friday and you have not driven your car all week or been to the gym. Staying home all the time can really make you lose motivation in what used to be normal day-to-day activities. 

Staying motivated while both working and going to school can be tough at times, but it’s not impossible! Here are 6 ways to avoid burnout: 

  • Take breaks  
  • Separate your work area from your study area 
  • Keep a schedule 
  • Set weekly goals 
  • Get ready in the morning 
  • Leave the house

Give yourself a break

Give yourself a break! Time magazine suggests that taking 15-20-minute breaks can actually induce productivity.

“The most productive workers engage in job-related tasks for 52 minutes, then take a 17-minute break. That 15-to-20-minute window is productivity’s “golden hour” (or quarter-hour, as the case may be). It’s long enough for your brain to disengage and leave you feeling refreshed, but not so long that you lose focus and derail momentum on what you were doing.”  - Time Magazine

Separate work at home from school at home areas

If you are able to find a new place to study, that can change things up a bit and prevent you from falling into a rut. Going to a coffee shop, or finding a spot outside where you can plug in your laptop or read a book, can help you recharge and be more productive.

Maintain a schedule

Like many who work from home, having a running schedule may seem redundant or unnecessary. It may even feel hard to schedule times to bathe or make dinner. But having a schedule can help counteract the routines of working from home. Buying a calendar or whiteboard at a local store to write down your goals for the day can help you stay on task and find fulfillment in completing your to-do list. Take time each week to write down your study breaks, assignments, and deadlines.

Write down your goals for the week

Why is this step so important? When you write something down, you are automatically tapping into the external storage of your brain. The act of writing something down and seeing it in your own words and your own handwriting can help you remember it more than reading something from a book by tapping into your neuro memory. For example, if you write down your grocery list and leave it at home, you are more likely to remember what you need than if you merely rely on memory.

Science fact for you!

“Neuropsychologists have identified the “generation effect” which basically says individuals demonstrate better memory for the material they’ve generated themselves than for material they’ve merely read.” - Forbes Magazine 

Bonus! Studies have also shown that checking things off a list releases serotonin.

Get ready for the day

There is nothing better than taking a warm steamy shower each morning to jump-start your day. Even though you may not be going into an office anymore, it is still essential to get ready each day. Taking a shower can turn on your brain and still make it feel like you are starting the day. Getting dressed as if you were going to the office can also build confidence and help boost productivity. When you feel your best, you do your best! Even though nobody can see you it can help you feel professional and prepare your mindset for work by being presentable. You can still wear your sweatpants!

Get outside

Since the pandemic started, many have grown accustomed to staying inside. This can cause problems not only with your mental health but your physical health, as well. We are not meant to be inside for extreme periods of time. We need the Vitamin D from the sun to give us energy. Get outside for 30 min at least once a day. Taking a walk, or simply sitting outside and letting the sun rays beam onto your skin can help you feel more refreshed and energized.

Remote work and study tips for online students

It is important to remember that you are still able to live an effective and productive life while studying and working remotely. By transitioning your schedule, writing down your goals, getting ready each day, and making time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, you are able to resolve potential cabin fever. Following these six steps can help you to improve your mental health, as well as maintain a productive work week.

At CCU we understand that online learning is a different dynamic from sitting in class with hundreds of students. You are forced to self-motivate and maintain an optimistic attitude as you excel as a student. CCU requires that each new student take a one-hour new student orientation course that allows for each person to get acclimated with their new academic learning home. On top of that, once you are a student you will unlock resources through our CCU Connect portal that will open up worksheets, calendars, and tips on how to study efficiently, write your papers effectively, and stay motivated and organized throughout the week. 

To learn more about the benefits of earning your degree online at CCU - click the link below: https://www.ccu.edu/ccu/online/benefits/

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