Remote learning can be a great way to advance your career, but studying online does require a significant amount of self-discipline and motivation. Despite its advantages, online learning can leave you feeling a little isolated, particularly if you’re used to working as part of a large team or studying alongside classmates in a face-to-face environment.
Fortunately, there are ways you can boost your motivation and maximize your success when you’re studying online. Whether you’re furthering your medical career with a DNP qualification or completing an alternative program, take a look at these six ways to increase your productivity when you’re studying online:
1. Create an Efficient Workspace
When you’re studying online, you’re likely to complete a significant amount of work at home. This means you’ll need to create an efficient and motivating workspace if you want to maximize your productivity. Converting a spare room into a home office can certainly be an effective way to do this, but, if you don’t have space, there are other options to consider.
Creating a multi-purpose space in your living area or dining room can enable you to study effectively, for example. Providing you can minimize your exposure to noise, have enough space to use the relevant materials and access a high-speed internet connection, you can design your own efficient workspace in practically any environment.
2. Design a Study Schedule
Online learning can be a fantastic way of combining your studies with a full-time role and even making time for family life too. However, you’ll need to design a comprehensive schedule that enables you to fulfil all of your responsibilities. You can either do this manually or rely on a free task management app, like Asana or Jira.
When you use a schedule to manage your workload, it enables you to balance your professional, academic and personal life. Instead of letting work build up and completing assignments at the last minute, for example, you’ll be able to plan your time more effectively and keep up with even the most rigorous programs.
3. Connect with Classmates
If you’re used to learning in a regular classroom or campus environment, switching to online studying can seem tricky at first. For some students, studying alone, rather than in a group, can feel lonely or even isolating, which can make it hard to stay motivated.
Fortunately, digital learning platforms provide a variety of ways you can connect with your peers. Furthermore, choosing a program that ensures you study with the same classmates throughout the course, such as the online DNP FNP at Baylor University, makes it easy to build long-term friendships with your fellow online learners.
Discussing group work in forums, catching up via email and exchanging instant messages are all effective ways of connecting with your classmates, but video calling, and virtual meetings can be even better. With so many ways to connect, studying online needn’t feel lonely and your self-motivation doesn’t need to dip. Instead, you can interact with your peers as naturally as you would in a face-to-face environment, while still benefiting from the advantages of remote learning.
4. Minimize Distractions
No matter how good your intentions are, it can be hard to ignore distractions when they threaten your productivity. However, you can limit the impact they have by minimizing them before they become a problem.
Putting your phone on silent or turning off notifications is a simple yet remarkably effective way of avoiding distractions while you’re studying, while website blockers can help you to resist the temptation of social media.
If you share your home with other people, excess noise and interruptions can put a dent in your productivity levels, so try to counteract this in advance. For parents, arranging childcare out of the home can be the easiest way to ensure your kids don’t disturb your study time. Alternatively, use noise-cancelling headphones or a white noise machine to help you focus while other people are at home.
5. Take Regular Breaks
Studying for long periods of time might seem like an effective way of getting things done but, in reality, you’re likely to lose focus fairly early on. Regular breaks can prevent this from happening and can actually increase your productivity, so be sure to incorporate them into your study schedule. To help you establish when to take a break, consider using time management techniques, like Pomodoro, to create a routine that works for you.
In addition to this, try to plan your studying so that you get some downtime from both work and academic pursuits. If you’re completing a DNP FNP, for example, there’s a good chance that you’ll be working full-time in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment too. By ensuring you get some downtime and the opportunity to practice self-care, you can get the most out of your study time and maintain your well-being too.
6. Focus on Your Goals
Completing a DNP FNP program can be a great way to progress your career as a nurse. As the most advanced nursing degree, there is, a DNP allows you to take on more responsibility and flex your leadership skills, while a Family Nurse Practitioner track ensures you can practice in your chosen specialism.
When you’re struggling to find the motivation to start a new assignment or complete your coursework, remember why nursing became your vocation and focus on what you’ll be able to achieve when you’re awarded your post-graduate degree.
Make Online Learning Work for You
One of the biggest advantages of learning online is the ability to personalize your studies and create a bespoke schedule that works for you. No matter what module you’re enrolled in, or what you’re studying, be sure to make the most of the flexibility that remote learning offers. By doing so, you can maximize your productivity, achieve your goals and successfully balance additional responsibilities.
While completing any post-graduate program requires dedication and commitment, staying motivated and productive when you’re learning online will enable you to realize your professional ambitions and take your career to the next level.