In the coming weeks, you will face some challenges. You will be stuck somewhere – at home, at a friend’s house, or wherever you are hunkering down for the Coronavirus siege. You may be bored and miss your friends. The news these days is at best distracting and at worst truly scary. You may have more family interruptions than usual. But somehow, you will have to find the self discipline to go online, do your homework, not sleep all day, not go into vacation mode. How are you going to stay disciplined and motivated?
First, it’s time to ask yourself, “Do you want to finish out this semester successfully, or not?” If the answer is yes – and I hope it is! – make a commitment to yourself to do the work. Write it down and stick it on your wall. Write it in present tense as if it were already true. For example: “I stay focused, work at least 5 hours each day, and finish the semester with a B+ average.” Repeat your intention to yourself every day. So good; you’ve decided you are going to do this. And you know what you need to do: check Moodle and your email daily, communicate with your professors, work on class assignments daily. Now focus on why and how.
Why. To stay motivated, keep your eyes on the prize; that is, your long-term goals. Reflect on what those are. Do you want to hold that diploma in your hand and be a college graduate? Think about the kind of work or career you want and the lifestyle you want to live. Surround yourself with some reminders of your dreams and goals. Draw a picture of yourself in graduation garb or studying elephants in Africa or teaching a class of first-graders, or whatever your dream is. Every time you want to put off your work, look at that picture and remind yourself to fight for your dream. Be the kid who doesn’t eat the marshmallow. (More about that here).
How. Build a structure around yourself to help you do your classwork. Be disciplined about going to bed at a regular time and set an alarm for the morning on weekdays. Update your to-do list daily and keep to a schedule. Create an organized workspace with designated spots for your books, notebooks and papers for each class. Buttress your structure with services like tutors, accountability partners and campus counselors. If you’re at home, talk with your family and ask for their help. Don’t wait until you feel like doing something: just do it, to borrow a slogan. Celebrate successes, even small ones! Plan on a day or at least an evening off each week.
And be a little analytical. Where are you getting stuck? What bad habits do you need to get rid of, and what good habits do you need to develop? Don’t beat yourself up about failures; LEARN from them. Keep Looking ahead and improving. Here’s a tool to help you establish a new habit or stop an unhelpful one.
Action for Today: Find an accountability partner to help you stick with your goals. It can be a family member, a friend, or request an accountability partner from the ASC.
|For ideas on time management and study test-taking strategies, contact the ASC team:
To make an appointment for online tutoring or writing support: tutorcal.goshen.edu
To request accommodations for a disability, contact Judy Weaver, firstname.lastname@example.org
To request an accountability partner, click here