Five-ish Ways to Maintain Levels of Motivation for Studies During the Pandemic

In most parts of the country, both social distancing and stay-at-home orders have become the norms. Therefore, as graduate students, you might be coming to terms with – or already have — that remote learning is the new reality.

Want to know how the virus is affecting the world of education? Here are 6 Ways Online Learning is Revolutionizing Education during the Pandemic!

But finding motivation in this changing reality can be difficult. Focusing on classes is now a roadblock for many. What’s more, it must also be evident that this will remain the case for quite some time. So, you’ll need guidance to ensure that you continue the responsibilities of grad school in this scenario. It is imperative that as students, you stay on track as best as you can.

With that in mind, we present some simple tips that will return your motivation to you:

Set Smaller Goals, which you can Achieve in a Day

Sure, every counselor will tell you that by keeping your eyes on the prize, you have a better chance at success. After all, it helps bring to mind your ultimate goal. However, this study shows that focusing on efforts first — and rewards last – is a much better guarantee that you’ll accomplish your goals.

In that vein, begin by consciously realizing that these aren’t normal times. Hence, you’d likely see quite a few highs and lows in your productivity levels. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that your motivation isn’t at its peak right now.

Counter that by setting daily goals for a much more productive time. Additionally, be realistic when planning out your day. Since bigger goals may seem insurmountable right now, aim at completing smaller ones.

Some examples can be:

  1. Read the assigned articles
  2. Finish the first draft
  3. Do some data cleaning

In short, being shortsighted isn’t necessarily a bad idea at the moment.

You may also find these 5 Ways to Maintain a Study Routine During the Corona Pandemic useful.

Pomodoro your Way through for Motivation

You may know of the Pomodoro technique. According to it, you should follow working for a certain duration by taking a break. For some students, a 5-minute-long break is sufficient after every 25-minutes. For others, a 10-minute-long span is better if it comes at the end of 90-minutes of work. Find your speed and stick to it.

Just as you would do during a pre-coronavirus, use these regular breaks to chat with your friends and colleagues. So, while working from home can be hard, video conferencing platforms can help with the loneliness and anxiety you may be feeling. A great way to ensure that your friends will be available for these chats is to schedule the times for it. Group assignments can also be fun since you can take out 5 minutes from your brain-storming sessions to chat about non-project matters.

Remember, interaction is something we crave as human beings. Keep yourself healthy by indulging in the Pomodoro technique!

For more tips on caring for your mental health, here are 3 Student-Centric Mental Health Resources During The Coronavirus Pandemic!

Routines are Good but Diversified Routines are Better for Motivation

Controlling Others Affecting your Motivation

The coronavirus pandemic is well and truly scrambling our brains. You’re stuck in one place and have only online learning as a way to continue studying. You can control your actions by creating a routine and sticking to it. However, imposing the same restrictions on someone else can get tricky. Imagine trying to concentrate on math when your roommate is on their 5-minute study break. In the end, you might feel your focus dwindling.

Maintain your levels of motivation by choosing a time slot where your roomies are more likely to be sleeping. During these days, you have another advantage. Since you don’t have classes to attend at specific times, you may choose whichever time frame that suits you. Additionally, you can also divide your study time. That means you can do it in several sittings instead of one.

Controlling How you Learn

However, diversification isn’t just about the timings. You can also choose from plenty of online content to learn and intake information in more than one way. For instance, instead of perusing large chunks of texts on your screen, opt for watching an educational video on the same subject. There are also online PC/mobile games that engage learners and teach topics, such as coding. When studying history, a virtual tour that now many galleries and museums offer – for free – might prove more interesting.

You can also take out these for a spin: 7 Ideas to Acquire New Skills during the COVID-19 Lockdown!

Question Each Study Session

Admit to yourself that you’re in charge of your study progress these days. It makes retaining the motivation to be productive much hard. Thus, you’ll need a way to continue learning in this low-pressure working environment.

Besides that, the pandemic is also affecting your instructors, which is why they may not always be able to explain things to you. You’ll have to take care of that on your own in many instances. Take study matters in hand by questioning each session. We’d recommend posing these at all stages, i.e., before your session, after it, and even during:

  • What will I learn and how it fits into the bigger picture?
  • Do I see any key words/ideas that I should note down? If I do, why do I find them important?

What’s more, remote learning is essential for students right now. See these 3 Ways Online Classes Will Keep You From Going Stir Crazy During Self -isolation!


In conclusion, it may not be easy to keep the learning going when living during this coronavirus pandemic. Even so, our tips do show you that it is possible. Therefore, become more reachable to people you interacted with regularly pre-COVID-19, indulge in smart use of online resources, and acknowledge the need to delve deeper while studying during these hard times. Connect for more creative ideas for engaged learning!

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