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Carrington College Blog

Minimize Distraction! Maximize Effort!

February 24, 2012

Girl at Coffee Shop with laptopFor many students, a significant advantage of earning a degree or certificate at Carrington College California – Online is that they can work at their own pace. If you work full time, or have a busy family life, or both, you can earn a degree while managing the other commitments in your everyday life; studying whenever it’s most convenient for you.

As well as being able to study at a time that suits you, you can also work in a location that suits you. Many people working towards online college degrees choose to study at a library or in a coffee shop because there is less distraction than at home. As long as you have computer access, you can study!

But although this freedom and flexibility is useful for many, a lot of our online students still find themselves studying at home most of the time; so how do you minimize the distractions and maximize your efforts?

Most motivated people are driven by achieving clear goals they set for themselves; these goals give them the enthusiasm to study hard. If you aren’t wired that way, and many of us aren’t, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Have you set yourself clear goals? Set achievable goals; things you need to get done today, this week, and this month.
  • Have you set yourself targets? Remind yourself why you’re doing this. Ask yourself where you want to be 6 months, 12 months, and 3 years from now. Setting goals and targets should improve your focus and enthusiasm! If you’re a visual person, create a vision board as a reminder of what want in life. Pictures of your dream home, car, places you want to visit, and so forth.
  • Have you set a study schedule? The easiest thing to do sometimes is anything but what you’re meant to be doing! Laundry, walking the dog, playing with the kids…Try to set a realistic study schedule that takes into account your other commitments. If it’s not realistic, it won’t work!
  • Have you set boundaries with friends/family? Explain to those close to you why you’re earning your degree, and why it’s important to you. By sharing this, and defining why you need some quiet time to yourself, you’ll find that they respect the time you’ve set aside for study and leave you in peace! Even your kids if you’re lucky
  • Are you clear on what you’re doing? It’s easy to put off something that we’re not that confident about; once you get clarification and get started, life seems easier. So speak to your instructors or chat with your peers, rather than procrastinate! The same is true if you are daunted by what’s in front of you. Break it down into bite size chunks, rather than facing a pile of work/tasks
  • Have you got some rewards lined up? Rewards are a vital part of motivating yourself. A good 3 hour study session completed? Allow yourself a small reward! Promise yourself a bumper prize if you reach your study goals for the week

No matter whether you’re studying Paralegal Studies, Criminal Justice, Health Information Technology or one of our seven other online degree programs, struggling to stay motivated when working at home is more common than you think. Studying alone without the stimulus of instructors on your shoulder and peers in a class situation can be difficult.

Try to remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing; remember the changes you are trying to make to your life. Get yourself immersed in the subject you’re studying and get fired up for results!


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