How to Keep Studying in Challenging Times

by Anita Naik

With the news that secondary schools aren't returning until mid-January (at the earliest), and university students even later, it can be hard to stay motivated. Reasons to keep studying are obvious, mocks, exams, GCSE and A-Level prep, but staying motivated in challenging times is hard. Here's how you can keep yourself going while working from home.

Find your sense of purpose

Finding a sense of meaning and purpose in your work can help you stay focused. Working from home alone is hard but think of the positives. You may now have extra time to revise for your mocks or more time to catch up on subject gaps or even time to read more about the subjects you love. As for your sense of purpose around studying, this could be about achieving a specific grade or getting into a career you love or even something as simple as moving into a higher group. Whatever it is, it's a good time to remind yourself of old and new goals so you can feel more motivated to study.

Create a daily structure that works for you

Don't wait for willpower and motivation to kick in; it's a daily routine and structure that sets off your motivation to work. Create a routine that puts you firmly in study mode. It can help to use a version of your usual lesson schedule as a framework for studying or create your own revision timetable.

A good daily structure should have a start and finish time, with breaks and clear goals for the day. Start at the same time every day, so you get into a clear routine and mix up the workload to learn something different in each hour segment.

Make use of any online time with teachers and tutors

Most schools are offering face-time for students who need it. These tend to be optional but are worth taking to keep the connection between your work and your teachers.

If your school is closed, then make the most of online resources like these maths resources. Working with an online tutor will not only help you to stay focused but also motivate and challenge you to reach your goals. It's also an excellent time to sign up for online tutoring. Working with an online tutor will not only help you to stay focused but also motivate and challenge you to reach your goals.

Use apps to help study effectively

The Evernote app helps you focus on what matters most thanks to its easy to access pool of information. You can manually input information and add to-do lists, photos, images, web pages, audio and work documents, and access them on all your devices. Better yet, it's all instantly searchable. It's handy for annotating documents with notes and comments, as well as being able to share everything with fellow peers.

Trello is the best task-tracking app on the market and will make studying that much easier to manage. You can create cards for individual tasks, label functions to place them in order of priority and tick them off as you go. You can also view boards for each topic area or via a calendar for daily to-dos. Plus you can share study boards with students you work with, and they can add comments to the cards, helping you to study and stay in touch.

Quizlet's tools are designed to help you maximize the benefits of retrieval practice by creating flashcards that work for you. The more you practice recalling a piece of information or retrieving it from memory, the more likely you are to remember it later on. This psychological finding explains why it's so much more useful to study with flashcards.

The Focus Booster app is a time-tracking app that helps you to focus on your tasks. It can help you increase your concentration levels and minimise interruptions. Based on the Pomodoro-technique the methodology is simple: When faced with any large task or series of tasks, break the work down into short, timed intervals (called "Pomodoros") that are spaced out by short breaks. This trains your brain to focus for short periods and helps you stay on top of deadlines or constantly-refilling inboxes.