Going online for your degree program seems like the perfect fit for starting your graduate degree journey. After all, you are already busy with family and career, so there is no way you have time to physically go to class. When you actually get into your program, however, you may find that it’s a little more difficult to stay motivated than you thought it would be. Here are some tips to help you stick with the program and earn that degree with the flexibility of online education:
1. Set a Schedule
Scheduling time to do your coursework is going to be critical. When it starts to pile up on you, you will feel overwhelmed. This can kill your motivation. Make your schedule realistic, but be willing to put a few things, like your hobbies, on the back burner until you get your studies done. One way to make your schedule easy is to list out all of the things you do with your time. Then, prioritize them. Soon you will see what you can cut to make room for your schoolwork. Remember, these sacrifices are temporary, and it will be worth it in the long run when you have your degree.
2. Practice Visualization
As you are working through the nitty-gritty details of your degree, it’s easy to lose track of what the degree will do for you. Visualize the benefits you will see in your future after you have earned your degree. Are you looking forward to a new position? Will your degree help you earn a bigger paycheck? Whatever it is, start visualizing the positives that you are going to achieve, and that will motivate you to stick with the work.
3. Build in Rewards
Set small goals throughout your degree program and reward yourself when you meet them. The reward can be something simple like a night out with the family or an afternoon break to pursue your favorite hobby. Figure out what makes you happy, then set a goal and reward yourself when you achieve the goal.
4. Don’t Work too Hard
This may seem like a counterproductive tip, but if you push yourself too hard, you are going to burn out. Make sure you balance your work, personal or family life, and school responsibilities. This is not always easy. But because you’re pursuing your degree online, you have a little more flexibility to pace your studies at a rate that works for you. Take advantage of it.
5. Make Room to Be Social
Make some room in your calendar to be social. You don’t want to spend all of your time studying. Going through graduate studies can feel isolating, so you need to build some social activities into your routine. You will lose your motivation if you do not spend time with family and friends on occasion. Yes, you need to sacrifice some of your social life for the benefit of your degree, but don’t take this sacrifice too far.
6. Keep Your Self-Talk Positive
When you get overwhelmed, which can happen when in any graduate program, it’s easy to dip into negative self-talk. Don’t let this happen. You need to keep your self-talk positive. To do this, watch your progress! See how far you have come and celebrate your successes. When you feel yourself becoming negative, look at those successes, and turn that negative self-talk into something positive.
Are you looking for a new online degree program? Abilene Christian University offers an academically rigorous program with a Christian worldview that will help you attain your goals in a flexible learning environment. Learn more about our graduate degree programs today at acu.edu/online.