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Dragana Pivić

April 23rd, 2020

Studying and finding motivation during a pandemic

5 comments | 42 shares

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Dragana Pivić

April 23rd, 2020

Studying and finding motivation during a pandemic

5 comments | 42 shares

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

It has been one month since LSE made a decision to shift teaching and forms of assessment to online. Student Ambassador, Dragana Pivic, shares how she is dealing with the unforeseen disruption to postgraduate learning.

According to Pearson, more than 300 million students worldwide have had their education disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.

For many international students, this meant packing-up their stuff and moving back home way before they planned at the start of this academic year.

Going through a period of change is very challenging and emotionally draining with the end outcome almost always unforeseeable.

A common thing that I have noticed chatting with my peers is that our levels of productivity have fallen, significantly.

Even though we are locked inside our houses for around two weeks (or in my case for 28 days!) after finally getting home to our families, with nothing else “smart” to do other than to read academic papers and write essays, somehow there seems to be a lack of motivation that all of us are experiencing.

Four ways to overcome lack of motivation

I was wondering how I (being one of the students who is lacking motivation, but also feeling ill) could overcome this situation I was thrown in, and still thrive at the end of my studies.

Here’s what I found.

1. It is OK to be unproductive.

As I mentioned, nobody saw this coming and maybe you are feeling a bit under the weather. Take some time to adapt to this new situation, accept it and talk about it with your friends and loved ones.

Remember that you can always share your worries and feelings with fellow students who are indeed going through the same rough path as you are. Some of my friends from the programme I am attending, have started a weekly catch-up Zoom call, which one week even featured our programme director!

2. Organise your home-study environment

If you are back home, take some time to adjust to your new home-library study space. This does not mean that you have to earn a minor in interior design, it simply means that you should tidy up your old desk and get it organised.

3. Prioritse your workload

Next step would be to prioritise your assignments by complexity and due date. Do not think you can easily write a 5000-word essay – set yourself minor goals to tackle as you move through the process of getting it done and do not forget to reward yourself once those goals are achieved.

4. Acknowledge your wins and take breaks

Remember that it is important to acknowledge small victories as they will lead you to something great in the end. For instance, find a Netflix show (lucky for us there are so many) or a good piece of fiction to turn to when you are in need of a break.

In my case, I tend to dedicate my breaks to baking – another fun activity and a way of keeping in touch are to share recipes with your classmates and friends.

Focus. Focus. Focus.

This one was hard – not going to lie. Being in my early twenties, I am addicted to my phone.

Imagine that level of stress when you are not holding your phone for more than an hour. But oh well, first world problems – you know that at a certain point you should put it down.

One interesting technique which helps with focusing on schoolwork that I learned at LSE is the Pomodoro. Easily explained as 25 minutes focus time followed by a 5-minute break, repeated for 4 times after which you deserve a longer break.

And if you want something that is a bit more modern try the Forest app; it really does help and gets you to my next point which is…

Routine

Getting into a routine during this time is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Honestly, I do not know a single student who is sitting at their desk for twelve consecutive hours.

On top of everything, this is not healthy for you.

Instead, try to dedicate around 6-7 hours each day to studying but with much-needed exercise in between your study sessions.

Knowing how you start your everyday routine is very impactful for your motivation.

Bonus tip – try not to look at your phone for at least one hour after waking up – it is hard, but at least give it a go 🙂

Knowing how you start your everyday routine is very impactful for your motivation.

It always helps to think about what got you to LSE – your hard work and motivation of course! Try to understand what drives you and think about the feeling you will have when all of your deadlines have passed – and if you want to be extra optimistic, imagine yourself laying on a beach with all of your schoolwork tasks successfully accomplished.

 

 


Learn more about our MSc Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation programme

About the author

Dragana Pivić

Dragana Pivić

MSc student. Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation 2019/20

Posted In: Student life | The Student Lens

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