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Our top tips for staying motivated throughout your distance learning

Details: Written by Jessica Thompson |

We can appreciate that sometimes staying motivated during a course can be difficult, especially when you must balance work life and family life alongside it. This is why we\'); ve decided to put together some advice from learners, members of staff and experts to bring you a series of tips to help you stay on track with your work.

Think about the end goal

Remember why you enrolled on this course: was it to better understand parts of your job, to work towards a promotion, or just because the subject interests you? Even if the course is a mandatory part of your employment, gaining a qualification is a fantastic achievement. Write your end goal down and put it somewhere that you\'); ll see it when you\'); re working to help you stay on track.

Break it down

It sounds simple, but one of the reasons our courses are broken down into units is to make completing the work more manageable. If you concentrate on a smaller part of the work, it\'); s easier to complete it without becoming overwhelmed. Look at your due dates and the time you have between them, set a manageable amount of work to do each day and stick to it.

Sarah from London is completing her Team Leading course with us, and recommends doing five questions a night. ‘I would say set aside time and complete one unit or five questions each night – whatever works for you.\');

Tackle the hardest thing first

There are always things that we find more difficult than others, and if you come across something that trips you up, it\'); s easy to put this off until last. However, you then risk leaving yourself insufficient time to complete the more difficult questions.

Donna from Grimsby has completed five courses with The Skills Network, and on her most recent course she decided to complete the questions she found most difficult first. She says her new strategy has worked well, and we\'); re not surprised. Some questions require more thought, but if you do these first, this will prevent you from running out of steam later.

Remember, we\'); re always here to support you through your course, so give the toughest questions your best shot and if you\'); re really struggling, our Learner Support Advisors and team of tutors are always on hand to help on 01757 600915.

Change your environment

One of the best things about distance learning is that you can work on your course just about anywhere! We\'); ve heard from learners working on their course during their commute to work, whilst waiting for their children to come out of school, in their local library and in the early hours of the morning. Whilst we might not recommend all of these, it is important to find an environment that you can work well in. If you find that you\'); re often distracted, or your attention is wandering, a change of scene may help you to refocus and complete your work.

Jodie, one of our Senior Learner Support Advisors, is completing our Team Leading qualification. She finds it difficult to stay motivated when she is in her home environment, so she comes into work an hour early to spend some time on the course in one of our breakout areas.

Manage stress

Another benefit to distance learning is that it fits around you and your other priorities: your family, work life, hobbies and other commitments. However, this can also mean that your distance learning course can add to the existing pressures you are under and cause stress.

The Health and Safety Executive defines stress as: ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them\'); .

Some stress is normal and manageable, and is a biological response to the pressures in different areas of our lives. Some people enjoy stress, and find that they thrive under pressure, whilst others struggle with conflicting pressures much more. It is important to remember that what is manageable for one person is not manageable for another, and that stress affects people in different ways.

We want to support you through your studies and to get you through to achievement. Should you be struggling with time, please keep in touch and we can discuss what extensions may be available to you. If you are struggling with a certain question or section of your course, again, get in touch and we can arrange tutor support for you.

Keeping in touch is key!