Has this ever happened to you: you wanted to take a sewing, folk dance, or analytics course for a long time, you paid for it, opened the tab… and now it’s been hanging untouched in your browser for a month. Let’s find out how to avoid this situation.
Admit the Problem
Solving any problem starts with admitting it. Stop promising yourself that you’re about to start classes, whether it’s next week, Monday, or this afternoon. Admit that you can’t start the course in any way, and try to find the reason. Experts believe there may be several reasons.
Sometimes people are worried that they simply can’t cope, or that they will do worse than others. This is especially common if the course is needed for work. To overcome such fears, focus on your own desires and stop comparing yourself to others.
Focus on what the chosen course will give you in the future. Make a list of expectations and answer the questions: “What will I get now? What will I get in a month? What skills and knowledge will I master?” Describe to yourself a picture of your ideal future.
You can simply write the list down on a piece of paper, or you can put together a whole brainboard – with pictures and graphs. The main thing is to record emotions and feelings and refer to them in difficult moments.
Another common cause of procrastination is a lack of inner resources. If you try to force yourself to learn programming immediately after a hard day at work, it’s no wonder that you don’t have the energy for it and prefer betting with a bookie or watching YouTube instead. It’s important to properly identify what will help you recover your energy.
Some people only need to eat a chocolate bar, others need to go for a walk outside or sleep for at least 15 minutes. There is no universal recipe: it’s important to find something that works for you. You can start from your line of work. For example, if you have a sedentary job, exercise will help you to switch over. But if you load trucks, it is unlikely that this method will suit you.
Focus on One Activity
You go to the home page of an online course site and disappear for half an hour. You want to try everything – and the basics of graphic design, and an introduction to neural networks, and Korean for beginners. The reasons for this “thirst for knowledge” can be different. Both quite conscious and pragmatic – to get new skills or acquire professional connections, and subconscious – the desire to hide from difficult situations that are now happening in life.
And so, without noticing it yourself, you have already signed up for several introductory classes. But as soon as the start date of the course arrives, the notification in the mail causes only irritation.
Before you buy anything, look at your own needs and try to understand what you want to get out of a particular course. Turn to your life and what is going on in it at this moment. And choose your training direction accordingly. Trying to master what you really need at this stage is the best motivation.
If “juggling” with courses cannot be avoided, planning comes to the rescue. In order not to overload yourself, experts advise setting clear time limits. Instead of “Will I be able to do all the tasks today?” ask yourself “What can I do in the next two hours?”
Make Exercise a Habit
To avoid dropping out in the middle of the course, make studying a habit. You don’t have to make an effort when you brush your teeth in the morning.
To do this, put the course into your schedule. Do it, even if the program allows you to exercise at any convenient time. Doing a task once or twice a week is much easier than catching up in a couple of days in a hurry.
Devote some time to exercise, but regularly. For example, just 15 minutes, but every day. You can also combine the courses with something else. For example, listen to them on the road, or during lunch.
If it’s difficult to keep a schedule, try to trick your brain and make it associate the class with something pleasant. For example, every time after class buy a cup of cappuccino at your favorite cafe or watch an episode of your favorite show. By the way, you can also “reward” yourself for the work done during a break in the class.
Keep Track of Your Progress
Formulate for yourself why you need any course, and constantly check how you managed to get closer to the final goal.
It is important to understand how the course qualitatively changes your life. So don’t forget to keep track of your progress: what you have already learned or changed in yourself during the course. In other words, keep track of your progress.
Make a calendar – it works especially well in the case of online learning. Make a note of each day that you have completed a lesson or homework. That way you’ll feel better that you’re moving forward, and studies show that this boosts your mood and motivation.
Some services have midterm tests and quizzes. Don’t neglect them, even if you do not intend to get a diploma, because good grades will make you happy and help you move on. And if you do get a graduation certificate, put it in a prominent place. Your achievements will serve as a reminder that you are getting closer to your goals.