Top 10 tips for persevering with distance learning

Dart board and green dart

Even the most dedicated students struggle with perseverance. Luckily, as distance learning experts, we can shed some light on how to successfully banish those pesky problems! So whether you’re stuck on a certain subject or simply lacking motivation, keep scrolling to boost your studying skills.

How can distance learning be effective?

1. Break it up

Have you ever found yourself daydreaming when you know you should be powering through a course? We’ve all been there. As humans, we’re prone to distractions and staying focused is often a big problem for distance learning students. One way of overcoming this is to chop your study time into manageable chunks.

If you’re planning to hit the (online) books for two hours, step away every thirty minutes and take a short break. Not only are you more likely to stay refreshed for the whole session, but you’ll also be able to take in more of the information. And retain it. The key to becoming a more successful student!

2. Treat it like work

We wouldn’t turn up to the office in our pajamas, (without good reason at least). So why do we sometimes find ourselves not putting the same effort into studying? Something as simple as going through the morning motions and getting dressed can prepare you for what’s ahead. You’ll be in a different mindset and ready to take on whatever your course entails. It’s also a good idea to keep any non-essential devices out of reach until you finish, so you can commit yourself 100% to learning.

Show up, do your best, and then enjoy your down time.

3. Learn from your mistakes

Instead of feeling like you want to give up, see your mistakes as a learning curve. If you’ve failed an exam, use this as motivation for next time. Brush up on your knowledge and focus on the points you struggled the most with. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, be sure to use it!

4. Change the scenery

We can’t all have a dedicated study room. If only! Chances are you’re learning at home in your kitchen, living room, or bedroom. If you’re on a long course, it can get boring sitting in the same space every week for a year or more. Change it up every now and then so you don’t get stuck in a routine. If you can work from a local cafe or workspace, alternate between these and you’ll find your productivity increase.

Separate your studies from your leisure time and you’re more likely to stay focused. As tempting as it might be to revise in bed on those cold, winter days.

5. Set realistic goals

It might seem obvious, but having something to aim for can maximise your chances of getting through tricky sections. It’s also a great start to your journey. Think about where you want to be in 7 days, 7 weeks, or 7 months time. How much do you want to have achieved by each point? Visualise the path you want to take and you’re more likely to find yourself there when the time comes.

However, be careful not to go overboard with your aspirations. We aren’t saying you should limit yourself, but it’s all too easy to fall into that trap. Consider how you’re going to get there and assess how realistic it is. This way, you won’t feel demotivated when you reach each stage, and you’ll be dying to hit the next one.

6. Reward yourself

Not only should you celebrate your wins, but incentivise yourself too. If you can’t get through a particularly difficult point, think of a nice prize for the end. It could be anything from a cup of tea to going out with friends. We all like to know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. And you might just find that your output picks up.

You’re also more likely to feel positively about the experience, rather than thinking about that level that used to put shivers up your spine.

7. Don’t force it

Let’s face it, sometimes even the best of tips just won’t work. If you’re not in the right frame of mind, it’s better to take a break and come back. Forcing yourself to get through a certain stage can almost have the opposite effect. You might completely forget everything you were trying to take in, or end up making obvious mistakes because you’re not in the game. It’s easy to get distracted if you’re not enjoying what you’re learning.

Come back refreshed and you’ll be more engaged and ready to continue.

8. Save the date

Set time aside each week to nail your studies. Being consistent with a routine can help you get into good habits. When are you less likely to be distracted? What time do you feel most productive? Make it personal for the best chance of success. If you find that you don’t stick to a schedule, switch it up to something that works. You’re in control when it comes to your learning.

9. Don’t isolate yourself

It’s easy to feel like you’re on your own, but remember you’re not! Reach out to a tutor, mentor, or fellow pupil. There’s nothing like getting advice from someone who knows the course and has been in your shoes. Even though you’re not sitting in a classroom every week, you’re still part of a learning community, and there are people out there with answers for you.

If you haven’t already, join the Eagle Education Buddies Facebook group to share your own tips and get help from those in the know.

10. Focus on the positives

We’re all guilty of dwelling on the negatives in our lives. Whenever those thoughts creep in, catch yourself and turn them into something else. “I’m not good at this yet”. “I still haven’t completed this, but I will catch up”. Retrain your brain and you’ll find yourself more inclined to carry on.

Perseverance is key

Distance learning isn’t all plain sailing. It brings its own challenges. However, you have the freedom to achieve your goals in a way that suits you. We all work differently and once you find what works, you’ll have fewer problems getting through your studies.

Give these tips a try and feel free to share your own on our social channels.

Try an AAT distance learning course for free for 7 days.

Try an ACCA distance learning course for free for 7 days.