Learning online is challenging!

As we all endure the confinement and plight of the pandemic, do you find yourself easily distracted by your phone, your family, your friends, and technology at your fingertips?

For most of us, recent months have been filled with adapting to unexpected changes in our learning environment. Whether you’re a professional wanting to advance your career, a university/college student, a passionate lifelong learner, or you’re homeschooling, online learners have been forced to adjust and adapt to new learning routines that can present challenges that adversely affect concentration and mindset.

I know exactly what it’s like to lack concentration and have a messy mindset, especially when learning online during the lockdown. One way to overcome this is to have a positive mindset. This improves your concentration which can boost your study skills and help you achieve your goals when learning online. Don’t know how to have a positive mindset? Here’s how…

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Managing Your Mindset

Your mindset can affect your motivation, especially when facing difficulties, doubts, or fears.

You may have a growth or a fixed mindset. To increase your motivation and decrease procrastination, having a growth mindset is better, as opposed to having a fixed mindset.

  • A Fixed Mindset

A fixed mindset is limiting.

It encourages you to believe that your accomplishments are determined solely by your personality and intelligence.

If you excel, it’s because you’re naturally intelligent or skilled. Conversely, if you don’t succeed, it’s because you’re not.

A fixed mindset convinces you that you can’t do anything to improve your status, situation, or circumstances.

Inevitably, this mentality hinders your progress in life, makes you complacent, and keeps you content with your current condition.

A fixed mindset is one of motivation’s worst enemies, especially when it comes to learning.

BONUS READ: How to Conquer Your Fear of Failure So You Can Slay Your Studies.

  • A Growth Mindset 

A growth mindset encourages the belief that your success is determined by your efforts and drive.

With a growth mindset, you know that you can change and progress, despite your current circumstances.

You are always willing to learn and improve, especially from your mistakes.

A growth mindset sees inspiration in the successes of others and is motivated to continue learning and developing.

You refuse to concede when challenged. Instead, you work hard and expect to receive the rewards of your efforts.

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What’s your mindset?

Consider the following table to help you determine your mindset.

Then determine if you need to tweak things or stay the same.

Circumstance(s) Fixed Mindset Belief(s) Growth Mindset Belief(s)
You get a difficult project/assignment to complete. This is bound to show how incompetent and stupid I am. A great opportunity for self-development and learning.
You fail a test/exam (multiple times). I might as well give up. I’m not good at this. What study and personal skills need to be improved/adjusted so I can do better next time.
At the start of new studies. I hope this will not be boring or difficult. I look forward to this interesting new subject and hope to learn loads.
When you receive constructive criticism or negative feedback on your work. I always knew I was rubbish at this, so I’m not surprised by what he/she thinks. I need to take on board this feedback and make any changes that will help me to do a better job next time.
Your classmate excels on an exam and you barely pass. You think you worked just as hard. What does he/she have that I don’t have? We studied together, so how come they did so much better than me? It’s great that he/she did so well. I’m inspired to try some of his/her study skills and do better next time.
When a mistake is made. I might as well give up. I’ll never be good at this. I’ll learn form this mistake and adjust so I don’t make it again.
You passed an exam with flying colours. I always knew I was brilliant! All my hard work and efforts have paid off. Well done me!
You get an assignment that will take a lot of time and effort to complete. What’s the point of doing all this work? When I fail the assignment, it’ll all be a waste of time. This will take time, but I’ll learn so much that it will be worth it.
You think a subject is difficult and you’re scared to study. This is a scary subject. I don’t get it. I might as well give up before I even take the exam. Although this is challenging, I’ll try my best to study hard and learn loads.

BONUS READ: How to improve your writing and learn from feedback to boost your grades. 

Despite the difficulties that are faced from learning online during a pandemic, managing your mindset, and staying positive can enhance your concentration considerably. This is a fundamental factor to being successful when studying online.  Without a positive mindset, you’re more likely to be demotivated and your learning journey may seem like an uphill battle that you just can’t win.

3 top tips for boosting your mindset and motivation are as follows:

“How much do I want this?”

 

  1. Ask yourself this question whenever you need motivating or you’re not concentrating. How motivated you are to maintain your studies depends on how much significance you give to your learning goals.
  2. Focus on your small wins. Instead of trying to complete a million and one tasks a day or studying an enormous amount of information at once (aka cramming), targeting a few tasks daily, or studying small amounts of information at a time is far more achievable, enjoyable and manageable.
  3. Create and cultivate a growth mindset. Having a growth mindset differs dramatically from having a fixed mindset. The former nurtures motivation. The latter inspires procrastination. Cultivating a growth mindset is a key element to increasing your motivation, decreasing your procrastination, and learning more in less time.

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Final Thoughts

With a growth mindset, even if you find something stressful when you’re struggling to study/concentrate, you’re already well ahead of someone with the same circumstances, who has a fixed mindset.

Since you expect to succeed because of your firm belief that you can, your efforts are more likely to result in success.

Even if you don’t get the result you hoped for, you’re satisfied with the learning received from the experience and are determined to do better next time. This positive growth mindset and level of motivation will help you concentrate better. Consequently, you’ll have an unparalleled advantage over your peers not only as an online learner, but throughout your life.

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I hope you found something helpful in this post. Please don’t forget to share it!

Good Luck!

Now, go be great!