If you’ve ever tried studying online, you’ll agree that it requires much self-motivation. This is especially true if the course does not have a deadline and is always available.

In fact, even with courses with deadlines, many people have abandoned courses they started because they couldn’t find the strength to continue.

You know the course is important to get ahead in your career, and that’s why you bought or applied for it. But you just lack the motivation to continue. Trust me, this is a common problem, so don’t fret; it’s not impossible to overcome.

This article will outline helpful tips to help you stay self-motivated when studying online.


6 Practical Tips to Stay Self-Motivated When Studying Online

1. Create Realistic Goals

Setting goals and seeing yourself smash them can give you the boost you need to keep pushing to finish your online course.

However, make sure they are realistic and actionable. While setting big goals is tempting, start with realistic goals that you are likely to meet first. Then, occasionally, you can challenge yourself as you go along.

For instance, you are more likely to meet the goal of reading a chapter of a book a day than you are planning to 5 chapters a day.

So, stick to more actionable goals to avoid setting yourself up for disappointment.

Also, make sure to set goals based on your personality. While some can work with mental goals, some might need them documented. If you are the latter, make sure to write your goals down.

Again, if you are a more visual person, instead of writing them on your notes, use sticky notes and stick them where you will see them every day.

Also Read: Reasons You Are Not Making Progress in Your Career

2. Create a Schedule

One major problem with online courses is that they allow you to set your own schedule. So, some people might not attend a particular course in months.

Therefore, it is more expedient to create a schedule based on your goals. Make a list of all your daily tasks and find a time to fit in your study.

Remember, you don’t have to do so much every day that you become overwhelmed. Little chunks of study are more productive than nothing for months. Aim for consistency more than quantity.

Creating a schedule that works for you is also advisable based on your personality and circumstances.

For instance, if you are a night owl, you might prefer studying at night. And if you are a mother, you might also need to study at night when the children are tucked in or early in the morning before they wake up.

How to Stay Self-Motivated When Studying Online

3. Set Up a Study Area

You can be tempted to lie on your couch in your pyjamas because you are studying at home. The problem is that you may sleep off, and it doesn’t put you in a study mood.

But setting up a study area, taking a bath, and dressing to get down to business communicate to your brain that you are ready for work. Being in a relaxed mood, however, communicates sleep or relaxation.

Create a comfortable space that also puts you in a work mood. If you cannot find that in your home, consider your local library, coffee shops with cosy spaces, or co-working spaces.

4. Get a Study Buddy

Find a study buddy or connect with others to make the learning process less isolated. Finding others in the same shoes as yours can provide that social interaction that studying online lacks.

You can do this by seeking an accountability partner in your circle who is more motivated than you are and can push you when you need it. It would be better if you could find someone who is also studying.

You can also consider other students on social media or the university’s social forum. Search on social media for online student communities or create one yourself. Get involved in discussions and share your challenges with others. You can get ideas and tips to be more self-motivated when studying online.

Also Read: The Best Books to Cultivate a Reading Habit

5. Reward Yourself

Rewarding yourself is a great way to be self-motivated when studying online. You can treat yourself to something nice when you reach a milestone or meet your goal. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, but knowing that a reward awaits you can be the push you need to keep going.

6. Take Breaks

Take breaks between studies, especially if you are studying for a prolonged period. It refreshes your brain and helps you keep going. When you are mentally exhausted every time you study, you might be discouraged from continuing.

So, take meaningful breaks. You can take a walk to stretch or have a cup of coffee while looking out your window. You will be surprised by the boost of energy you will get when you get back from your break.


It is not the easiest thing to stay self-motivated when studying online, but as you can see, it’s not impossible. The tips above can help you achieve your goal and finish your course quickly.