Many distance learners agree that the most difficult part of studying online is staying motivated. Because students must take the initiative to complete their courses completely on their own, without the physical presence of teachers and other peers, many students find it easy to become distracted and discouraged in their work. Don\u0092t let this happen to you \u0096 plan ways for yourself to stay motivated before you\u0092re tempted to stray from your books. Use these five motivational tips to stay on task:<br/><br/>1. Connect with your classmates. Sure, ¨virtual people¨ may be hard to connect with, but making an effort to actually get to know your classmates can be rewarding. If you find students from your area, consider a physical study group at a restraint or bookstore. If not, try to create an online support group of peers. They\u0092ll appreciate having someone to keep them on track in their work and you\u0092ll reap the benefits of being accountable as well.<br/><br/>2. Discuss what you learn. Find a friend or relative who has similar interests or who would enjoy hearing about your studies and let them know what\u0092s going on in your classes. You\u0092ll understand the material better when you have a chance to explain it out loud and will be motivated to stay on task in order to keep up with the conversation.<br/><br/>3. Chart your progress. Don\u0092t rely on campus counsellors; design your own map of completed classes and post it somewhere that is visible daily. There\u0092s a certain satisfaction that comes with watching your goals be accomplished. When times get hard, you can always turn to your chart and see how far you\u0092ve come.<br/><br/>4. Reward yourself. You get rewarded for good credit and safe driving, why shouldn\u0092t you reward yourself for doing well in your coursework. Whether it be a night on the town, a new dress, or even a new car, setting up a reward system just may be the extra push you need to succeed. If you stick by your system, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised.<br/><br/>5. Take time for fun. If you\u0092re spending all your time working, studying, and watching after the kids, you\u0092ll likely suffer in all areas. Everyone needs some down time to re-group. So, set aside a little time every week for a favorite activity. You\u0092ll be more productive when you return to your work.