Handling Online Studies

An essay with points on how to properly prioritize during this painful unprecedented pandemic.

“As far as students are concerned, the most important thing you need to understand in this chaotic time is data management.”


I’m sure that by this time you must have heard and read a lot about the influence of this pandemic; especially that it’s a lock down on your studies and career. However, it is worth hearing a few important points because this unprecedented time will linger for a while.

The Knowledge Explosion

This pandemic has made a lot of influence on studies. Let’s look into it.
We are living in an era of a knowledge explosion. Where a knowledge explosion and data management become a number one issue that you need to tackle, education also coming online is unthinkable and adding to your screen time- resulting in self-saturation.
What all this suggests is that today’s learners, irrespective of age,
are actively finding fresh knowledge and are subjected to more material in a day than past generations. They are more susceptible to multitasking. In this context, our education is also coming in the online platform.

Advantages and disadvantages of Online Learning

The most common complaints that we hear from students and faculty at this time are it reduces classroom learning to mere substitution, and don’t have luxury of physically coming and seeing and interacting with teachers and friends,which is a huge disadvantage, It’s hard to engage, focus is divided , it easily gets boring, one’s own motivation decreases and causes procrastination .
If we talk about the advantages of online schooling it reduces the overall time and cost of a lesson,students can access class anywhere any time,and students feel more one to one with professor not get lost in a big group.
In spite of all these advantages, studies have shown that it does not guarantee success compared to the traditional class room, and many drop out.

The reason behind the drop-out

Have you ever thought of what could be the reason for this?

For any student, whomever he /she may be, the path way to success looks like this:

MISSION: To get a PhD and start a new job.

GOAL: To Graduate

MILESTONE: Passing the Final Exam



Have a purpose and stick to it- Jesus did!

“As students when you set your own goal, you launch yourself into the future with an optimistic mindset.”

Those who are familiar with the Bible know that Jesus came to this world with a purpose. He had only one mission in his mind – to do the will of God the father. It was a much-focused effort. With that focus he planned 30 years for the 3-years ministry he did. There were many distractions for Jesus. There are times when the distractions were so much that he withdrew from the distractions and went to a solitary place to focus on his mission.

So, the most important lesson you can learn is that Jesus had a mission, a purpose.
Prioritize your plan in order to find your purpose in life.

Each and every one of us is created with a purpose. So, having found out the purpose in life will give a great deal of motivation to focus on your task. As students when you set your own goal, you launch yourself into the future with an optimistic mindset. You get to define for yourself a reason why you should be studying, instead of being told a million times by parents and teachers.

These personal, long-term goals can serve as the motivation anchor to help you grind through the tough subjects, tests, and essays, giving you a larger perspective focus on building yourselves, making use of your time instead of wasting all of it on fleeting entertainment and easily available distractions.

Now let’s look into the psychology of these distractions, these distractions affects you at the very foundational step and act as a barrier to climb other rings of the ladder of success.

Some of you have heard of Dopamine. It is a neurotransmitter in the brain which helps us to seek the pleasure seeking activity, for reward, for motivation fine motor function executive function perseveration, etc. But when you are at home you have many things to distract you. The little activities, so accessible of looking up at your face book ,what’s app, insta, text message, a snack, a small article ,listening to music . . . gives your brain a little jolt of dopamine and that feels good, brain values immediate rewards than distant rewards in medical terms it is called TEMPORAL DISCOUNTING, then it seeks more and more of those rewards to feel good, so there is a chance you repeat these behaviors over and over again .


The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that encourages people to work with the time they have-rather than against it. Using this method, you break your work day into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. These intervals are referred to as pomodoros. After about four pomodoros, you take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes. Usually the classes are for 45-60 minutes, so we can modify this technique and take a short break after that chunk of time, in which we allow no distractions, mindfully focusing on the task engaging your senses actively. Taking at least bullet point notes while engaging in the class helps the student to make the tracks in the brain for better remembering/memory?.Remember 20-20 rule, after each class one can get up and walk 20 stepsook at an object 20 feet away, engage in a conversation with a family member, walk out and get some fresh air, etc.

So, students who can overcome this distraction and complete the ground steps in a given task successfully reach the milestones and climb the ladder of their academic goals, which eventually leads to them finding their way to the mission of life easily. In other words, the student who engages the most is the one who is benefited the most.

Some of the foundational strategies are having a goal –(SMART) Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. Planning your strategy, organizing your learning environment, Pre-reading the lesson at least once, step up with your assessments, communicating frequently with your teacher, being your own advocate and documenting your achievements are important .

Managing your own energy level is very important. As a student, this can only be achieved by following the order the Creator mandated for his children. If we look around we can see our God is a God of order. Having a specific routine for your day, meal timings and giving due importance to your sleep will maintain the circadian rhythm. Many bodily functions operate based on a circadian clock. Everyday functions – such as sleepiness, wakefulness and hunger – and many hormone functions are based on a circadian rhythm. Take time to listen to what your body and mind need. It is very important to fuel your body with healthy food, with adequate protein and water intake. Daily activity by moving your body will maintain the energy.

In conclusion , to be an effective online learner, you should have a purpose driven life, you should define your purpose, define your goals, plan to achieve your mile stones by not being distracted to complete the short term tasks. Maintaining a healthy body, healthy mind and healthy emotions are the prerequisites to it.

Sonimol Anil, MSN-PMHNP-BC is a Psychiatry Mental Health & Practitioner, (Wayne State University, MI)

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