If you’re feeling too tired to study, a cup of coffee or a walk around the block is often enough to get back on track. However, sometimes exhaustion sets in and no matter how hard you try, you can’t focus.
What you’re experiencing is study burnout which means it’s vital to incorporate some serious fatigue management strategies into your life.
Otherwise, study burnout will get in the way of achieving your study goals, and that means your online courses will take longer to complete.
What is Study Burnout?
Study burnout is a form of physical and emotional exhaustion which frequently affects students who are under high levels of prolonged stress.
This stress may be due to studying too much or for long periods without a break, or it could be a result of external pressures that impact the ability to concentrate on study.
If left untreated, study burnout and fatigue can have an impact on the time it takes to complete online courses and also your personal life.
What Causes Study Fatigue?
Study fatigue occurs when you’ve been working and focusing without taking sufficient breaks, leaving you unable to continue, according to Alex Kingsmill, Career Coach at Upstairs Counselling.
“It’s real and is all about balancing energy exertion with energy renewal. It isn’t just about being lazy!
“The capacity to self-regulate or control yourself, which is essential for study, operates like a muscle. Just as you fatigue after doing a few heavy sets in the gym, so too does your brain tire out after a long period of sustained exertion.
“To recover physically, it is essential to build-in periods of rest and the same applies to brain work.
“To avoid study fatigue and allow for sustained and effective study, it’s essential to plan your efforts. Build in periods of energy exertion and then allow for regular periods of energy renewal,” said Ms Kingsmill.
Fatigue Management Strategies
If you study online courses, Ms Kingsmill advises that you limit screen time, exercise and enjoy a study-free weekend to celebrate study success.
- Balance study periods with 10 minutes away from a screen and a walk around the block
- Have a no-study-weekend after completing a big assignment
- Build in regular exercise to balance your brain work
Chris Karkanis, author of Your Best Score: How to reach your full potential in Year 12 and Founder of Juku Tutoring says experiencing study burnout is one of the most terrible feelings, and has negative ramifications for stress management.
Push Through or Rest? What’s Best?
“Many students push themselves too hard, too often and don’t take the time for a brief respite, leading to rapid burnout. While it is great to be highly motivated and antsy to study, forcing yourself to study when burnout is imminent is generally not a wise tactic.
“The reason being is that you’re fighting an uphill battle with your mind. Your mind is telling you it is exhausted, so if you keep pushing it, studying efficiency will continue to decrease.
“In turn, the invested time necessary to complete tasks will only increase. You’re far better off taking time to rest and recharge your mind, so you can come back and study more efficiently.”
Set Concrete Study Hours and Rest Hours
One of the best ways to avoid burnout is to set a schedule with study hours and rest hours, said Mr Karkanis.
“Many students get burnt out because their schedule is sporadic and spontaneous.
“The key is to make sure that when you’re supposed to be studying, you’re studying; the same goes for rest hours.
Set Reasonable Goals
If you’re studying online courses, working at your own pace is a bonus. However, it can be dangerous to rush ahead. Make sure you are setting reasonable study goals to avoid study burnout.
“Set reasonable goals for what material you want to cover during study hours, and make sure you get through everything.
“If you find that you fall slightly behind and your study hours are over, feel free to take an extra couple of minutes to finish everything.
“The main thing is to listen to your body and mind; if you’re starting to drag, it’s time to rest or take a break and come back to studying during the next set of study hours,” said Mr Karkanis.
Choose Online Courses to Avoid Study Burnout.
One of the best ways to avoid study burnout and fatigue is to choose online courses for your professional development.
Online courses are flexible, so you can study when and where it suits you. Also, online courses are self-paced, so you can decide how quickly you finish your course depending on your circumstances, health and well-being.
Australian Online Courses offer unlimited enrolment, so you won’t be working towards our deadlines, because we don’t have any! Instead, you can finish your online courses and graduate when the timing is right for you.
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