How to get motivated to study
Sometimes, when you are studying it is easy to feel overwhelmed by everything you have to do and it can be easy to want to give up. Even if you don’t actually want to give up you might find yourself feeling really unmotivated and not doing anything. The trouble with this is, if you don’t do any studying then you will just get behind and it will be even harder to catch up. So, in this post I will share seven things you can do to motivate yourself to study when you don’t want to.
Think about the big picture
When you feel like giving up, remember what you want to be able to do at the end of your A Levels, degree, etc.. Do you want to get specific grades to get into a particular university? Get a degree that will allow you to get your dream job? Thinking about this will remind you why it is important to carry on so you can achieve this.
Likewise, if you feel like you are making no progress with your studies so there is no point in carrying on, remind yourself of how much you have learnt. I’m sure that while you have been studying you have learnt at least a few things that you wouldn’t have otherwise learnt (because you know, information doesn’t just arrive in your brain randomly so it must have got there somehow!). Remembering these things will remind you that even if each little task you do doesn’t seem to be very important, it all adds up to you knowing a lot more than you previously did so that you can achieve your end goal.
Make a plan
I know I talk about the importance of making weekly plans a lot but that is because I use them myself and strongly believe that they are really important for studying effectively. If you make a plan then you can just look at it and see what you need to be doing each day. This means that if you don’t feel like studying then you can think ‘ohh, I need to be doing x, y, and z today because that is what the plan says so I had better get started on those things now’. Not that I trying to turn you into some sort of plan-following-robot but by doing this you will ensure you study even if you don’t really want to. Also, if you wait around until you feel motivated then you might be waiting forever so you may as well just get started… And you never know, once you get started on a task you might actually enjoy it and want to carry on…
Use the Pomodoro technique
The Pomodoro technique is something I have started using recently in my studying and have found it really helpful. The general idea of it is that you study (or do whatever you are trying to achieve) for 25 minutes and then have a five minute break. You then repeat this three times (so 4 x 25 minutes sessions in total) and then have a ten minute break. This works because 25 minutes is a good amount of time to concentrate for so hopefully you won’t get distracted. It also means that you can set yourself very specific goals for each 25 minutes which will motivate you to study in order to achieve them. In addition, 25 minutes isn’t very long so focusing on something for that long shouldn’t feel too daunting.
If 25 minutes doesn’t seem like a good length for you then you can always change it – the key is to have a specific length of time you will focus for and then a short break.
External rewards can be great motivators if you really don’t want to do something. Tell yourself that once you have done 4 x 25 minute study sessions you will have a slice of cake, go on Facebook, read a chapter of your book, or whatever else you choose. The key here is that this reward only happens if you have actually done the work beforehand, don’t give up and decide to eat that slice of cake anyway after ten minutes because that defeats the point. Also, by doing this you will teach yourself that you don’t need to work for these rewards which won’t help your motivation.
In addition, have longer term rewards. These could be at the end of term, once you have handed in an assignment etc.. Try to think of something you want to buy or do and tell yourself that you can have it once you have finished a particular thing. This way, when you are feeling unmotivated, you can think about the prospect of having this reward for all your hard work.
Buy new stationery
Especially at the start of term buying new stationery and things for your pencil case can be good for getting yourself excited about the start of term so you can use all your new stationery. I especially like Paperchase for pretty stationery but WHSmiths also do a good range of stationery. In addition, having nice stationery that you actually enjoy using should help motivate you during the term.
Hold yourself accountable
If you have a big task coming up, such as planning and writing an assignment, tell someone that you are going to have it done by a specific date (ideally a few days before the specific deadline in case of any last minute problems!). Then break this task up into smaller, more manageable sections and then each time you sit down to do a task tell someone and get them to check that you have finished it before you allow yourself to get distracted. By doing this you should feel more motivated to study because you won’t want to have to tell this person that you haven’t achieved your goal.
Have a break
This might seem hypocritical as I have been stressing the importance of ‘just getting on with it’ if you are feeling unmotivated but sometimes you might just need a break. If you are feeling completely overwhelmed and stressed by all the studying you have to do and want to just hide from it forever then you probably won’t be working productively so there isn’t a lot of point in forcing yourself to study and getting more stressed. If this is the case I would suggest having a day/ afternoon off, making a plan for how to move forward (making sure this consists of small, specific tasks that you can easily tell when you have finished rather than big, vague tasks), doing something completely different, and starting again the next day.
I hope these tips have helped you to get more motivated to study, leave a comment below to tell me what you do when you are feeling unmotivated about studying 🙂