Finding it hard to get study motivation? Have a big test coming up but just not motivated to study? Fallen back on your classes but still not able to get yourself to pick up the books?
Well you’re not the only one feeling this way. Whether you are currently a student studying in school or an adult picking up new knowledge, all of us have experienced lack of motivation to study. This is especially so when the subject you’re studying interests you as much as watching paint dry!
Fortunately, with will power, determination and some simple tips & techniques, anyone can turn their dislike into study motivation.
Studying can be fun, interesting and exciting. Never label studying as “boring”, “painful” or “uncomfortable”. That way you’ll be pre-framing yourself negatively even before you start. You’d have lost the battle before it even began. In fact, don’t even call it a battle.
Studying is a meaningful journey of discovery.
Useful Study Motivation Tips
1. Be Curious – get interested in the subject you’re studying
When you’re interested in the subject you’re studying, things become so much easier. You’ll be naturally motivated to learn and read about it. So how do we become interested in what we’re studying? We adopt a curious attitude.
As long as you’re curious enough, anything can be interesting.
Question it, use your imagination, get inside the subject, understand what makes it tick, find out how you can apply it in life, read real life case studies. There are many ways to make a subject interesting when you adopt a curious mindset.
2. Set a schedule and study at the right time
Set a study schedule everyday. It’s good to plan your day in advance. Set a specific time for studying, and a time for playing or relaxing. This way, you won’t worry about ‘missing’ your fun. You may be studying hard now, but you know that later on you’ll be enjoying yourself. So this keeps you focused on studying in the present.
Here’s a tip: When planning your day, it’s always good to study first and have fun later. If you think you should watch some TV or relax a little first before ‘getting down to it’, you’re making a big mistake. Doing that will only make it harder for you to start studying. The first step is always the hardest.
Also when setting study schedules, schedule your studying time at the time of the day where there will be the least distractions. Also choose the time when you’re at your peak state to study. This means obviously not studying after heavy meals (where digestion will make you sleepy) and times where you’ll be tired (ie. late nights).
3. Get started – 5 minute challenge
The hardest part of doing anything is getting started. The first step is always the toughest. After you got that out of the way, it’s all downhill. This is because once you’ve got momentum; it’s easy to keep it going. So it’s vital that you get yourself going in the first place.
This study motivation tip can help you get started. This is what you can do, whenever you’re not motivated to start studying, just plan to study for 5 minutes. That’s it, just 5 minutes. Tell yourself that you’ll be studying seriously for 5 minutes then you’ll stop.
Usually, what happens is after the 5 minutes are up, you would have been well into the swing of things that you’ll want to continue studying longer. Yeah that’s right. It’s quite a cool way to ‘trick’ ourselves. The key here is to make sure that for those 5 minutes you are really studying 100% and not dreaming or getting distracted by other stuff.
4. Stop/start at the fun part
When having to stop for breaks, meals or other activities, plan to stop when you’re at a fun or easier part of the subject. The parts that is more interesting and enjoyable to you. This way, when you continue to study later, it’ll be much easier to get started because you’ll be starting at the fun parts.
5. Remove distractions from your surroundings
Obviously this is very important for your study motivation. When you got the TV, phone, computer, bed, magazines etc nearby, you’ll be easily tempted to throw your books aside. Try to remove as many distractions away from you as possible.
You don’t need strand yourself on an island with only your books. Just make sure that any of these distractions are not near you.
When the remote is right next to you, you’re more likely to pick it up. Same with your phone, laptop etc. But if you have to walk all the way across to another part of the house to watch TV chances are you’ll be less likely to do it.
6. Set a study area – make it as conducive as possible
The environment can play a big part in your study motivation. Imagine studying in a dimly lit, hot and stuffy room with loud music on playing in the corner. Or, in a quiet room, bright, with the right temperature and good air ventilation. Which room would make you feel more motivated to study?
If possible, have a regular study area. Make sure it’s conducive like being well lit, has ventilation, quiet and so on. Place all your notebooks, stationary, reference books in your study area. Make your study area as conducive to studying as possible.
7. Put yourself in a strong motivated state
Take 5 minutes before you start studying to put yourself into the proper state. Turn off any music, sit down, clear your mind and take deep breaths. Say a prayer or do some visualizations and light meditation. Visualize yourself happily studying and clearly understanding what you have learned.
Other methods include pumping yourself up by saying encouraging words and making a fist, and also by using NLP techniques such as anchoring and sub modalities.
8. Set Goals
Setting goals will give you more motivation. When there’s a target to aim at, we’ll be more determined rise up to the challenge and push ourselves to achieve it. The sense of satisfaction from the achievement is also a good confidence booster, and this will further cultivate a studying habit.
Set goals such as for the number of sections / chapters you plan to cover within a period of time, your target grades to score in tests and others.
9. Reward yourself
Finally remember to reward yourself for the job well done. If you’ve stuck to your schedule, didn’t let yourself get distracted and successfully achieved the goals you set out, you deserve a reward for that.
Always reward yourself immediately. It doesn’t even need to be anything major, just simple things like enjoying an ice-cream sundae, watching your favorite TV show or calling friends up to chat. Of course, also give yourself big rewards whenever you have major achievements.
Remember, the toughest part in studying is to get started. As long as you are determined and push yourself to pick up the book, half the battle is already won. With willpower, determination and using the study motivation tips above, getting study motivation shouldn’t be a problem anymore!