“How do you motivate yourself to study?” is one of the most commonly asked questions by students. The interesting thing about that question is that most people presume that being motivated should be as easy as turning a tap on and off. However, the reality of motivation is something very different!
As much as we’d love to tell that motivating yourself to study is simple, that’s not always the case. And we’re sure you’re well aware of that! Inspiration, enthusiasm and high energy levels can be seldom sighted in your life unless you have a true passion for what you are doing with your time.
So instead of acting like motivation should come easily to you, we are going to provide you with some wisdom that has been provided by students just like you. Here are six tips you can use to move your study forward – especially when you don’t feel like studying!
Become very aware of your thoughts. Worry, concern, panic and full blown freak-outs do not serve you well when you need to locate your motivation. When we don’t feel motivated, we tend to spend more time worrying and procrastinating than we do taking action. But these things are poor uses of our time. We have thousands of conscious thoughts every day. Thoughts such as “What’s for breakfast?” or “Dude, where’s my car?” or even “I will never get this study or assignment done on time!” Thoughts such as these must be carefully monitored and controlled. Why? Well, if you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t. It really is that simple. Start changing the way you think by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Use thoughts like “I can do this” or “I’m always making progress” or “I always get work done on time!” The more you say these things to yourself the more they will become ingrained in your psyche.
Visualize yourself taking action and having success. We all know that the best athletes in the world visualize themselves achieving great things, so you can do it too! Think about yourself doing all your homework, getting your assignment in on time and acing the next test or exam. Then visualize what it feels like to achieve this. Think about how awesome it will be when you ace everything and don’t have a care in the world! Do this over and over and over again.
Take baby steps. If you look at an assignment or a task in its entirety it often looks massive! That’s why you need to chop things up and take small actions – consistently. If you think “I have to work hard for five hours to get this done” you will not be motivated to get started. But if you think “I will do 30 minutes of work now and then have a break for 30 minutes” then you are making progress. Do that a few times and you’re done! Keep in mind that you have to take action to achieve a result. Even lottery winners actually buy a ticket you know! If you have to write a 1000 word essay then start by writing just 50 words. That’s only one paragraph! You don’t have to write it all in one go you know! Worry will only disappear when you take action. So do something (anything) and remember that repetition is your friend.
Surround yourself with study buddies. If you can find others who are experiencing similar things to you there is no doubt it will help calm you down and see that you are not alone. But the best part is that study buddies will give you their own words of wisdom and tips about how to get the work done (not to mention hold you accountable for getting it done!) It is highly motivating when you team up with others and make a commitment to getting the task done.
Remind yourself that you’re closer to the end that you’ve ever been. One of the biggest challenges for students is not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You’ve been studying and working hard for years and you still have a few years ahead of you. You’ve done mountains of work in your lifetime but more work just keeps piling up. It’s relentless! Well, you need to take a deep breath. Every day brings you closer to the end – of your studying days! Every time you study for an hour or hand in an assignment or complete a test you have moved forward. You won’t have to do that again and you’ve knocked down one obstacle in your way. Every action you take brings you closer to your destination. The light at the end of the tunnel is coming.
Set up a personal stick and carrot routine. Warning! This one will work better for some than others. Establish a goal for what you are going to get done each day. For example, you might say “I am going to get my Maths homework done and write the first two paragraphs on my History paper.” Now, if you complete the goal you get to have the reward. The reward could be eating pizza or ice-cream, or watching television, or buying yourself a new song for your iPod, or going out to see a movie with friends (or a combination of many things). But make sure your rewards are important and desirable to you. If you didn’t do as you promised yourself, then you get nothing. Nothing at all. You can’t watch television, stuff your face with sweets or spend time with your friends. But if you do complete your goals you can do whatever you please! Granted, this routine does require a serious level of self-discipline, but if you master it you will find that motivation comes very easily to you.
There are many ways to motivate yourself to study. The most important thing about motivation is to find what works for you and start taking action every day.