Nobody particularly enjoys school work and it’s hard finding motivation to study. It’s the one thing that makes everyone procrastinate. If you continuously put it off however, it’s only going to kill your dreams. This is especially if your dream is to go and graduate from university.
I’m probably the biggest procrastinator that I know, but luckily, I have some tips that I use to stay motivated. I use these when studying is the last thing I want to do.
Think about your goal, and think about it a lot.
So, as before, say that your goal is to go to a particular university. You know that you’re going to need certain grades to attend. By putting off studying, you’re only decreasing your chances of achieving these grades. The thought of not attending your dream school should really encourage you to at least go and do a small amount of studying. If it doesn’t, then you need to consider if it’s really what you want at all. If you’re not willing to work for it then it’s most likely not what you really want.
Set yourself a time schedule
A couple of days a week, I finish school early to attend my tutor sessions. On these days, once I get back, I study for a few hours. After I give myself a half an hour break in which I eat and just quickly catch up with my family. Then I go back to studying for a little longer. This allows me to get in almost 5 hours of revision and after 7pm, I have the night to myself. This allows me to shower, keep up with my blog, talk to my friends etc. If you don’t have a schedule/routine then you’re likely to do around an hour a day if not less because you feel like you don’t need to.
Have a list of things you need to work on
This one is actually a really helpful one and it surprised me when I realised it! If you don’t know what you need to focus on then you end up being too kind to yourself. You think you know more than you do so you do less work. If you have a clear view of what you need to work on then you can plan your time around those topics. You end up spending more time studying because you’ll want to understand the topics. I recommend writing these topics down on paper because if you try to do it mentally then it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll forget at least one thing. I can almost guarantee it’ll be one thing that you do not want to forget.
A tip linked to this is to not move on before you understand. You may think you have the gist of something but that doesn’t translate to understanding! Once you’ve read and researched a topic, do some exam questions on it to test yourself. This is very beneficial as you’re 1) spending more time on studying. 2) improving your exam technique and 3) finding out if you really understand. This should keep you motivated because personally, I think it’s such a good feeling. When you check the answer of a question, and you got it right, it’s great. I always want to get that boost!
Listen to music
I always have more motivation to study when I listen to music. I prefer to choose gentler songs to listen to when revising. Many tips say to choose songs without lyrics but I find myself skipping songs more than studying. Instead I choose soft pop songs and I prefer to listen to ones which I don’t know the lyrics to. This is beneficial for me because then I can’t sing along but I’m blocking out external distractions that I didn’t know were there! Time just seems to go so much quicker when I listen to music and I’m much more productive because I’m in a better mood!
Break it up into very small time slots
If the thought of long hours of revision is what puts you off then break it into smaller time slots, such as 15-30 minutes. Knowing that you only have to do 15 minutes before you get a little break has proved to show more motivation to study- you unconsciously end up being more productive to finish the specific task in the time slot.
It’s also been scientifically proven that spending smaller periods of studying with regular breaks is more effective than spending 3 hours studying with no breaks. Also when you spend long hours studying, smaller tasks take you longer. You know that you have hours to do the task. If you take longer to do the task then you fill the hours quicker. In all honesty though, productivity is more important than the time you spend studying. One hours worth of exam questions could be more helpful than 4 hours worth of making pretty revision cards. Now before I get attacked, revision cards are very good tools. They will be worth the 4 hours but only if you use them! I can’t count the amount of times I’ve spend ages making flash cards only to never look at them again. Unfortunately, they don’t work for me. Find what works for you.
Don’t just read the book!
Don’t make it boring for yourself! If you can’t focus by just taking notes from a book then find a new way to study. YouTube has a mass amount of videos that cover all kinds of subjects and topics and many of them are only 15 minutes! When I use YouTube I make sure that I’m actively taking notes while watching to make sure that I don’t zone out but if you feel that you will stay engaged then use that as your way to study! Motivation to study can be found in all different forms!
If you prefer learning by listening then record yourself or someone else saying the things you need to learn then listen to it over and over again, even if you aren’t actively listening every time, it will subconsciously go into your long-term memory.
Don’t get burnt out
Don’t understand something no matter how many times you’ve gone over it? Give yourself a break and take some time for self care. Everyone has bad days, you just need to think about how you’re going to handle it. You can always ask a friend or someone else to explain it to you or you can just try again the next day after you rest your mind. Make sure you take care of yourself because the better you feel, the better your brain will work. Always leave time so you have something relaxing to do before bed whether it’s watching a tv show/movie or using your favourite face mask while you have a hot chocolate. I wouldn’t recommend studying until the minute you go to bed or else it’s just going to be where your mind doesn’t settle and you’re losing sleep. Always save time to care for yourself.
I hope these tips help at least some you in any way! Please share your best tip to stay motivated in the comments below! Where do you find motivation to study?