Maintaining motivation to study is a difficult task. Sometimes, you can find yourself down in the dumps, with no motivation and completely unproductive.
However, having these peaks and dips in motivation and productivity is completely normal. Even the best and most productive students lose motivation sometimes!
But what successful students do differently is that they recognize their lack of motivation and take steps to get back on track.
If you’ve had trouble staying or getting motivated to study, then this is the post for you. Learn the most effective steps to motivate yourself to get back to studying, and become a more successful student today!
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Give yourself a pep talk
Sometimes, a small pep talk is the most effective way to cheer yourself up and calm yourself down. If your demotivation is because of stress and overwhelm, a pep talk could be all that you need to get back on your feet.
So when you find yourself procrastinating and avoiding your studies, sit back and give yourself a small pep talk. Think of your goals and how you’d like to achieve them, and repeat affirmations like “I can do it, this is simple, this will get me closer to my goals,” etc.
Make a list or two
If you are overwhelmed by seemingly a lot of things to do, try making a to-do list. Break down all the big tasks into smaller, actionable steps, and list out everything you need to tackle.
Be careful not to under-list (where you don’t put some tasks because they’re relatively small) or over-list (where you list out every single thing you do during the day).
Instead, simply list out the things you need to do that are not daily habits or routines. For example:
- Homework assignments
- Part of a long-term project
- An important email you have to reply to
- An application you need to fill out
- Plans you have to make
- Anything specific and important
If you’d like to go the extra mile, you can also create a not-to-do list to prevent distractions. On this list, you’ll write down possible distractions like:
- Watching a drama
- Going on Instagram
- Going on YouTube
- Taking a nap
Though it may seem overwhelming to have a (potentially large) list of things you need to do, once you complete it– and you will, it will give you a great sense of achievement. All you need to do is get started.
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Work with a friend
Working in a group can sometimes be distracting, but other times, it can be extremely beneficial. Your friends– especially if you’re working on similar tasks– can act as a source of motivation and increase your productivity while still being relaxed.
Simply host a study session at a library or café (or even on FaceTime or Discord if you have to stay virtual), bring your homework and supplies, and study together.
Having a friend next to you can be comforting and motivating, and you can help each other out when you come across difficult problems.
Lastly, a friend can help keep you focused on your work. Whenever either or any of you get distracted, the other(s) can point it out and get you back on track.
Set up a workspace
Sometimes, facing a cluttered and disorganized desk is all it takes to demotivate you from studying. If your workspace is a mess, you’ll not only have trouble physically finding enough space to do work, but mentally struggle to focus, too.
Therefore, make it a habit to routinely clean and organize your workspace. Use desk organizers to store pens and highlighters, and shelves and trays to place small items. Throw away all the useless things and organize everything else.
Your study space should be a comfortable place for you to stay in, especially since you’ll be doing high-maintenance work there for long periods of time. So figure out how you could customize it to your liking, and keep it so!
If you’d like to see a detailed guide with exact steps to organize your desk, check out this post:
Take a break
If you’re feeling unmotivated due to burning out and overworking yourself, it’s time to take a break. Even the most productive students take breaks routinely, and you need to learn how and when to take breaks to be more productive overall.
While studying, you can implement the Pomodoro method– study for 25 minutes, and rest for 5. I like to customize this a little, where I complete one or two tasks on my to-do list (that will take be 25-40 minutes), then take a small break.
Find what system works best for you (it will take some trial-and-error), then follow it strictly. Taking breaks is totally okay, but you just have to learn how to manage your time correctly to maximize productivity while taking breaks.
Just do it
Lastly, if all else fails, you simply need to start. Forcing yourself to study is almost never a good idea, but for some people and at certain times, it’s the only method that works.
If you’ve been procrastinating for a long time, realize that you need to stop, yet just can’t bring yourself to do it, take a deep breath and just do it.
Force yourself to sit down at your desk (or wherever you need to be) and put away your phone or other distracting items, and get working.
I’ve tried this method before, and I found that once you start and persist for 10 minutes, you can usually push through until you complete what needs to get done.
I hope this post was helpful and that you managed to learn a new way of motivating yourself to study! Remember that having highs and lows in motivation and productivity is completely normal, and all you need to do is to build the right habits and follow the right steps.
Leave a comment below with how you motivate yourself to study when you don’t feel like it! And if you’re looking for more posts like this, check these out: