Does this sound familiar?
It’s time to get some studying done. You get to your study space and all is ready for you to begin. Just as you’re about to start, you hear a loud ‘ping’ that you can’t ignore. You want to, but you simply can’t resist looking at your device and reading this notification. You quickly decide that your study motivation is so high, it will only take a few seconds for you to read this notification, and then you’ll dive into your studies. No harm done.
You glance at your device and read that “the long-awaited series everyone’s been waiting for is now out on Netflix.” You feel compelled to check it out for a few minutes to see what all the hype is about. Suffering from a fear of missing out, you decide to check out the trailer. If it’s good, you’ll watch an episode later after you’re done studying. If it’s bad, you’ve only lost a few minutes. No harm done.
You begin watching the trailer and after 30 seconds, it seems impossible for you to resist the allure of this new Netflix series. You decide that watching one 45-minute episode can’t hurt, so you settle in and get comfy with the remote in one hand and your favourite beverage in the other. 45 minutes later, the cliffhanger they left you on is just so sweet, there’s no way you can live without watching episode 2 immediately. Before you know it, several hours have slipped by and your studies have been untouched.
Panic sets in as you’re reminded of looming deadlines that suddenly seem more significant than the fleeting pleasure of basking in the afterglow of binge-watching a Netflix series.
If so, you’re not alone. De-motivation and procrastination are quite common traits of learning.
Since the pandemic, we all have suffered from a lack of motivation & or procrastination at some point. Lockdown has left us feeling lethargic, and lacking lustre. Yet, since the pandemic, online learning has become more accessible and acceptable online. This makes it more convenient to study anywhere at any time.
Despite the current convenience of studying, procrastination and life’s commitments can mess with your study motivation.
If you can relate to any of the above, you’re not alone. Don’t panic, we’ve got you!
This post will give you some easy, actionable ideas to help boost your study motivation and conquer your study goals in 6 simple & effective steps.
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1. Focus on one thing at a time
Focus is key to success. Trying to multitask usually ends in frustration, disappointment, and a whole lot of wasted time. Instead of completing something, you’re busy being distracted by everything. Improve your focus by making a note of what you want to accomplish every time you sit down to study. Having something in writing solidifies your goal and helps you maintain focus. Refer to your note whenever you feel tempted by distractions and the appeal of starting something new. If what you’re doing doesn’t help get you to your goal, don’t do it. Focus only on what moves you forward towards what you want to achieve. Whether it’s researching a topic, reading a chapter, writing an essay, or studying for an exam, focus is the key to success.
BONUS READ: How To Manage Your Mindset To Increase Your Motivation & Concentration When Learning Online
2. Strengthen your self-discipline & study habits
“Self-discipline is the ability to push yourself forward, stay motivated, and take action, regardless of how you’re feeling, physically or emotionally.”
If you want something badly enough you’ll need to challenge yourself and be self-disciplined in order to get it. Take simple steps towards becoming more self-disciplined and you’ll be setting yourself up for a life of success.
Stepping up to the challenge of becoming more self-disciplined may involve changing your study habits. Habits compliment self-discipline perfectly because once they’re established, they don’t need willpower to be maintained.
Harness your study habits by:
- Remembering the reason. why you began studying in the first place. Did you want to get a better job/standard of living? Make your family/yourself proud? Advance your education? Whatever your reason, use it to motivate you into making a change and improving your study habits.
- Stick to a solid study routine. Do you like studying early before others wake? Or do you prefer studying late after everyone else is asleep? Whatever routine works for you, stick with it because, “if it ain’t broke, then don’t try to fix it.”
- Without challenge, there’s no change. Challenge yourself to have good study habits. Write down your goals related to good study habits and tell others who you trust to help hold you accountable.
- Study, sleep, eat, repeat. The more you repeat the positive acts associated with studying, the more likely they will become a habit and the less likely you will be to become de-motivated.
BONUS READ: How to Stop Procrastinating and Start Working
3. Eliminate clutter & chaos
Having a clutter-free environment helps to have a clutter-free mind. A mind that is free of clutter is more susceptible to learning that sticks long-term. Simple steps like removing rubbish from around you, organising your study space, closing unnecessary internet browsers, switching your phone off and putting it out of sight, will work wonders in helping you to clear your study space and clear your mind. This clarity provides the platform for you to learn and retain more for longer periods.
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4. Start slow & steady
Starting can be the biggest obstacle to overcome when you need to get a job done. This is especially true if you’re exhausted after working all day, focussing on your family, or both. The easiest thing to do when you don’t want to do anything at all is to simply start. This is especially true when you need to write something like an essay. It doesn’t have to make sense at first, but it will come together eventually after you edit it. just do something. Remember, a blank page tells no tales. However, even if you write rubbish initially, at least you’ve written something down which you can edit later and transform into a masterpiece. If you’re struggling to start memorising or reading, don’t despair. Eventually, you’ll gain momentum and things will fall into place. If you find that nothing is sticking initially, do a bit of exercise, clear your head and then tackle it again. Try using the Pomodoro technique. In short, the Pomodoro encourages you to focus on your task for 25-minute intervals with 5-minute breaks between each study session. Before you know it, you’ll be moving like lightning for longer than 25 minutes. If you find yourself getting distracted by wayward thoughts while using the Pomodoro, it helps to write them down. This de-clutters your brain and helps you to remain focused on your studies.
5. Enjoy gentle exercise like walking
Walking is an excellent way to boost your study motivation when you’re feeling down and out. Although you can walk to a YouTube video if the weather is horrid, walking is especially excellent if you are surrounded by nature. However, if you’re not surrounded by the sounds of birds chirping, or brooks babbling, you can still enjoy some fresh air to energise your body and rejuvenate your brain.
Gentle exercise like walking, has great benefits, such as:
- Increased endorphins, the chemicals that improve your mood and boost motivation.
- Improved mental health, (which we all could use in these trying times).
- Better cognitive function, which includes memory, learning, attention, decision making, and language abilities.
- More oxygen to your brain, thereby eliminating brain fog and lingering fatigue.
- Enhanced memory
- Maximises momentum. Once you start walking, you’re more inclined to remain active and get your studies done. Remember, objects in motion tend to stay in motion.
Exercise also reduces:
- Social anxiety
BONUS READ: Successful Self-Care Strategies to Improve Mental Health & Decrease Burnout/Self-Doubt
6. Eat your Frog
“Eat Your Frog”. No, I don’t mean that you have to eat a frog, literally… unless frogs are a delicacy that you enjoy. Eating your frog is simply a way of saying that you achieve more if you do the hardest, most important task of the day first. This makes all your other tasks easier to accomplish. In the case of studying, decide what is the hardest/most important task you need to complete in each study session and focus on that. When you’ve finished “eating your frog” give yourself a small treat and bask in your accomplishment. This will motivate you to tackle other things on your to-do list confidently and enthusiastically.
Boosting your study motivation may seem difficult and depressing, but it’s not impossible. Sticking to these 6 simple & super steps will maximise your study motivation in no time.
- Focus on one thing at a time
- Strengthen your self-discipline & study habits
- Eliminate clutter & chaos
- Start slow & steady
- Enjoy gentle exercise like walking
- Eat Your Frog
As said before, despite the current convenience of studying, procrastination and life’s commitments can mess with your study motivation. Applying some or all of the above tips can help to make life a whole less messy.