Staying motivated during study can be tough
Here a few handy tips and tricks that will help you stay motivated throughout your studies.
Keeping motivated throughout your studies is one of the toughest, and most important, things that you’ll struggle with in life. Studying is valuable for a number of reasons, least of all that it helps prepare us for better jobs in the future.
Staying motivated doesn’t have to be an epic struggle against procrastination, exhaustion, boredom and everything else that life throws at us. If you’ve been out of the habit of studying for a while, it can be difficult to return to the grind. There are a few simple tricks that you can take on board to help you keep up your motivation even throughout the most boring study session.
Prepare your Environment
In order to get a solid study session happening, you need to have the right environment. It doesn’t really matter where you choose to study, as long as the environment is conducive to your own study habits.
Setting up a desk in a quiet place at home is a good idea, especially if you’re going to be studying for a couple of years. Make sure you have a comfortable chair and plenty of room on your desk to get your textbook, notepad, and other study materials prepared.
If you’ll be spending a lot of time studying online, it pays to invest in a keyboard and mouse that aren’t going to give you any trouble. Additionally, setting up your monitor to display at the correct angle will ease any neck or back problems you may encounter.
Some people find it easier to study in a café or a library. If this is you, then you’ll need to find somewhere reasonably quiet and roomy that will help you focus on your work. Make sure to pick a location where you won’t run into any of your friends – that’s always a huge distraction.
Use the Right Supplies
You don’t want to get into the middle of a study session and realise you don’t have a highlighter, post-it notes or a red pen. Get all the gear you’ll need to study with, and make sure it’s of reasonable quality. There’s nothing worse than having to make do with sub-par materials, such as a 15cm ruler when you’re trying to do technical drawing.
Having a close supply of water and snacks will also help you keep motivated throughout your studies. Steadily sipping on water throughout your study session will keep your brain hydrated and at maximum working capacity. Additionally, some nutritious snacks such as nuts, fruit or muesli bars will keep you going far more effectively than fast food or fatty food, which will often leave you feeling sleepy after a short burst of energy.
Remove all Distractions
In order to keep motivated throughout your studies, you need to reduce the number of distractions in your immediate environment. This means switching off that mobile phone! There’s nothing more damaging to a solid study session than constantly interrupting your train of thought with alerts from your phone.
Switch it off or leave it on silent. Better yet, leave it in a separate room. If you’ve got needy friends, let them know that certain times of certain days are dedicated to study, no exceptions. The only reason you should be using your mobile phone during study sessions is if you’re using study apps.
If you can, switch off your computer. While most modern education courses require the use of a computer, there is nothing more distracting than the world of social media and online news. Staying up to date with celebrity gossip won’t get you that degree or qualification. If you need to take a break, go for a walk, wash the dishes or do something that doesn’t involve surfing the web.
Wearing comfortable clothes is an often over-looked, but important aspect to studying effectively. If you regularly have to tug down your skirt or adjust a tight shirt, it’s going to make you uncomfortable and cause constant distractions.
Additionally, make sure your body is ready for study. If you have long hair, tie it back so it’s not falling into your eyes. Remove lose jewellery so it’s not getting in the way, especially if it’s on your wrists.
Goals are the key to achieving anything. Getting into the habit of setting and smashing goals will help you go a long way in life. If you’ve written down your goals, looking back after some time and seeing what you’ve achieved is a great way to keep motivated throughout your studies.
Set clear, definable goals. Rather than something vague like “start that assignment”, make a clear goal such as “write 500 words on that assignment by 6pm”. If it helps, break your big goals down into smaller, achievable chunks. It may seem like you’re spending a lot of time planning, but it really pays off.
The next most important aspect of goal-setting is rewarding yourself. When you achieve something you’ve set out to do, give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself. Whether that’s a walk, listening to a song, watching a new movie trailer or playing games, rewards are a great way to keep motivated throughout your studies.
Keep in mind that if your reward comes during a study session, you need to set a strict time limit to get back into study. Sometimes it’s best to leave time-consuming rewards until after your study is complete for the day.
It’s easy to get down on yourself when you’re struggling to understand certain concepts or feeling worn out. Just remember that you’re doing this for a reason. Whether that’s to get a better job, tick something off your bucket list, or finally earn a qualification, you have to have a reason that keeps you going.
It’s difficult to get the confidence to return to study after a long time out of it, especially if you’re in the middle of a semester and you’re a few weeks behind. However, if you visualize how you’ll feel and where you’ll be when you’ve finally finished, it will become much easier.
Set a Study Schedule
A study schedule is one of the best ways to stay up to date and avoid those stressful last-minute cramming sessions. Keep it basic, and make sure that you’re realistic about what you can achieve on certain days.
Most of us don’t have a whole lot of free time, so don’t schedule in things like “read a novel about this subject” over a week’s time. Be realistic and make sure your schedule has a focus on getting you through assessments.
The worst way to ruin good progress in a course is to procrastinate. We all do it, far more than we should. It’s hard to keep motivated throughout your studies, and procrastinating is one of the best ways to ensure you won’t perform as well as you could.
Strict timelines, simple goals, and some serious discipline will help you avoid procrastination.
If you’re ready to take the leap and get that qualification you’ve always wanted, get in touch with us. We’ll chat about your options and help you plan a career path that suits you.
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