When you’re sitting at home with everyday household distractions fighting for your attention, it can be hard to find motivation to just sit down and study. Let’s face it–there’s so many things you’d rather be doing than studying. You know it’s important to study, but you just can’t seem to find the motivation to start.
It’s a common phenomenon that many students experience and it can be especially hindering when you’re an online learner studying from home. If you’re looking for ways to gain motivation to study, here are some things you can try to get into the study zone.
Establish a comfortable, distraction-free environment
The kind of environment you’re in can make all the difference when it comes to studying. Putting yourself in a space where you are surrounded by distractions is a great way to lose focus quickly, and not retain information. You might find that studying in a more neutral place, such as a local library or coffee shop allows you to focus and get your studying done.
Wherever you choose to study, it’s always best practice to stay away from distractions whenever possible. Try putting your phone in another room, or shutting it off completely while you study so you aren’t tempted to go on social media, for example. If being away from distractions isn’t possible for you, like if you’re studying at home with kids, try your best to create a comfortable environment where you’ll be able to devote all your attention to studying.
When you accomplish a big task, such as completing a study session, you should consider rewarding yourself for your hard work. You can do this however will work for you–maybe you watch an episode of your favorite show or you buy yourself something fun. Whatever you choose, rewarding yourself after studying will encourage you to complete your tasks and motivate you to study.
Study with friends
Getting a group of friends together to study–whether in-person or virtually–is an effective and easy way to motivate yourself to study. Studying with friends is not only fun, but may also help you to retain information.
Studying for long periods of time can quickly become mentally exhausting, and is actually shown to be an extremely ineffective way to study. When you’re mentally exhausted, you won’t retain information and you won’t want to study because you’ll associate the act of studying with exhaustion. So, studying for hours non-stop may seem like the best way to learn, but it actually does more harm than good. This is why it’s important to take breaks when studying. You can set a time for every 25 minutes, for example, to take a few minutes to stretch or take a walk–anything that will give your brain a break. You’ll be able to retain information better this way as well.
Remind yourself of your long-term goals
Getting in the habit of not studying will quickly lead to failed classes, which will result in you having to retake them and extend your time until you graduate. When you spend everyday going to class and doing assignments, it can be hard to remember the bigger picture. To motivate yourself to study, remind yourself of why you wanted to get your degree in the first place. Now, remember that if you don’t make an effort to study and succeed in your classes, you will not be able to achieve that goal.
Set specific and measurable goals
When you sit down to study, be specific about what exactly you’re going to study and for how long. This way, you won’t get caught up wasting time flipping through textbook pages wondering what you should focus on–choose your specific subject before you sit down to study. You can start small with the timing of your studying session, but you’ll eventually want to work your way up to periods of time that allow you to understand the content the most effectively.
Figure out why you’re feeling unmotivated
Feelings of being unmotivated can come out of nowhere and can be caused by a variety of reasons, so it can be difficult to know exactly why you are feeling the way you are. But, if you can figure out why you feel unmotivated, you can take actions to fix it and prevent it in the future. You can reach out to professors or academic advisors to try and find a solution.
Try out different studying techniques
If you’re struggling to find information to study, it might be because you aren’t using the right technique for your learning method. There are many different techniques for studying, and not all techniques are going to work for every student. It’s important to experiment with the different methods so you can understand what works best for you. Here are some techniques you can try:
- The Feynman Technique: The Feynman Technique works by trying to explain a concept you are trying to understand in simple terms. When we try to explain something in our own words, we are more likely to understand that information.
- Spacing out study sessions: Like mentioned above, studies have shown that studying for long periods of time non-stop is an ineffective studying technique. It’s best to take short breaks in-between sessions. This will help you retain information and be able to study longer.
- Self-quizzing: You can help yourself learn information by quizzing yourself . You can do this by using an online studying tool or by using flashcards.
When you find a method of studying that works best for you, stick to it. You’ll eventually build a structured studying routine and be able to get into the habit of studying everyday. When you’re in the habit of studying, you won’t have to find motivation for it, and it will quickly become natural.