You plan your timetable meticulously, keep all the stationery ready and find the perfect time to study, but when you are actually about to start, you lack the motivation to merely glance at the textbook. Or even if you do, it doesn’t last longer than 10 minutes. You are then consumed by the urge to check social media, text your friends or watch a show. And so the cycle repeats itself.
Are you familiar with this experience? We’ve all been there. Not being able to focus while studying can be extremely frustrating. But remember, not everyone is motivated throughout the day. It is okay not to be pumped up about studies all the time. All you need is a little help — a few tried-and-tested tips and tricks to put you back into study mode.
If you study while sitting on your bed or on the couch in front of the TV, here’s your cue to stop. Set aside a corner of your home for studying, away from all possible distractions. If you have a study table but you barely use it, that’s mostly because it’s messy and disorganised. Such an environment barely sets the tone for studying.
A comfortable chair in a place that has minimal distractions can surely help you focus better. Over a period of time, your mind will eventually start associating that spot exclusively with productivity, focus and learning. So, the next time you sit down to study, clear your desk. Keep your phone away, remove any object that could meddle with your attention and place only the essentials on your desk. If you are studying online, close all the unwanted tabs and block any unnecessary websites that you might feel tempted to check.
This trick often works like a charm because when you go out on a walk, you are exercising while experiencing a much-needed change in the environment.
What happens when you exercise? Endorphins are pumped into your bloodstream! This hormone erases the lingering fatigue and brain fog, restoring focus and improving your mood.
A study by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) showed that exercise also stimulates the production of hormones that elevate our ability to learn and memorise. So, a nice 30-minute walk might be just what you need to focus on studying. It nudges you in the right direction, getting you back on the productivity track.
3. Go Easy in the Beginning
It’s definitely not a great idea to start with the most challenging chapters at a time when you are already struggling to focus. The next time you find yourself in such a situation, go over the previous chapter you recently studied or choose a topic that you know will be easy for you to learn. By doing this, you will not only keep the momentum going but also be able to focus better.
If you have done your fair share of research on effective study techniques, you would’ve surely come across the Pomodoro technique. This method is lauded by students across the world as one of the most effective ways to overcome procrastination.
The Pomodoro technique is essentially a time management strategy designed by Francesco Cirillo. It is based on working in 25-minute intervals. This method eliminates resistance and improves concentration, thanks to the short 25-minute block of time. Here’s how you can implement this method to boost your motivation:
Pro tip: Keep a piece of paper handy to note down the thoughts that distract you while studying. Say, you suddenly remember to send an email or that you need to get milk or remind a friend about something — write it down. Doing this will ensure that you remember that thought, preventing the diversion of your attention from the task at hand.
All work and no play means you will find your motivation and focus fading in a very short period of time. Thus, it is important to treat yourself to something you love once in a while. You can pick anything — an episode of your favourite show, an hour of gaming or even a scoop of a new ice cream flavour. Perhaps you could get an hour of gaming for studying three chapters or you buy yourself some fries for successfully finishing a challenging topic.
In addition to the above-mentioned tips, setting S.M.A.R.T goals for yourself is one of the easiest and most effective ways to motivate yourself to study.
What do you do when you are demotivated? Do share in the comments below!
1. Why do I feel unmotivated to study?
Students may feel unmotivated due to lack of sleep or the pressure of excelling in academia. Students can get into the study mode by going on a walk, following a regular schedule, or by studying the difficult concepts first.
2. How can I study without forgetting?
Taking regular breaks while studying can help your brain to absorb what you've learned. You can also try visual or verbal memorisation techniques like mnemonics or mindmaps to improve your memory.
3. Which is the best time to study?
There is no decided time that is ideal for studying. While some can focus better early morning, some prefer evenings or nights. The right time to study depends on a number of factors including sleep routines and the ability to concentrate.
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