How often do you get that feeling, whilst lying in bed on a Saturday or curled up on the sofa after school, of “I’m so comfy. I don’t really need to study today. I’ll get up early and do it tomorrow”? I’m sure it’s happened to everybody at least once in their student lifetime, and even happens to a lot of students on a regular basis. But the question is how to overcome that lazy sensation and just get on with it.
Although skipping one day of study can seem harmless at the time, if this occurs too often it just leads to a “to-do” list as long as your arm and that overwhelming sensation you get when there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. So break the habit! Here are 8 little tricks you can try to become more self-motivated and keep on track when it comes to study.
- Visualise the outcome – Picturing yourself finishing that essay or getting a great mark in an exam is one of the best forms of motivation, because it’s tailored to you!
- Make a study schedule – This little trick may not work for everyone, but it seems that a lot of people are unable to ignore a task or chore if they’ve physically written it down as a job to do on a specific day. So make a date of it! Thursday, 4-6pm: Physics study. Chapters 1 through ’till 3.
- Panic yourself – Break every job down into multiple parts. This has two benefits; the first is the long “to-do” list effect and the second is the feeling of achievement as you work down that list. The long “to-do” list effect is when you feel like you have so much to do that you panic, causing the adrenaline to kick in. This is perfect for those of you who usually only study the night before an exam, because this is the moment when the panic sets in. The visual aid of a really long list of tasks works as the kick you need to get yourself into that panic mode sooner than usual, and therefore start working. The additional feeling of achievement as you race through the list works as a self-motivator. By breaking down your jobs into parts, you create tasks that take little to no time at all and this will help you to feel good about yourself and want to study more when you manage to tick off 5 things from your list in one day.
- Plan a chill day – Knowing that if you complete all your tasks, you’ll be able to go out with your friends or laze around in your pjs all Sunday, without feeling guilty or panicked, can be a good motivator. Always plan to finsh your studies a day before the exam or due date. This way, if you’re on schedule, you’re allowed a chill day and if you’re not, you have an extra day to complete a task.
- Get out in nature – I don’t know what it is about taking a walk through the countryside, but it really promotes positive feelings in me and consequently allows me to make healthier and smarter decisions, such as getting any studying done, later on in the day.
- Make your environment inviting – Whether this means taking your book outside on a sunny day, opening the window to let a warm breeze in or lighting some candles and putting the music on low on a drizzly day, make sure that you want to go and study. If your bedroom or office is a mess and looks uninviting, it’s just another reason you’ll use to convince yourself not to study.
- Take it to the library – This one isn’t so much a way to self-motivate, but more putting yourself in a situation where there’s just nothing better to do! Leave your phone and laptop at home, so as to make sure you’ll have no distractions and that way once you get to the library, studying won’t seem like such a bad option, because it’s that or sit there looking out of place and feeling bored.
- Competition – Everyone knows that for a lot of people it’s competition that will force you to work harder. So start a friendly competition with a mate and see who can get a better mark, or push yourself to be better than that know-it-all a******e in your class. Whatever works for you.
Hope this helps. Just remember that you’re studying for you, to improve yourself and brighten your future.
For more ideas on self-motivation, try the following books: