Whether it's in the workplace, in sport or to lose weight, getting motivated is one thing, STAYING that way is quite another. So it stands to reason that studying is absolutely no different.
We all start out in our studies with good intentions: revision plans, post-it notes, carefully arranged stationery and so on. And then somehow it can all begin to unravel. To help you keep your eye on the prize and achieve what you want to in your studies this year, here’s our guide to how to stay motivated.
List What You Want to Achieve – and Why
This is it: ground zero. The definition of motivation is literally: "a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way". So if you want to make sure that you’re going to achieve a particular academic goal or objective you need to carefully list the reasons behind it.
Do you want to get an A in your A Level Biology so you can study medicine at university? Or to get a diploma in PA skills in order to land that job as a personal assistant? Or is it just for the sheer love of learning the subject? Whatever your reasons are, write them out and pin them somewhere prominent in your study space. They’ll help keep you going when you’re feeling down.
Nibble at the Elephant
Sometimes we fail at things because we get daunted by the size of them and ultimately become overwhelmed and disheartened. The trick to overcoming almost all large, long-term projects is to break them down into manageable, bite-sized chunks (as part of an initial plan) and then keep a constantly updated tally, timeline or progress list of where you’ve got to as you go along. Having a sense of achievement is perhaps the best of all ways to keep motivated.
Don’t Be Too Rigid – and Be Fair on Yourself
Having goals and sticking to them is important. But realising when you need to change direction is, too. There’s no point stubbornly pursuing a revision plan if you’re struggling to keep up with it, and floundering with a workload (especially a self-imposed one) is a quick way to feel de-energised and flat.
On a related note: don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself a break – particularly if you’ve done something good like passing a test or mock exam or doing well in a piece of coursework. The grind of studying day after day without downtime or fun can be... a real downer.
Make it Fun
And speaking of fun... Introducing games and a sense of enjoyment into any project is likely to combat any creeping lack of motivation. Studying doesn’t have to be hard or boring; games can be really effective as a revision technique to help you learn and keep you focused.
Get Your Friends to Help You Along
Having a friend (or friends) to support you is a major part of keeping motivated. Creating a sense of a shared burden can be really helpful not only in in spurring each other on, but in relieving any pressure that might build up as exams loom.
Like our quick guide to how to stay motivated when studying? For more study tips, check out our pick of memory improvements tips.