Motivation is essential to your success in academia. But the question that inflicts every student today is: how do I motivate myself to study? Lucy Manole aims to tackle this question.
On a slightly separate note — have you ever wondered why no one seems to need any motivation to scour through the internet, reading absolute frivolous stuff? Or why it is easy to watch YouTube videos for hours on end without even moving from their position?
The situation is more drastic that one envisions. After all, the numbers don’t lie. Have a look at these resounding statistics:
According to a survey from 25 major cities in the United States, 69% of the dropouts say the reason for dropping out was due to lack of motivation. In addition to this, Pew Research says, 72% of high school and 78% of college students spend time on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
That said, the internet is not the only reason why so many students feel disengaged from their studies and have to seek motivation to take out their books and study.
It’s important to understand that it’s not technology that leads to demotivation in students; it is the way that technology is utilised that is the cause of serious concern.
But fret not! We have listed some of the most essential strategies that you can use to feel motivated enough to study.
1. Evaluate Why You End Up Procrastinating
You want to weed out the problem. But it is impossible to eliminate the problem unless you know what it is in the first place.
Discover why you are unable to concentrate on your studies and why you always end up procrastinating. Here are some of the common issues plaguing students today:
- You lack confidence and think that your academics are beyond your capabilities
- You want to rebel against your teachers or parents
- The internet and social media consumes most of your time
- The topic is too boring for you
Understanding the root of the problem is the first step to getting motivated. Once you realise the things that have been pulling you back for so long, you would be in a better position to eliminate them.
Spend some time on these issues and reflect on why something as wilful rebellion or social media is not worth it in the end. If you are having a hard time with a topic, then don’t leave it for later on — it will crumple your motivation even further and won’t allow you to move to the next topic. If you are studying a challenging course such as data science, leaving out a topic due to low motivation would always do more harm than good. So, to stay motivated in the long run, clear your issues as you move forward; don’t leave this for another time.
2. Challenge Yourself
One of the biggest hurdles to channeling your motivation in the right direction is the nagging voice in the back of your head that disallows you to challenge yourself. For instance, when you are trying to achieve a milestone or set a goal, and your brain doesn’t let you challenge yourself. Then you forget your aims or lack thereof.
You will continue to procrastinate until you challenge yourself.
As soon as your brain starts to tell you, “I will do it later…” you need to stop right there.
And if you are able to stop yourself at this moment, kudos to you! Silencing your inner voice will take a lot of practice, but you will get there eventually.
Now, the next step is to set down your study goals and challenge yourself.
Make your to-do list. Say, for example, include the chapters that you need to cover by the end of the day and make sure to abide by this. If you think that you are being too hard on yourself, then don’t delete anything from your to-do list. Instead, suppress this thought and make yourself believe that you can cover your goals.
3. Don’t Overlook Self-care
Everyone knows that self-care helps you alleviate the stress, which boosts your confidence. All this ultimately results in augmenting your motivation.
Isn’t it a given that the more confident you feel, the more motivated you will be? The student life can be stressful, but you need to make self-care a priority, too. If you like going out with friends, then don’t hold yourself back. Or maybe you simply like to curl up in your bed and read something you want.
Make time for the things you love to do. Naturally, you will be more motivated to study when you feel exuberant and well-rested.
You might be surprised to know that most people work more hours than they sleep.
No wonder a lot of people can’t seem to find the motivation to study.
Make sure to avoid this mistake. Carve out some time for yourself; do what you love; get proper sleep, and you will find it way easier to stay motivated.
4. Break Down Your Tasks
When you have procrastinated so much that you are now overburdened with your homework, it would be nearly impossible for you to find the motivation to take it on. Or writing a lengthy dissertation can also be pretty demotivating.
The simplest way to tackle this scenario is by breaking down your tasks into small, manageable chunks.
It’s simple — you need to break down everything in steps, and once you start implanting them, you would realise that everything is finally in place. The main goal is to make things simpler so that they look less overwhelming and more manageable.
5. Visualise The Results
At the beginning of this article, we pondered upon one important thing, i.e., why students can spend hours watching YouTube videos and yet can’t seem to find motivation to finish their homework?
The simple answer is: visualisation is enchanting, more so than the textual content.
Jesse Jackson, an American civil rights activist, puts it perfectly:
This simple strategy is about visualizing yourself taking action and the ensuing results. When you envision yourself working on your assignments, the chances are, you will be motivated to do that in real life as well.
Now it’s up to you how efficiently you follow through the above strategies that will help you feel motivated to study.
Whenever you feel like leaving your work ’til tomorrow, stifle that voice at all costs. You already know what you need to do instead. Set your goals, push yourself to achieve them, and while you are at it, don’t forget to give yourself a much-needed rest. The rested you are, the more motivated you will be.
Also, you can start by picking up just one strategy, and if all goes well come back to this article, reread it and pick up more strategies as you build to strengthen your motivation.
Don’t delegate anymore; get down to your work — you already have a lot of catching up to do 😉