In this blog, I’m going to discuss some of the techniques I use for study motivation, or at least, what makes studying more bearable!
I always find that I work better in a clean, organised environment. That means making sure my room and desk is tidy. If you don’t have a desk, a workspace like the dining room table will do. Then I make sure I have everything I need, such as my laptop, pen and paper, and of course, my cup of tea and biscuits. In doing this before I start working I won’t get distracted by the clothes on my bed that need folding, or the rubbish on my desk that needs to be put in the bin. Making your workspace distraction-free is the best thing to do before you start studying.
Write a to-do list
I believe to-do lists are the way to go for study sessions. By writing a list of tasks that need to be done, I am incorporating structure into my day. However, I make sure that the tasks I’m are writing down are small and manageable, such as “read chapter one” rather than “read this book”.
Being able to tick tasks off the list gives you a sense of achievement. If you look down at the list and find that you haven’t completed any, you’ll feel discouraged and unmotivated.
If you don’t know how to make your tasks manageable, think about what you need to do as an end result, and break this process down, step by step. Write down small things like “find the reference for this book”, or “write an email to my module tutor”. These are tasks that are getting you ahead of your work.
Take a break
It is really important to take breaks! It has been scientifically proven that our brains can only work effectively for around 45-60 minutes in one go. We then need to take breaks to recharge our brains. Working solidly for 6 hours may seem like the best thing to do to finish your essay, or to get all the reading done for your seminar; but working in shorter bursts with regular breaks is the most effective.
If I start to feel drained or unmotivated in the middle of a study session, I try the Pomodoro technique (which I call the 25-minute technique). What you do is set an alarm for 25 minutes and take all the distractions in your room away. Then, you work for the full 25 minutes, and then take a break of 5-10 minutes before you go again for another 25 minutes. Repeat this until you’re back in the studying zone.
I hope you find these study motivation tips useful. Remember, before you start studying make sure you know what snack you’re going to reward yourself with at the end of the day!