(And how to keep good study habits when you’ve lost your spark.)
We’ve all been there. Term One arrives and you’re all ready to go with colour coded stationery and organised textbooks. Term Two comes quicker than you’ve anticipated, you no longer have 6am wake ups and study for four hours when you go home. After an eternity, Term Three makes its way forward, your locker is a mess and you can’t find the English homework you received last week.
Unfortunately, things just get harder as the year goes by and you can’t afford to lose your motivation.
Here are my top tips/advice to keep your motivation running throughout the year, and maintain those good study habits.
1. Rethink/reiterate your goals and find your purpose.
This point is first on my list for a reason, as my goals and purpose are what keeps me going throughout the year. Especially if you are tired of studying and don’t feel like doing anything, take out some time to write your purpose – some thinking questions may be:
→ Where are you now, and how will this help you for your future?
→ Why are you doing what you are doing?
→ How will this benefit you?
→ How will your achievements impact yourself and the people around you, now and into the future?
By reflecting on questions like this, and realising that everything you do has a purpose, no matter how big or small it is, you may find some motivation to do what you need to do. Also, don’t forget to set goals and work towards them. Even if it is just to try your hardest in every assessment, do it!!
2. Take a break, rejuvenate.
Being burnt out and unmotivated simultaneously is not a good combination. Take a break, especially if you’ve been forcing yourself to study. Even if it’s taking a short trip amongst nature’s healing powers, it will help you.
3. Find new ways and tactics to study – use a different approach!
Studying can be a really boring and repetitive task, which in turn, can cause a loss of motivation. Instead, find a new way to study! For an example, if you’ve been taking notes from textbooks for a long period of time, why not change it up by creating a mind map? How about creating a song or poem? Studying can actually be fun if you use the right approach – sometimes, by changing up your study routine, you might actually find a more efficient way to study, helping you get things done quicker. You might even find that studying outside for a change may help you get back on your feet – nature holds so many beautiful characteristics, and studying amongst these may help you.
4. Change up your routine – especially if it’s not working.
Sometimes, if you haven’t adapted to a proper routine, you may have moments where you’re feeling down. Routine is important. For example, waking up early may make you feel like studying in the morning, and will keep you more rejuvenated for the day ahead. Establishing a strong routine for after school may also be beneficial – find out what works best for you- whether it is studying as soon as you get home or taking a break first.
5. Have a chat and find support from the people around you.
No one needs to ever feel alone when they’ve lost their drive. The people around you, friends or family may be able to help you combat your demotivation. They may be filled with lots of success stories and other advice which may be perfectly catered to your needs. Talking to other people is great too, as it relieves stress, and ensures you are not keeping your feelings all bottled up. You’re never doing anything alone.
Along with this, having study groups and friends that are doing similar subjects to you can also keep you on your feet. You can keep each other accountable, and help stay motivated. Not to mention, it is always more fun to study with a friend or two!
6. Find out what is keeping you unmotivated and try solve that issue.
Why are you feeling unmotivated? This is important to reflect upon, as you might be able to overcome this.
Are you always feeling tired? Maybe you need enough sleep, exercise or a better diet?
Are you tired of and not enjoying your subjects? If possible, maybe you could change these up. I personally find that it is very easy to be unmotivated if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing.
Are you burnt out? Maybe you just need a break 🙂
7. Exercise and eat healthy. DO NOT forget to do this when you’re unmotivated.
When you’re unmotivated, it is easy to get caught up in countless hours of Netflix and midnight snacks consisting of bowls of ice-cream. However, in the long run, this will not help your study habits.
It is found that regular exercise helps us think better, as it stimulates new brain cell growth, increasing connections between cells and improving attention. It also helps focus and information retention.
By keeping a constant fitness schedule, even if it’s just walking for 15 minutes a day, it will help you combat your demotivation in the long run.
8. Reward yourself.
If you find yourself losing motivation, you may find that rewarding yourself after doing certain tasks may help keep you motivated. Whether it be eating chocolate after reading a page of your Chemistry textbook or taking a 10-minute YouTube break after writing an English essay, find what works best to keep yourself propelled.
9. Create an inspirational space around you.
Sometimes, one of the best ways that can help yourself feel alive and motivated is by creating an inspiring space around you. If you have a designated study space at home, why not spice it up a little bit? Add fairy lights, buy some nice stationery, light a candle. Or, even if you don’t want to buy new additions, why not do a small DIY to add? I always find that when I have a clean working space, I’m likely to stay there and study for a longer period of time. I also feel calmer and more relaxed.
I hope you enjoyed these tips on keeping/combating motivation. Studying is a tough sport that takes a lot of willpower, but I promise, you will get through it!
Good luck for the year ahead, you’ve got this.