How To Get Motivated To Study: A Complete Guide With Tips

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 5 December 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Getting started generally requires encouragement and motivation, especially while studying. Several external and internal factors like environment, light, notes and the subject may influence your interest in studying. Learning about some simple methods to find the motivation to study may help you avoid the pressure of deadlines and examinations. In this article, we discuss how to get motivated to study along with tips to make it effective.

Related: What Is Self Motivation? And How To Use It To Meet Your Goals

How to get motivated to study

Here are some steps that show you how to get motivated to study:

1. Create a schedule

You are more likely to complete your work when you have a fixed schedule. Similarly, planning your day and having fixed hours for studying may benefit you. You can set reminders with defined start and end times dedicated to completing a section of your syllabus. Pick hours when you are likely to study and less likely to abandon those hours for another activity. Make a realistic schedule, keeping in mind the time spent on meals, exercise and breaks.

You may also inform your friends and family about your schedule. They are then less likely to disturb you during those hours and may help increase your productivity. It may also help you stay accountable for your timetable.

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples

2. Set small goals

Instead of looking at your syllabus as a large chunk, break it down into smaller units. It may reduce the pressure and make the process seem more attainable. Completing smaller sections generally takes lesser time than completing a chapter and keeps you motivated. For some, it may serve as an initial encouragement to begin studying.

Related: SMART Goals: Definition And Examples

3. Start with a five-minute timer

To find the motivation to study, it can help to set a five-minute timer at the beginning of your schedule. Ensure you sit for five minutes and begin a new section. Its purpose is to provide you with the encouragement to continue working. You may find yourself engaged in the subject and continue even after the timer goes off.

4. Fix a place to study

Fix a corner or get a study table to ensure you have a designated space to concentrate and learn. Pick an area that is well lit and is clean. Create a schedule where you spend the same hours studying every day. It may create a habit that eventually makes it more comfortable to study. You may also schedule activities that you do before and after studying. Doing so may help you effortlessly start the process. For example, drink a glass of water before you start and stretch after you finish.

5. Create flowcharts and mind maps

Using visuals often helps understand a concept or process better. While studying, you may use the aid of flowcharts and mind maps to learn. It can simplify the theory to its fundamental units. Using visuals can also make learning more engaging.

6. Understand the concept

It is essential to comprehend the idea behind every concept you read. It may make it easier to remember the theory and correlate it in daily scenarios. Understanding the fundamentals can strengthen your expertise in the subject and make it easier to solve problems relating to it.

7. Make notes

An effective way to make learning active is by making notes. You may summarise a topic you read or create flowcharts and drawings that help you understand a concept better. Making notes can also help you practise what you have learnt. Make the notes diligently so you can skim through them before an exam instead of reading the entire textbook.

8. Teach someone

Once you read through a concept, try to explain it to a friend or family member. If none are available, you may also pretend to be teaching someone. It can help you revisit the concept and strengthen your fundamentals. It is also an effective way to make studying an active process that keeps you engaged.

9. Ask relevant questions

While studying a concept, try to question it to understand it thoroughly. If you are doubtful, make a note of it and check with your professor or even a friend. It is essential to gain clarity on what you study to help retain concepts better. Understanding a concept can help gauge its practical applications and improve the pace of study.

10. Highlight key points

If you are reading through your textbook, it is vital to keep it engaging. It can help improve your concentration and aid your focus on your studies. Use a highlighter to identify critical points that are essential to the concept. Try using different colours for different chapters and make quick notes for questions or formulae that are important.

11. Revise concepts

You may understand a concept when you read it the first time, but it is essential to revisit it. It can help you evaluate how much you remember. It may also allow you to identify areas that require improvement. Revising theories before an examination may help boost your confidence and keep you motivated.

12. Minimise distractions

Distractions such as television, mobile or videos on the internet take too much attention as these may seem like fun activities than studying. Switch off the internet or your mobile phone to focus more on studying. Set rewards that help you stay motivated. For example, reward yourself with your favourite activity, such as an episode of your favourite television show, a song or even replying to text messages after you complete a chapter.

13. Take enough breaks

Try to take breaks at regular intervals while studying. Doing so can help your brain relax and may aid productivity. When you take a break, engage in activities that may help you relax and make it easy to get back to study. These activities may include walking, exercising or even meditating. Before you get back to studying, ensure to hydrate yourself. Drink a glass of juice or water to refresh.

14. Sleep well

Getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep a day can help you retain information, concentrate and increase your productivity levels. It may also help release stress and provide time to relax. A poor sleep cycle may reduce focus and affect memory.

15. Exercise regularly

Sitting for long hours may make you feel tired, which may hinder your focus. Exercising regularly can help increase your stamina and prevent excessive tiredness. You can include stretching in your exercise routine to keep your muscles from becoming stiff when sitting for a long duration.

16. Avoid procrastination

Procrastinating to study may increase the workload before an examination or a submission. Remaining proactive while studying or completing an assignment can help you complete your work in the stipulated time. It may also help you finish the work a few days in advance, which can allow you to revise your coursework or proofread and tweak your submissions.

17. Try a different approach

It may be possible that you do not feel motivated to study because may have not found a technique that works for you. To counter this, you can try different methods of studying. You can also try changing the environment in which you study. If you always study indoors, try sitting in an outdoor setting that is calm. Try choosing a time of the day that is suitable for you.

Some other methods may include forming a study group or studying with a friend who keeps you accountable for your time. You may also change the way you study. Instead of just reading through a textbook, try drawing, using pictures or even creating a jingle to remember a series of information. Experimenting with different techniques can help find the one that works for you.

Related: Hard Work Vs. Smart Work: Definitions, Comparison And Tips

Tips to make studying effective

Here are some quick tips you may use to make studying an effective process:

  • Make notes in class. Note down key points and pay attention to the vocabulary used by the teacher. They may highlight the keywords that are necessary to the concept.

  • Finish the toughest assignments first. Completing the difficult tasks first can help you stay relaxed for the remaining tasks. It may also allow you to spare some time later to review your work.

  • Practice sample questions. Solving practice problems can help you gauge your ability to implement what you study. Doing these before an exam may also help increase your confidence.

  • Eat well. Eat healthy food and nuts while studying. They can provide you with the right energy and may help improve your concentration.

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