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Whenever you sit down to research for a term paper or write out an essay outline, your fingers automatically click through to Youtube, TikTok, and Instagram. And two hours later, you're no closer to completing your assignment, so you feel bad about wasting time and take a short gaming break to make yourself feel better. Motivation to study is the only way to break out of this vicious cycle, and today we'll cover instant tricks to regaining your drive, as well as habits you should develop to increase your motivation in the long term.
What's the Motivation to Study?
Motivation is the drive to do something. It can be the drive to achieve something, like getting an A on a test, or the drive to avoid something, like failing the class and losing credit. Moreover, motivation can be external, such as the professor's praise, and internal, such as the feeling of contentment and pride over a job well done.
Unfortunately, the researchers have not yet come up with a universal theory of motivation, so opposing views and beliefs persist. However, scientists agree that motivation is fleeting. And without proper training and practice, it can be fickle and disappear when you need it most. Below, you'll find helpful tips on how to find the motivation to study and keep it high at any given moment.
How to Get the Motivation to Study
Let's start with the long-term solutions to your motivation issues, as they form the foundation of your drive to study. Although you can skip straight to the next section with instant motivation fixes, we suggest you start with a few sustainable changes, as they will make the immediate fixes much more effective in the long run. And, as always, remember to adjust any advice you receive to fit your lifestyle, needs, and study goals to build a unique motivation system that works for you.
Know What and Why You're Studying
You hate math classes because you're sure you'll never use those equations in real life, and writing essays about Hamlet is a waste of time because Shakespeare isn't relevant anymore. If you cannot see the value in what you're studying, try to find practical applications for the knowledge you get to boost your motivation. For example, essays help you organize your thoughts, argue your points, and convince others. These soft skills are invaluable for managers, business owners, marketers, and dozens of other high-paying jobs. And if you have a vivid image of the future where the skills you learn now will help you build the life you want, motivation will be easy to come by.
Take Responsibility and Design Your Own Luck
It's easier to believe some people just get lucky, have good karma, better memory, or are teachers' pets. But in most cases, success does not appear out of anywhere. Instead, it's usually a result of the hard work you do not notice from the outside. So if you take responsibility for your success, you'll realize it's up to you to design your victory. And we wholeheartedly believe that with the right tools, anyone can design luck. So look for study motivation quotes, articles on ideas, opportunities, lessons, and humanity's best achievements in a collection of thoughts aiming to inspire and provoke reflection. Treat it like a journey you want to take, and pave your path to study success.
Develop a Growth Mindset
Remind yourself that no one is born the world's best writer, software engineer, or athlete. Even naturally talented people require persistent practice to improve their skills and develop true mastery. Your mind and skill set are the same. You need to take the time to grow your knowledge base, gain invaluable experience, and practice before you can become a master. So treat each assignment and test as another step on your upward trajectory.
Train Your Focus
Sometimes all the knowledge on how to get the motivation to study does not help because what you lack is not drive but focus. Instead of completing essential tasks, your mind keeps shifting between minor errands, constant notifications, and a million other things. If that's the case, you need to build focus-building habits into your daily routine. These may include anything from focus-inducing sounds and music to meditation. Turning off or silencing your phone and using browser extensions to block distractions can also be extremely helpful.
Reward Motivation and Effort
When you start your motivation journey, you can reward yourself for every desired action or outcome. For example, take a 15-minute social media break after putting two hours into researching for your term paper. Although you can also reward yourself with treats, be careful with sugary and fatty snacks, as they can wreak havoc on your brain and body. Unfortunately, continuous rewards have also been found to reduce motivation in the long run. So you need to learn to think of every study session as a reward of its own. If you teach your brain to think of the effort as a reward, each study session will result in dopamine release, boosting your motivation to study.
Take Care of Your Mind and Body
It's easy to confuse the lack of motivation with the sleepy haze. Constant all-nighters ruin your sleep schedule and deprive your brain of much-needed rest, resulting in a lack of alertness. You can increase it by giving yourself at least seven hours of sleep per night. Also, adding some physical activity to your daily routine, even something as simple as a 20-minute walk outside, will do your mind and motivation a world of good. And healthy eating habits won't go amiss, even if they seem near impossible if you live in a dorm.
Learn When to Ask for Help
When you have piles of unfinished assignments, fear of failure and anxiety will beat even the strongest motivation nine times out of ten. That's why it may be beneficial to get help dealing with some of your backlog and pay for essay writing so that you can start your new motivation journey with a clean slate. With a fresh start, it will be easier to keep papers and reading from piling up. And even if they do, you can always ask professionals, "Would you write paper for me?" and have the assignment appear in your inbox just in time for the submission deadline.
Practical Study Motivation Tips for Instant Drive and Focus
Now that we've covered the long-term approaches to how to increase motivation to study, let's go over the tricks that produce immediate results. Please remember that they are not universal, so some may work better than others for you. We suggest you pick two or three most effective techniques to keep in your daily motivation arsenal:
- Break down complex tasks into manageable chunks. For example, writing an essay is a monumental job, which you're usually tempted to put off. But if you split it into smaller tasks, like developing a thesis statement, writing one paragraph, or formatting the reference list, each chunk will seem easy, as it will only take you a few minutes at most. And once you combine the efforts of these tiny chunks, you'll get a finished paper with minimum friction and procrastination.
- Start with the easiest and fastest task on your list. Ideally, it should take a few minutes to complete. Your brain will get an instant dopamine boost, making you feel good and encouraging you to tackle the next task to get the next hit of positive reinforcement. But remember to stick to your study to-do list, as this trick may promote busywork if you start with something like cleaning your desk.
- Do a quick breathing exercise to increase your focus. The feared stress hormone, cortisol, can be beneficial when you need to find motivation and concentration. And you can control it through a simple breathing technique. Take 25 to 30 quick breaths in and out, and hold your breath for 15 seconds after the final exhale. This exercise will increase your heart rate and boost your focus instantly. But please consult your physician before trying it for the first time, especially if you have heart or eye conditions.
- Reorganize your workspace for maximum motivation. The body and mind have a complex two-way connection, which you can utilize to increase alertness and drive. For example, good posture and a slightly elevated line of sight will make you feel more awake and ready to tackle assignments than a slumped pose and a screen you have to look down to see. Try elevating your computer screen and controlling your posture while you study, and you'll be surprised by how much of a change these simple actions produce.
- Customize the Pomodoro technique to suit your study sessions. The default settings on most Pomodoro timers call for 25 minutes of intense work followed by a short 5-minute break. However, you may find that extended periods of highly focused work suit you better. Try extending your focus sessions to 50 minutes at 10-minute intervals or 90-minute study blocks with 30-minute rest periods.
- Experiment with study times and places. Most tips for motivation to study will tell you to build a perfectly organized desk, remove distractions, etc. However, some students find it easier to focus and complete assignments in unfamiliar places or at an unusual time. For example, you can try writing essays in a coffee shop or cafeteria. And instead of staying up till the early hours of the morning, go to bed at a reasonable time and set your alarm an hour or two earlier to see if you're a better writer in the morning.
- Analyze your motivation and develop a personal routine. Keep a journal or your note-taking app close at hand and take notice of the times when you feel highly motivated to study. Dissect your emotional and physical state, analyze how you got to that point, and what you can do to recreate the drive at will. For example, you may be extra motivated to study after a workout or a call to your mom. The more you think about it, the better you'll be able to find a secret key to personal motivation.
Whichever study motivation tips you choose to adopt, remember to be kind to yourself when your motivation falters and procrastination kicks in. As we've discussed, the drive can be fleeting, and learning to incite it at will takes time.
It's easy to give up and think that you're just not built for school, that the education system is corrupt and outdated, and that motivation will come when you do something you love. But the sad truth is that most great things in life come to those who can overcome obstacles, including the lack of motivation. Your future is in your hands, so master motivation with our instant drive-inducing tricks and long-term strategies, and you'll be amazed by how much your school life will change.