Study Motivation: The Ins and Outs of Being and Staying Motivated

Shouldn’t you be studying right now 🤨? If exams, term papers, and projects are screaming for your attention, but Netflix, TikTok, and your bed are taking precedence, I get it. I am definitely not motivated to work all the time either. Finding the mistress of success, Motivation herself, sometimes feels like sliding down a rainbow and hoping for that pot o’ gold at the end of it – impossible. If you’re struggling with the lack of motivation to study, we offer some tips and methods to find it.

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Study Motivation Tips – When the Lack of Motivation Comes Knocking

In your long-lasting commitment to university, it’s easy to lose track of the reason to study regularly. We all have subjects we don’t like or see the point of, so of course your study motivation goes AWOL from time to time. However, there are simple lifehacks to combat the times when no motivation shows up for work:

  • Set clear goals. And I don’t mean just short-term ones. Of course, passing an exam is definitely a goal, but research implies that it’s easier to find study motivation when you have a clear idea about your long-term future. Your course of study already indicates an interest in a particular topic, but you can also consider what you want to do career-wise once you have your diploma in hand.
  • Divide your tasks into chunks. Procrastination is at its best when confronted with an enormous task, especially when it comes with a deadline. Think of it as a piano falling from the sky – I know I would rather close my eyes and brace for impact if I saw one. But if that piano were broken down into small pieces, the impact wouldn’t be so bad – most of the debris wouldn’t even hit you. The same principle applies to your tasks: divide them into smaller units and tackle one at a time (you won’t even feel the strain from doing many of them, BONUS!).
  • Divide your time. It’s much harder to motivate yourself to study if you say ‘I’m going to study for ten hours without a break’ than if you organise your time reasonably. Start by planning thirty minutes of focused work and a short break. Once you’ve powered through the first round of studying and got some refreshment, you’ll be energised to beaver away at the next.
  • Plan a reward for your success. No, that doesn’t mean retail therapy every day or a chocolate bar every thirty minutes. Instead, plan a reward for every bigger goal you achieve. Treat yourself to relaxing time off, quality entertainment, and social gatherings.

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Finding Motivation to Study Hard for Exams

Knowing what you want to do in the future and what you’re studying for helps on many occasions, but what happens when you have to study for an exam you cannot stand? Every university programme has a handful of those subjects that are shamelessly boring, mind-bogglingly difficult, and boastfully irrelevant (for me, it was the history of ALL linguistic schools). Still, the only way out is through, so let’s get cracking.

Prepare Your Study Space

It is no secret that humans are creatures of habit, and having a designated study space is a good approach to a tedious task. Organise a corner where you intend to study regularly, and supply it with paper, stationery, sticky notes, and a cup of your study drink of choice. As a result, when the dreadful task comes a-calling, you won’t have an excuse but to start working on it.

Start with the Hard Stuff

It’s best to get the most daunting chores out of the way. When you sit down to study, be ready to attack the most difficult topic/assignment/question first so that you don’t have to worry about it later when you get tired. I would advise you to grab that bull by the horns as soon as you get up and have some nutritious breakfast while still have your wits about you.

Get Yourself into the Right Mindset

Apart from keeping it in mind that this exam is only a small leg of your university journey, there are certain limiting beliefs that you can address before you set out to study. Instead of fixating on how dull or irrelevant something may seem, reframe it as the temporary hardship in a movie of your university career. Try to think of it as a building block to your knowledge, discipline, and devotion. After all, sometimes you have to fight for what you want, and it won’t always be smooth-sailing.

On the other hand, you have to rewire the way your brain thinks about you, too. The way we talk to ourselves is impactful and reverberates deeply in our consciousness. Don’t say things like ‘I hate this so much’ or ‘I can’t do it’ (or, heaven forbid, ‘I am too stupid for this’). Take it as a challenge, but always remind yourself that you CAN indeed contend with anything that comes your way.

Just Do It!

Willpower is not enough, and discipline plays a huge role in your study motivation. Dawdling and dithering only make things worse, so trash them with the right mindset and get to work even if you hate it. Seriously, sit down and promise yourself 20 minutes of your own time and see what a little discipline can do. I am sure that once you get your gears going, you’ll want to continue the diligent streak.

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When the Worst Happens: Motivate Yourself to Study Again

We all know those stellar students who breeze through every exam and never seem to have any educational hiccups, but if that’s not you, that’s more than OK!! Sometimes you might fail an exam, which can have a detrimental impact on your motivation to study. Still, it is essential to remember that it is not the end of the world, no matter how dramatic it seems.

You know how in every Hallmark movie the characters experience devastating heartbreaks (accompanied by weeping and whimpering and stuffing their faces with chocolate) only to bounce back stronger, reinvent themselves, start twelve new hobbies, and write a bestselling book on the nature of success? Well, this exam may just be your Hallmark heartbreak moment, aka the transformative moment. Sometimes we fail because we didn’t study enough, and sometimes we just go blank or have a bad day (sounds like my maths tests in high school). This is no reason to beat yourself up.

Consider what went wrong. Determine the cause of your ‘failure’ and address it instantly. If you didn’t study enough, do better next time. On the other hand, if you froze due to anxiety, work on your stress-management techniques. If it was just bad luck – it will be better next time. Once you know what happened, get down to business (defeat the Huns) and plan for the next chance to take the exam.

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How to Stay Motivated to Study

You’ve conquered the hurdle of motivating yourself to start studying and bust an exam move, but now you’re wondering how to keep the momentum. These science-backed tips will help you:

  • Track your progress. Psychologists claim that the sense of success is what motivates us to push forward. Take time to acknowledge how much you have done and honour tangible, reasonable advances. Passing a mid-term test, finishing a complicated essay, or mastering a difficult topic all deserve a mention. After a while, you’ll be able to look back on a list of achievements, which will motivate you to keep going.
  • Find your intrinsic motivation. Reward-system is fine, but the best motivation is the one that comes from within, not Amazon and eBay (although no shame in a good shopping spree). Try to figure out what your study path means to you, how much you’ll contribute to other people’s lives, what you’re passionate about, and how you could spread that passion to others. Finding pleasure in what you do will keep you motivated no matter the circumstances.
  • Develop a lasting habit. Again, willpower can only get you so far, but if you learn to be consistent, you will be able to get into the study mode quickly and easily. Start by having a study space and make a consistent schedule. Show up for yourself regularly, and when motivation peters out, the habit will kick in.
  • Stay in touch with your peers. University is not all about cramming for days on end – friendship and socialisation are a wonderful part of it, too. Find some study buddies to keep yourself motivated and meet up regularly to exchange news on your progress, discuss more difficult topics, and relax and celebrate each other’s success!

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When You Need an Extra Push – Study Motivation Quotes

Nothing gets us going better than a nice turn of phrase. Here are some of our favourites:

‘Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.’ – Winston S. Churchill

‘I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.’ – Estée Lauder

‘Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.’ – Thomas Edison

‘Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.’ – Robert Collier

On Finding Your Study Motivation Methods – Key Takeaways

We hope this post has given you a little bit of motivation to start studying 😉. And if all the above was TL;DR, here’s a little recap:

  • Motivation is best achieved through small successes, reward systems, and a love for what you do.
  • Set both long-term and short-term goals and track your progress.
  • Divide your tasks into bite-sized pieces.
  • Develop a lasting habit and discipline.

Up and at ’em!

How can you motivate yourself to study?

You can motivate yourself to study by finding the reason for what you’re doing and setting clear goals. Whether you want to help people, set a world record, become a famous scientist, or enjoy what you do, knowing what you want will always be a good motivator.

How do you get motivated to study?

To get motivated to study, find meaning in what you’re studying. You are always studying for knowledge, and everything you learn will lead you to your dream place in life. Reward yourself when you accomplish something and keep track of your progress.

How do you stay motivated to study?

To stay motivated to study, keep track of your progress, celebrate small and big successes, and reward yourself with quality time (and an occasional gift). Find a study-buddy to keep yourself accountable and make sure to remember what your final goal is.

How can you find the motivation to study?

You can find the motivation to study by considering how what you’re studying is relevant to your career and future life. Develop a lasting studying habit and discipline. Find love for what you’re doing and share your enthusiasm and accomplishments with others.