We all know how hard the year of studying can be. Even the most exciting subjects can exhaust us and turn from something that inspires us and makes us happy into a dull obligation. Lack of motivation can lead to the real burnout – which isn’t a pleasant thing to experience at all!
What should we do to keep our spirit high and always have (at least some) motivation to do our tasks? Here we prepared a short “recipe book” of inspiration for you. Feel free to use these tips as you please, combine them, modify and do anything you need to feel happier. That’s why we wrote them, after all!
Tip 1: One step at a time
You had to hear it roughly a hundred times in your life, right? But still, this piece of advice is viable – if the advisors bother to explain how exactly you should use it. When you see a seemingly incomprehensible task, like learning a whole new subject, gaining or losing some pounds or incorporating good habits into your life – the very first thing you should do is to break this task down into smaller parts. What are the everyday small actions you should do to achieve your goal?
Bonus points are for sorting those goals according to the time and effort they need. You WILL have good days and bad days, it’s life. So, having a bunch of tasks for days, when you have plenty of energy and some easier ones for tough days may be a good idea.
Tip 2: Listen to yourself
Some people wake up and go to study easily, other feel sleepy all day long, but can work productively at night. Unfortunately, our world is still designed for morning people, but if you don’t belong to them – try to make your study schedule as comfortable as possible.
If you can choose the time of your lessons, try to pick the easiest ones (or least important ones – sorry, dear teachers, we don’t really love all the subjects equally!) at the time you feel less productive and study the most complicated subjects when you are on your peak of productivity. Learn your personal biological rhythms and try to follow them.
In general, you may use any means to make your life easier – such as going through papers written by other students, collections of which you may find on many websites like PaperAp, for instance, or using any kind of online tools and apps. Of course, you should not plagiarize, but using them as a source of ideas will help you a lot. You won’t have more than 24 hours in a day, but you will use them much more effectively!
Tip 3: Gamify it!
Just look at the common games. You do the routine tasks (kill fifty monsters and collect their teeth to get a reward, pick the balls of particular colors to make them disappear etc.) and they bring you joy. But when you study, you also do routine tasks… where is your joy then?
The real trick of games is that you feel rewarded regularly, for each small task you complete. Use it to gamify the dull things in your life! Make a score list for your tasks. Invent a backstory of doing them (spy story, fairy tale or epic cosmic opera style – don’t be shy, you’re the hero here!). Compete with your friends if you prepare multiplayer games. Or just eat a candy each time you finish a task – it really helps!
Tip 4: All work and no play make Jack a dull boy
Even the most exciting tasks can become horrifying if they are the only thing you are doing for weeks. Of course, we all have exam periods, deadlines and other times, when we have to study extremely intensively. But with time of studying increasing, its effectiveness plummets down. From a pragmatic point of view, it is more productive to spend some time having a rest and then study more effectively than try to shovel the knowledge into your head forcefully with little effect at best and disgust at worst.
Tip 5: When did you visit your doctor last time?
You may blame yourself; others may even consider you lazy, but the real cause of your lack of motivation may lay in plain physiology. The lack of vitamins or hormonal imbalance can cause chronic fatigue or even depression.
There are no “happiness pills”, but sometimes a drug prescription can return your motivation to you almost in a magical way. Don’t be afraid to visit your doctor and have a check – vitamin deprivation is as common as flu and there is nothing shameful in it.
Tip 6: Do you really need it?
Sometimes we lose motivation not because of excessive work or wrong distribution of work and rest. There are cases when we don’t really have an internal drive to do that job. This tip demands being honest with yourself. Ask yourself: is this what you really want to do? Do you need this subject to succeed? Do you study because your family / society wants you to or because you understand what you will do with the new knowledge?
This is a very hard question. Sometimes it even requires assistance from friends, family or a psychotherapist. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help – you are deciding on an important thing in your life now. Maybe, your insufficient motivation is a symptom of something deeper and you just need to dig out the problem and solve it.
There are countless reasons to lose motivation, but there are also countless ways to restore it! The main rule is to be attentive to yourself, your real needs, both physiological and psychological. Don’t treat yourself as an “adult serious person, who has to work to be successful, because everyone expects me to”! Always remember that the knowledge you get during your study has to benefit you, not drain you dry!