How to study AND stay motivated
Taking up studies is a little like going on your first long haul flight. You’re excited, you know you’ll be a better person for it, you’re finally going somewhere … except that it’s going to take 23 hours with a 5 hour stopover in an un-air-conditioned airport.
Sure, there’s some novelty at first, but then the realisation hits that you’re in this for the long haul and the assessments start mounting. So how do you keep motivated? There is a plethora of ways – here are a few of the best.
Understand what you have to do and when
You can very easily simplify any task by dividing it out equally into a calendar. Be mindful not to schedule too much in and be sure to make your schedule as simple as possible – things will get added to it later! Also know what your personal life is going to look like over the next 6-12 months. If there’s a wedding or a birthday party coming up, schedule your study around this. Don’t replace or offset your personal or social activity calendar with study – it will only create a subconscious resentment to study. You can make time for both studies and social activities if you schedule things properly.
Objective, objective, objective
What’s the end result of all this work and study you’re doing? Often it’s a first job, a new job or a better job. Remembering what the long term objective of your study is becomes particularly useful when you start to feel overwhelmed. Then, follow that thought up with our next point about simplification.
Whether you’re studying, working, parenting or possibly all three, there will always be times when study feels overwhelming, to the point that it creates a psychological blocker – a stage where you have so many thoughts and priorities swirling through your head you literally cannot move forward or decide what to do. The strategy to deploy here is to do something simple. Know your work well enough to know the simple tasks. Pick one and do one. Your mind just needs to experience a success, a win. It’s critical to build positive reinforcement. Lots of little wins add up to something big.
If it feels good, do it more
When you get on a roll, stay on it as long as you can. Take a leaf from all the legitimate health programs that encourage their members to get in a calorie deficit. If you’ve stumbled across a gold nugget thought process, don’t abandon it – push a little harder and create some extra time for yourself in the future.
Discipline and persistence
You need some of this, but chances are you’ve already got it and just need to apply it to your new studies. You’re already getting up for work, the gym, kids drop-offs – these are routine. The more difficult of these is the gym or any sort of fitness. We like the way the fitness industry creates tools and we found that http://www.marinaratimer.com/ is a completely simple but effective tool to keep you focused. Much of your study is going to involve reading online and it is so easy to get distracted – unless there’s a big countdown timer to remind you not to waste your time! Apply the marinara timer to your studies and you’ll find that it begins to increase your productivity, discipline and persistence.
Posted in: Study Tips
How to study AND stay motivated