Drumming up the motivation to study is one of the biggest daily struggles for most students. With classes, extracurricular activities, and work, it is no surprise that when you find a shred of free time the last thing you would want to do is study. So we’ve put together a list of our 8 sure-fire ways on how to get motivated to study and improve your study habits.
1. Set goals
If you’ve read our other study tips and tricks, you’ve probably heard us say this more than once but setting S.M.A.R.T goals for yourself is one of the easiest ways to increase your motivation. Setting both long- and short-term goals will help you to keep the end in sight. Just be sure that your goals are both realistic and challenging. Make sure you’re meeting and getting the full benefit of them!
Pro tip: Post your goals where you will see them every day. It’s a great way to stay mindful of them and your progress. I always made myself a sign to hang on the shelf above my desk with my goal GPA for the semester. That way I had a physical reminder to look at every day, and I also got to craft something fun!
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” — Zig Ziglar
2. Create your perfect study space
It is amazing what the environment around you can do for your mental state. Organizing your desk so that everything you need is within reach is a great way to get a head start on your study session. If your study space is your room, pick up a little! The act of picking up your daily clutter (we all have at least a little) will help you to declutter your mind.
“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” — Beverly Sills
3. Set a schedule
Set a study schedule (like a time of the week or the day). It’s a great way to keep procrastination out of your daily life. By setting aside a certain amount of time, you will not only ensure that you have enough time to complete your assignments and study for your exams, but you’ll also begin to make studying a normal part of your daily routine.
“You may delay, but time will not.” — Benjamin Franklin
4. Just DO it!
The hardest part of pretty much anything is starting. But no matter how much you hate math or history or doing the dishes, it’s usually not so bad once you’ve gotten started. Set yourself a goal of studying for a solid 15-20 minutes without a break. Afterward, see how you feel when the time is up. Chances are, you’ll be able to commit to another 15-20 minutes.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” — Walt Disney
5. Pump up the jam
A pretty common way to get motivated for the gym is to listen to music that motivates you. But, did you know that it works the same way for studying? Put on something you know pumps you up and let it fuel your mindset before you start your study session. I like to listen to ACDC “Back In Black” or Walk Off the Earth “Rule The World” before switching to my favorite focus playlist.
Take a look at our post on how music (found on Spotify) can aid your study session for more awesome study jams!
6. Give yourself a pep-talk
This may make you feel silly at first but looking in a mirror and talking yourself up can actually help you to feel motivated to complete whatever tasks you’ve got on your to-do list. Try starting with telling yourself your goal for this study session. Then, work your way up to your long term goals. While you’re at it, throw in some things that you think are great about yourself like your amazing taste in sneakers or your killer baking skills. There’s nothing better than a confidence boost from a compliment to help you get into the right headspace.
“You don’t have to be good to start … you just have to start to be good!” — Joe Sabah
7. Reward yourself
Each time you check off one of your study goals or make a breakthrough on a tough subject, reward yourself! Get yourself anything from a doughnut to a sweet new longboard depending on the goal. It’s depressing to work really hard on something and feel like no one knows or appreciates all of the hard work you’re doing. Reward yourself with a dinner out or a trip to the five-dollar movie bin. It’s a great way to show yourself some love.
“The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.” — Jonas Salk
8. Write down how you feel after
This may sound strange, but you know how great you feel when you hit a big goal or finally finish that big paper? Write down how good you feel after completing a tough task. It’s great motivation the next time you have trouble starting. Keep a notebook in your backpack and write down your triumphs. That way, each time you need a little extra push, you’ve got a whole book full of success!
Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!