Learn how to get motivated to study and how to manage time:

How to improve self-esteem?

The following article is split into two parts and will show you: 

  • How to get Motivated to Study
  • Time Management Tactics for Students 

Part I: How to get Motivated to Study

When you think about your fellow students you might notice that everyone of them has different attitudes towards college, university and studying in general. Some of them might know exactly what they want to study after college or where they want to work after graduating, but others might ask themselves the question, “What am I doing here?”, whereas some other students have no idea what to do after College/University at all. There is no need to panic if you do not already know for what purpose you are studying or what you want to do after college/university, however it can have some major impacts on your academic achievements if you know the answer to the following questions:

“What is the purpose of studying/going to school/college for me?”
“What do I want to accomplish during my studies? Do I have any goals at all?
“What do I want to do after graduating?”

How to get Motivated to Study?

1. Learning Environment

Before focusing on motivation techniques for students we need to make sure that we eliminate all kinds of distractions and activities that would lead to procrastination, as these can influence our motivation in a negative way. Try to find a quite place where you do not get interrupted or distracted by any means, like a library or your own room. The library is an excellent place where you can reduce all sorts of distractions to a minimum, but if you decide to study at home than make sure that you can avoid distractions (TV, music, internet, friends and siblings) as good as possible.

2. Have some motivational GOALS

One of the most effective motivation techniques students can apply is to set themselves some well-thought goals that help them to boost motivation to study. This can be short-term goals (e.g. about upcoming tests and exams) or even long-term goals (e.g. about what colleges/universities you might like to go after high-school or about what you want to accomplish during your studies). Having motivational goals will help you to realize for what purpose you are making all these efforts and these goals will push you to study even more focused.

I highly recommend you to write down your goals on a list by applying the SMART rule, which says that goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed (for more information on goal setting visit: How to Set Goals Like a Top Achiever? http://www.planetofsuccess.com/blog/fabulous-goal-setting-methods-how-to-set-goals/). Once you have written down some of your goals you can intensify the motivational aspect of goals by creating a vision board where you add some pictures of your goals.

3. Boost motivation with REWARDS

Having some excellent goals can be motivating, but you can even increase the motivational impact of goals by thinking about some rewards for accomplishing a goal. Doing so will help you to pursue your study goals motivated and pertinacious. By rewarding yourself after having accomplished a goal you can let your brain realize that every high effort results in a positive outcome for which you will be rewarded, which equals positive feelings for you. There exist only two rules when you want to make use of the motivational effect of rewards:

#1: Don’t reward yourself when you failed!
#2: Adjust the size of the reward towards the difficulty of your goals!

It is important that you don’t reward yourself with something very expensive for receiving a good mark. If you want to enhance the intensity and also the motivational aspect of this technique you should only receive the reward when you accomplished the goal, which means that you do not ever get your reward in case you failed.

4. Get pushed by a friend

In some situations it can be motivational to study with a friend of yours in which case you can push each other mutually, which will also increase the motivation of the both of you. However, you can only make use of this if you and your friend are very focused towards studying during a given period of time, without getting too procrastinated by talking about leisure activities.

5. Negativity kills motivation

Negative feelings can figuratively kill your motivation to study within no time. Every student will be confronted during his studies with some negative emotions (e.g. exam anxiety, anger about teachers and professors and disappointment) every once in a while. It is important to know that these negative emotions decrease your motivation drastically, as students that associate mainly negative feelings with their school/college are not motivated to study at all. One way to avoid negativity is to make yourself clear that you cannot change or control the behavior of your teachers, professors and your fellow students, which makes it useless to waste your time being angry about them. Anger is just a contra productive reaction that decreases your motivation. Try to convert your anger into more productive energy and let it stimulate you to study even harder to pack the negative behavior of a professor with excellent marks. The second tip that helps you to avoid negativity is by approaching school and college with a positive and confident attitude. School shouldn’t be the place where you have to face your anxieties day after day or where you get mentally tortured by your fellow students. Have a positive attitude towards studying, such as regarding school/college as the chance to gain knowledge and to build the foundation for a successful career. Being positive about college will boost motivation and help you to become motivated to study.

6. Curiosity and Interest

Whenever you are curious or interested into something you might have noticed that you were highly motivated to accomplish whatever goal that was associated to this task/goal. Interest and curiosity will automatically increase your motivation as you associate positive emotions towards the interesting goals and tasks. Unfortunately, this also means that whenever you lack interest in an activity you might not be motivated to approach it at all. One way to establish interest towards something is by becoming curious about it. If you are facing some problems with this you can also imagine the positive outcome or the reward you receive as soon as the disliked activity or goal is accomplished.

For further study motivation techniques have a look at:

Part II: Study Time Magement Tactics for Students

1. Organization: Term Schedule

Being organized is the alpha and omega when it comes to study time management and effective ways to invest your given time most efficiently, without having to reduce your leisure-activities. Depending on your incentive you will have one or even more hours a day that you can invest to study for school or college. To make use of this time in an efficient way you should prepare a term schedule or a calendar where you:

- write down all your scheduled exams and tests
- write down all tasks, assignments and duties and their due dates
- additionally plan your time intensive leisure-activities

2. To Do List / Organizer:

Whenever you have a new task or project to accomplish you should write it down on a to-do-list or in an organizer, which helps you to keep track of all the work that needs to be done and reminds you what tasks still need to be finished. Having an organizer/to-do-list can be a very helpful study time management technique as it gives you an overview of all the tasks that need to be accomplished. You can use your smart phone, a piece of paper or a homework booklet as organizer, but I personally prefer to sort a single paper on top of all my notices I make during my courses. 

3. Start managing your study time

After you came home from university you can take yourself a couple of minutes trying to evaluate the approximate amount of time that you can spend studying. This helps you to prioritize your tasks (important ones first) and helps you to avoid hastiness.

4. Make use of your time

Time can be a valuable factor when you are studying so make sure that you use the given periods of time as efficient as possible, without getting interrupted or allowing procrastination to arise. After all, every minute you procrastinate will reduce your leisure time. One excellent method that helps you to make use of your time as efficient as possible is by applying so called power sessions.

5. Power sessions

A power session is a predefined period of time that can last from 30 minutes up to one and a half hour, where you focus solely on the completion of one tasks, e.g. studying or finishing a project for school, without getting interrupted by any means. The advantage of power sessions is obvious: you can focus your whole attention towards the accomplishment of a task, without getting interrupted by the internet, emails, telephone or anything else.

For further information about Time Management have a look at:

The following articles might also interest you:

How to get Motivated to Study
Time Management for Students

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