Do you sometimes find it hard to motivate yourself to study? You are definitely not alone! Everybody has his or her inner pig sometimes. Often it’s just too tempting to “quickly” check your social media feed or watch a video or two on YouTube. Especially dangerous is this cunning inner voice that constantly tries to find a reason to postpone learning. But no matter what reason you don’t study, the exams still inexorably approach and after a while, panic slowly sets in. And that can lead to a vicious circle. Because the tighter time gets, the worse you’ll feel when you think about studying. And that, in turn, increases the likelihood that you’ll put off learning again. In the following article, I’ll show you some tips that can help you to overcome your inner pig and avoid such situations in the future.
Visualize your success
Think about the positive feeling you will have after passing an exam and recall why you want to learn something new. Try to keep your goal in mind in difficult situations.
Get an overview
Get an overview of the topics you want to learn. Use a method that suits you. Two possible methods are, for example, the classic creation of a list or the overview in the form of a mind map.
Lists are the classic way to get an overview of topics or upcoming tasks. But in some cases mind maps can be more effective – which is because mind maps are more like how we think.
You have to try for yourself which method you feel most comfortable with. There is nothing wrong with combining several methods. In the end, all that matters is that you know your way around and can get a quick and easy overview of where you stand. Another possibility would be to create a learning plan.
Divide the learning material into small work packages
If you have a lot to learn and don’t know where to start, then divide your learning content into many small work packages. Then set yourself the goal of completing one of these work packages each day. A package can be anything: writing a sample exam, solving an assignment, summarizing an article, learning vocabulary …
By breaking it down into smaller work packages, you’ll no longer be faced with one daunting task, but a series of manageable chunks.
Avoid all potential distractions
Try to study in a place where any possibility for distractions are kept to a minimum. Turn off your cell phone and the TV, clear your desk, and make sure you can completely immerse yourself in your study materials. If you’re going to be using your computer a lot, create a dedicated account that’s only for studying.
Try to make a boring topic interesting
It can happen that you have to deal with topics that you simply find boring or uninteresting. And sometimes there is no other way than to just struggle through it. But every now and then there is also the possibility to make these topics more interesting for you, if you can look at them from a different point of view or combine them with other (more interesting) topics.Let’s assume in an example that you have to learn the theory of three-phase machines, but you would much rather deal with a programming language. In this case, it might help you if you set as a goal to program a simple calculator for the calculation of a three-phase machine, instead of just learning the theory. In this way, you’ll engage in programming while learning the necessary theory of a three-phase machine.
Find a study group
If you can’t motivate yourself to study, it can also help to join a study group. Of course, it’s important that you find the right students for the group. They should be focused and disciplined. Also, try to make sure that the study group does not consist of more than four people. If the group gets too large, it increases the likelihood of digressing from the topic at hand more often.
Learning in a group is not only fun. It also gives everyone in the group a sense of ownership. When you learn in a group, you can make commitments to each other about new habits you want to develop or bad habits you want to break. There are many other benefits as well. When you study in a group, you can discuss and debate issues. This reduces the chance that you will miss or misunderstand something, and you learn better because you are also thinking and talking about the material you are learning. Learning in a group also takes advantage of the fact that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. If there is a concept you don’t understand, there may be someone in the group who can explain it to you. Or vice versa.
Try to study regularly
Study regularly and ideally always at the same time. This will develop a habit and you will find it easier and easier over time.
It can always happen that you just don’t feel like learning. But I am convinced that it will get easier after each time you have been able to overcome it.