Date of Publication: 13 March 2020
Feeling unmotivated? Can’t help but to scroll aimlessly through your social media when you’re meant to be studying? Even find yourself Googling study tips to get you motivated during your scheduled study time?
Well fear not – we’ve compiled our top 10 recommended study tips to get you motivated and stop procrastinating – check them out below!
1.1Work out why you procrastinate
Procrastination, the act of avoiding studying or carrying out a task can have many different roots causes, including:
- You don’t understand the work
- The topic is boring
- You’re waiting for a time when you feel more motivated
- The task is so overwhelming you don’t know where to start
And many more.
The first step in being able to work out how to stop procrastinating is to work out what it is that’s making you feel that way. Spend some time reflecting on what it is that makes you procrastinate, then you will be able to easier identify which of our following study tips will help you the most.
2. Chop the material into chunks
If you’ve got a huge pile of work to do and you’re not sure how to begin, you should start by ‘chunking’ it – break down each task into small chunks. For example, if you want to revise the GCSE Chemistry topic ‘chemical changes,’ try breaking the module down into smaller sub-topics such as ‘reactions of metals,’ ‘what are acids?’ ‘what are alkalis?’ etc.
Then, assign yourself a certain number of those chunks each day which you will cover. Instead of having one large overwhelming topic, you will have a series of smaller, more manageable chunks to work through.
3. Create a study timetable
If you’re always waiting for that perfect time to arrive for you to begin your work, then creating a study timetable could be the key to getting you motivated.
By nature, we love routine. And once you’ve got yourself into a consistent and manageable study timetable, you’ll find it much easier to slide into study mode each time you come to sit down and do some work.
The key to making a good timetable is to make sure it’s manageable; give yourself enough breaks and down-time to relax each day and switch off from work. Research suggests that around 50 minutes of studying with a 15 minute break is the optimum time for productivity. So try creating a timetable that fits in around this, and one that fits in around your other commitments such as school, extracurricular activities and socialising.
4. Reward yourself
As part of your timetable, you should schedule time for rewards. Whenever you complete one or two chunks of information, you should reward yourself with a short period of relaxation, such as going for a short walk or spending five minutes on your phone.
If you’re actively rewarding yourself at the end of each topic, you’re more likely to stick to your routine and remain motivated.
5. Work out why you want to achieve high grades
Another great way of finding study motivation is to work out why it is that you want to study in the first place.
Perhaps you want to try and get into a good university? Or have a great career? Maybe you want to know that you’ve given it your best shot? Or make your parents proud? Whatever it is, write down your own list of reasons and stick them next to your study space. Whenever you’re feeling unmotivated, read through the list and remember why it is you’re there in the first place.
6. Study with peers/friends
Lots of students find it more motivating to study in a group, either with other classmates or their friends. When you study as a group, you’ll have the chance to explain bites of information to one another and test your knowledge, as well as ask for more information around difficult topics or concepts from peers who have a better understanding.
Of course, you need a group of focused and disciplined students to ensure the group study works effectively. Though you may want to work with them, sometimes studying with friends can be more of a hindrance than a help. So always bear this in mind when thinking about organising a group study session.
7. Active learning
Don’t expect to sit and read through a piece of work and have a full understanding of it. That’s passive learning, and it probably isn’t at all effective for most students. Research has shown that active learning is the most effective way in being able to stack and store new information in our brain.
But what is active learning?
Active learning is when we are cognitively engaged in learning new information, trying to make sense and construct knowledge around it which relates to what we already know. Once we have an association to something we already understand, we are more likely to absorb the information.
Ways you can actively learn:
- Discuss the new topic with your peers or friends
- Take notes on new information
- Annotate the book/slides
- Create a presentation on the topic and try to teach it to someone
8. Healthy lifestyle
It’s a well known fact that eating the right foods and doing regular exercise will help you to study effectively and stay motivated.
Aerobic activity sends oxygen and blood to the brain, while feeding your body the right foods will ensure you’re getting the right nutrients. All of this contributes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and optimum brain performance. Perfect for acing your study time.
9. Get rid of distractions
It may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many times you’ll find yourself scrolling through your phone or replying to a text when you should be studying.
Write a list of all the things that you find yourself distracted by when studying and then work out how to eliminate them. For example, if your phone distracts you, put it on flight mode, or try downloading the app Forest, which grows a tree during the time that you don’t open your smartphone. If you open it, the tree dies and you have start all over again.
10. Expect to have bad days
It’s very unlikely that you’re going to stay focused and be able to study consistently without ever finding yourself procrastinating.
Sometimes you’re just not in the mood – either you’re having a bad day or you’re just simply burnt out. It’s normal to expect to have these days, and you should never get angry with yourself for having them.
Instead, take a break, do something you enjoy and take a moment. You can always move your schedule around and try and go back to studying later that day, and it’s likely to be far more productive and effective than if you were to sit and force yourself to do it.
So there you have it, our top 10 tips for being able to study effectively!
Have you got any you want to share with us? Send us a message on social, we love to hear your comments!