Sometimes, no matter what you do, it can be hard to motivate yourself to study– especially with everything that’s going on in the world right now.
Whenever you’re feeling stressed, a little lazy, or disheartened, refer to these tips to give yourself the study motivation to do well this semester.
- Make your notes aesthetically pleasing
- Create a study schedule
- Study date with a friend
- Create a reward system
- Take breaks!
- Study a little bit each day
- Make a vision board
- Enter a productive space
- Make flashcards
- Try to boost your mood
- Study apps
- Motivational quote
- An organized space for an organized mind
- Don’t compare yourself to others
- Take some pressure off yourself
- Break down your to-do list
- Change things up
- Study in the daylight
- Exercise in the mornings
- Play the right music
- Make it a creative project
- Stop negative talk
- Work on your hardest tasks first
- Be consistent
- Ask yourself why you want to study
- Figure out why you don’t want to study
- Be reasonable
- Eat healthily
- Make fun plans each weekend
1. Make your notes aesthetically pleasing
If you put in some effort while taking notes, you’ll be much more willing to revisit them later. Try writing your notes out in fun colors and highlighting key words.
Or, if you’re like me and your handwriting is questionable, type them out during class and add underlines and images later.
Personally, I like to print them out and add flags and sticky notes with annotations. It helps me understand the material on a deeper level.
2. Create a study schedule
Whenever I’m feeling stressed, I try to take a minute to slow down and organize my thoughts. I ask myself, what do I need to work on?
What tasks are the most pressing? Then, I start to write out a list in my planner and work on my calendar. Once you’ve organized your thoughts on paper, you’ll feel much better about the tasks ahead of you.
I suggest creating a work schedule to avoid procrastination. If you put in a little work each day and prioritize, you can accomplish your goals and then some.
3. Study date with a friend
Now, this can either work really well or not at all, it depends on the friend. If you two are going to end up goofing around the whole time, maybe they’re not the friend you should be studying with.
But, you still want to make sure that your study partner is someone who lifts your mood and doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
Otherwise, you’ll be bored out of your mind, and you’ll never want to study again.
I once took a very challenging bio class, so my friend and I set up study dates where we went over the material, made silly acronyms and came up with funny ways to memorize the information.
We learned a lot, had some fun studying and performed well on the tests.
4. Create a reward system
This is a fun one. Think about the total amount of work you need to complete. It can be your work for today, the week, the month, etc.
Now, split up that total into increments. For example, do you need to read a 400-page novel by next week? Give yourself a reward every 75 pages.
Go get a treat, plan some T.V. time, anything that works for you. It’ll ensure you get some brian breaks and motivate you to keep studying.
5. Take breaks!
If you stress yourself out and tell yourself you need to study for ten hours straight, chances are that you’re not doing yourself any favors.
If you don’t give yourself any breaks, you’re going to exhaust yourself, and studying won’t be as effective as it should be.
Plus, your mood might tank, and it’s hard to study when you’re feeling low. Try taking a five minute break every thirty minutes. Or a ten minute break every hour.
Grab a snack, go on TikTok, meditate– whatever you need to keep yourself sane.
6. Study a little bit each day
This study motivation technique requires timeliness and devotion, but it will save you loads of time in the long run.
If you study for a class 20-30 min a day rather than cramming the few days before the test, you’ll be much better off.
Many psychology experiments support that this spread-out study technique leads to a better understanding of the material.
7. Make a vision board
If you remind yourself why you’re studying and what goals you’ll achieve at the finish line, whether it’s tomorrow or 20 years from now, you’ll have more motivation.
The next time you have some downtime, make a vision board with some card board and magazine clippings. Or, I like to hop on Pinterest and work on some of my boards. Works every time.
8. Enter a productive space
I mean this both literally and figuratively. Literally, place yourself in a space conducive to studying, like a library, an office, a quiet coffee shop, etc.
Sometimes I convince myself that studying in bed will be fine– it’s never as productive as it can be.
And, figuratively, create a productive space by turning off text notifications, don’t listen to music unless it doesn’t have lyrics, and so on.
9. Make flashcards
I’d probably fail all my classes if I didn’t make flashcards. I always make them when I need to memorize information or prepare for a presentation.
Grab some flashcards from a supply store, a few colorful pens for study motivation and get started.
Making flashcards is basically half the battle. It can be time consuming, yes, but when it’s time for your test, you’re more likely to remember the things you wrote down, the vocabulary you underlined, the diagrams you drew.
Then, of course, testing and repetition will help. Quiz yourself or a friend in the class. You’ll be an expert in no time.
10. Try to boost your mood
It can be hard to study when you’re feeling down, stressed or tired. Some ways to try and snap out of it are to…
Go for a walk: Exercise releases endorphins, which can make you feel good. Afterward, you’ll feel energized and ready to take on the books
Find a change in scenery: Sometimes changing your surroundings is enough to press the reset button on your mood. Have you been in the house all day? Try studying outside.
Make your favorite snack or drink: Taking some time for yourself by preparing a treat could be what you need. Get a caffeine boost from your favorite coffee or tea. Or, if you’re a little hangry, a snack could do the trick.
11. Study apps
There are plenty of study apps that you can download on your phone to help you study. Apps like Quizlet are designed to help you organize your flashcards or find pre-made sets in your class topic.
Download Flora to keep a to-do list, and set study timers to motivate you to stay off your phone. There are plenty more apps to choose from that can act as study motivators. Thank goodness for technology!
12. Motivational quote
This one has worked for plenty of my friends. When it’s the middle of the semester and you’re feeling burnt out, try finding a motivational quote to turn to.
Skim a list of motivational quotes and see what speaks to you. Check out our list of best motivational quotes to study here.
You can make it your phone background, write it out when you’re feeling anxious, turn it into a wall decoration for your bedroom, etc.
Words have the power to calm us down or give us energy, so you should give this technique a try.
13. An organized space for an organized mind
Even if you don’t study in your room, or even in your house, it can be a huge help to keep these spaces clean.
First of all, you’ll be able to find notes and study materials easily, as you’ll actually know where everything is. And second, a clean space can be comforting.
For me, I feel like I can’t think straight when I know my room is a mess.
14. Don’t compare yourself to others
Motivating yourself to study should be for you and nobody else. When you compare yourself to others, it can be counterproductive and even harmful to your self-esteem.
Your main goal should be to do your personal best. If you compare yourself to those who are performing better or worse than you, you may not be as motivated to work hard.
Study motivation should come from yourself!
15. Take some pressure off yourself
This one goes hand and hand with the above tip.
Too much pressure and stress can be debilitating. Make sure you’re putting your mental health first. Besides, a healthy mind is a productive one.
16. Break down your to-do list
To-do lists can be daunting. Breaking down your tasks into smaller, manageable ones will help things feel much more doable.
You don’t want to overwork yourself and try to get too much done in one day, so spread those smaller tasks throughout your week.
17. Change things up
If you keep your study routine the same, you’ll get bored really quickly. Try using different study methods to keep things slightly more interesting.
Instead of just reading your notes, try making flashcards, quizzing a friend, doing practice problems, drawing diagrams, etc. There are so many different angles from which you can look at the material.
18. Study in the daylight
Studying inside, in the dark or away from a window can make your brain feel foggy. Do yourself a favor and get some sunlight.
It’s a great study motivation, can help you boost your energy, concentrate, think creatively and get better sleep later in the day.
Meditation is a great way to clear your mind, alleviate stress and press the reset button. Find an app such as Smiling Mind, and follow along with one of their pre-recorded meditations.
You can do this daily before you start studying or whenever you feel that you need a break. I use this study motivation technique all the time when I need a recharge.
20. Exercise in the mornings
This study motivation technique works really well for me. Even if I have to drag myself out of bed in the morning, I get a burst of energy after I exercise.
I’m so much more productive for the rest of the day. Try setting aside at least 30 minutes a day to get moving. Go for a walk, do some yoga. You’ll feel great and ready to take on your tasks for the day.
21. Play the right music
Music can be a great study motivator. It can increase your mood and your focus. But, it can also distract you as well. I like to listen to classical music when I study or write essays.
But sometimes I like to play my favorite pop songs when I’m working on a task that doesn’t require too much focus.
22. Make it a creative project
One way to have fun studying while actually learning the material is to think about it creatively. Write a silly acronym. Come up with a song to remember the capitals of countries.
Write a short story relating to the material. Create a collage. These things can really help you memorize information and motivate you to study.
23. Stop negative talk
Don’t tell yourself that you’re bad at something or that you can’t do it. Seeing other people succeed or getting a low grade on a test can be really discouraging.
But don’t give up! Practice having a growth mindset. Tell yourself that you can improve if you put the work in.
24. Work on your hardest tasks first
If you’re like me, you put off your most difficult tasks until the end of the day, and then you don’t have the energy to actually work on them as hard as you should.
It’s time to fix that. Move your most difficult, pressing tasks to the top of your to-do list. You’ll be able to work on it when you have the most energy. Then, things will only get easier throughout your day.
25. Be consistent
Try studying at the same time every day. You’ll get into a groove, which can help you be more productive. Plus, this will keep other responsibilities from piling up, and you’ll likely have some extra time for yourself.
26. Ask yourself why you want to study
If you figure out why you actually need to study, you’ll actually want to study. Is it for a good grade? So you can get a good job? Get into a good college?
Because you want to learn a new skill? Remind yourself of these goals for study motivation every time you’re feeling a little lazy.
27. Figure out why you don’t want to study
If you get to the root of your lack of motivation, you might be able to figure out how to fix it. Are you too tired? Try to prioritize sleep.
Is the material uninteresting? Try some techniques to make studying more fun.
28. Be reasonable
If you set impossible standards, you may be too hard on yourself if you end up not meeting them. Be reasonable with your goals.
And if you end up exceeding them, great! To start, don’t give yourself too many tasks to complete in one day. Having fun is important!
29. Eat healthily
Eating junk food all the time can make you feel sluggish. Make sure to prioritize a well-balanced diet to ensure you have plenty of energy to get through the day.
And, preparing food for yourself is a great way to put yourself first and take your mind off of studying.
Need help preparing healthy college meals? Check out our ultimate post on college meal prep ideas here.
30. Make fun plans each weekend
If you have something to look forward to each weekend, you’ll be motivated to study and make it through each week.
Whether it’s a concert, lunch with a friend or a movie night by yourself, fun plans can act as study motivation. Plus, it’s important to have a life outside of school.
If you need ideas on things to do, check our post of top 50 things to do when bored here.
And there you have it. 30 study motivation tips to get you through a tough day, week or semester. Use these tips to figure out what works best for you.
You can also watch the video below for some additional advice. Best of luck, and happy studying!
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