Keeping yourself motivated to study

Studying can sometimes get tedious, we’ve all been there. Growing up, I was never the studious type; I would much prefer to watch TV. My parents were seriously worried I wasn’t going to do well in my GCSEs (but thank God somehow I did). Starting my Masters and now PhD, I have learnt how managing your studying properly actually means you get all the work done and have more time for other things like spending time with friends, hobbies and sleep! Here are a few of my tips I’ve picked up that keep me motivated to study!

Don’t spend too long on one task: This is important for things that you find particularly boring or difficult. If you spend hours on end working on something, for example writing an essay, then you will get very bored of it and other things will distract you more easily. Also, leaving it for a while and coming back to it with a fresh mind might give you new ideas and perspectives you didn’t realise before.

🏞 Location: Change up your study location now and again. Instead of working at your desk, office or library, try a cafe or if it’s a warm sunny day in a park! Trust me this makes such a huge difference to your motivation. You stop associating one location with studying which makes it very depressing. Nature and outdoors is also known to having de-stressing qualities.

👯‍♂️ Study buddy: If you’re the type to keep getting distracted by your phone etc try studying with someone else. However, make sure this person isn’t distracting or else it defeats the point. Both of you can motivate each other, share your learning and then maybe after you’ve done studying you can do something fun!

🗂 Break big tasks into smaller ones: If you have a big project or are revising a big topic then break it down into smaller sections and work on it section by section. This makes the big task less stressful to tackle and you feel good when you can tick off these smaller sections one by one. We all love ticking off tasks. For example, I’m doing a systematic review which is a big project and takes a long time but breaking it down into sections like: screening titles, screening full texts, data extraction, intro write up etc makes it more manageable.

🤳🏼 Rewards and mini breaks: This should be done with caution. Once you have finished a substantial amount of work that you pre-determined, give yourself a little break or reward. What I like to do is use this as my time to go on social media because sometimes I can spend wayyy too long on it. Make sure you time yourself and stick to it!!

☕️ Tea/coffee: And of course tea or coffee should have been first on the list to be honest but here it is, probably my most important tip! Not for everyone and not the best to have to too much tea or coffee but it gets me through my work and I’m sure a lot of you can relate! I’m particularly into green teas like chamomile which really helps with stress!

Author: nafisasnotes

A PhD student sharing my notes and reflections on academia and lifestyle topics! Follow me to get an insight on all things research, academia and lifestyle!