You know you have to do your homework and prepare for those exams, but you dread the thought of getting started. So, you watch the hours and days pass without making any progress on that pile of assignments waiting for you.
That’s one scenario. The alternative is, you force yourself to study – but you hate the process nonetheless. So, your papers rarely earn you a good grade, and every minute of the learning process is torture for you.
Whichever scenario you find yourself in, you must’ve already self-diagnosed the root cause: you have no motivation to study. Fortunately for you, motivation isn’t a muse. It’s a psychological mechanism that you can leverage for your benefit. Here’s how to do it – and why you should.
A word of caution: not all motivational practices are made the same. So, don’t give up if they don’t do it for you. You can always buy yourself some time by turning to professional writers that can answer your “write papers for me” call. And then, you can spend more time reflecting on what motivates you!
What Is Motivation?
Motivation is the driving force behind what you decide to do. It’s why you decide to do a certain thing. Motivation can be:
- Extrinsic (i.e., external). For example, you may be doing your homework because you want to make your parents proud – or because you’re afraid of being put on academic probation.
- Intrinsic (i.e., internal). This kind of motivation stems from within you. You may be diving into the extra reading materials simply because you enjoy learning more about the topic.
6 Motivation Practices to Make You a Better Learner
Motivational practices can bring out either an extrinsic or intrinsic desire to study in you – or both. Here are three extrinsic motivational practices you may find helpful:
- Join a study group. This way, you won’t be able to slack off with your assignment – or you’ll be letting others down.
- Use an app for learning or habit tracking. It’ll remind you about your daily sessions – and hold you accountable for breaking a streak!
- Set up a reward system for yourself. For example, after a successful session, you can treat yourself to takeout.
And here are three ways to find your intrinsic motivation to study:
- Imagine what it’d feel like after you’ve accomplished the task at hand. Will you be relieved? Brain-pumped? Pleasantly tired?
- Understand the bigger picture. How can learning this or that help you achieve your dreams or long-term goals? You can watch a motivational movie or read an inspiring book to have a starting point for these reflections.
- Make the learning process more enjoyable and engaging for yourself. For example, use the materials that match your learning style (e.g., YouTube videos instead of textbooks).
5 Ways Motivation Practices Can Help Students
So, why should you try to leverage your motivation instead of just grinding through it “like everyone else”? Here are five reasons why learning to motivate yourself to study can be the best decision you make during your student years.
- You’ll Become More Focused & Productive
Motivated students tend to be better critical thinkers and more focused on the task at hand. You’ve probably experienced it yourself: you may call it “being in the zone.”
Whatever label you assign to being engulfed in the activity, this exhilarating feeling is when you’re at your most productive. And once you learn to turn it on when you need it, it’ll help you beat procrastination and get it over with your homework faster than you thought possible.
- Your Mental Health Will Thank You
If you lack the motivation to study, you probably hate the process itself. This can do more damage than just lead to procrastination. The “study = unpleasant” association can make you more stressed out than your peers about every aspect of your studies.
On top of that, continuously engaging in an activity you find unpleasant and stress-inducing is a sure-proof recipe for burnout. It’s an extreme form of exhaustion that kills your ability to want anything out of life or enjoy the activities you usually do.
Discovering your motivation to study is a way to prevent both stress and burnout. Think of it as a change in perception that, in turn, improves your mental state.
- Your Academic Performance Will Improve
Who’s more likely to earn the top grade on an exam: a focused, productive, and calm student – or someone who is stressed out or burned out? Of course, the more stressed out or burned out you are, the less likely you are to succeed!
Besides, motivation often translates into being detail-oriented with your assignments. You’ll actually want your paper to be great, and you’ll do the work to make it so. And your hard work, along with the underlying motivation, will show – and will earn you one top grade after another.
- You’ll Learn to Love Learning
This may not seem like a big deal to you now. But the ability to learn – and enjoy the process – is one of the most sought-after soft skills in the job market. That’s because no job is safely tucked away from progress: you’ll have to learn new things to keep up the good work.
Apart from that, learning is a major life skill that you will need later on. Not just to find a job (and keep it), but to adapt to the world around you as it evolves. So, the sooner you find it in you to love learning, the better!
- You’ll Have More Time to Enjoy Student Life
Student life isn’t just about studying. It’s also about sports, volunteering, and traveling, among other things. But to make the best out of your college years, you need time.
Becoming a motivated student means you won’t lose your precious time to procrastination. You’ll get your assignments done faster, too. This leaves you with more time on your hands to enjoy these crazy student years!
Motivation isn’t some mythical creature that may or may not visit you from time to time. You can learn to become motivated. That, in turn, will help you become a better student across the board: you’ll be more productive, you’ll excel at your studies, and you’ll feel great about the process.
Just make sure to try multiple motivational practices before settling on one or several of them. Motivation is a deeply personal thing, and so is what works for you. But once you’ll find the technique(s) that fit you best, you’ll be unstoppable!