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Find motivation during your studies: Our 6 tips

2. April 2021, INFO, TIPS

Boring lectures, difficult subjects and a never-ending assortment of assignments: Student life isn’t always as glamourous as it’s made out to be but these things are simply a part of the deal. Some days you won’t mind so much, and others, will leave you wondering where your motivation disappeared to and if it will ever come back. If you currently find yourself in the latter situation, we’ve gathered some tips to not only help you find your motivation, but get your eyes on the prize.

1. Set yourself tangible goals

There could be countless reasons as to why you may be experiencing a phase of no motivation. It may not necessarily have anything to do with your course of study at all! Like many students, perhaps you’re just dealing with a ton of stress, which can be caused by relationships, jobs or you know…a pandemic! If you don’t have a reliable outlet for these emotions, this could naturally affect your motivation. A great way to counteract this effect, is by setting small & tangible goals. While it’s important to have broader goals so that you can see the bigger picture, setting smaller goals will reassure you that you are not only on the right path, but will also allow you to feel accomplished more often. In time, this can also increase your motivation. After all, Mount Everest wasn’t climbed in a day ?

2. Tackle the worst, first

We all know that procrastinating will cause you unnecessary stress in your studies. That’s why we can’t tell you why procrastination is so common and wide-spread amongst students. However, living from deadline to deadline, could eventually have an impact on your motivation, as well as physical and mental well-being. If you feel like you are having trouble with your workload, it could be time for a different approach: Start by being consistent. For example, make a habit of starting your assignments as soon as you have received them and tackle the worst of the worst, first! That way, if you are experiencing a lack of motivation, you have the time to take a breather. Additionally, you will be coming back to a task you have already started, which is half the battle!

3. Work on your self-organization

If you find yourself missing lectures, doing the wrong readings or losing notes, it can become chaotic pretty quick. As previously mentioned, feeling overwhelmed can lead to a decline in motivation. Luckily, there’s a simple solution to avoid falling into that trap: Getting organized. Create some structure in your day-to-day life and use a calendar to keep track of important deadlines, making sure to check back regularly. With these extra tips about getting organized, you won’t lose sight of your goals and you’ll be able to look back on your progress with pride.

4. Take breaks and reward yourself

Successful people value their breaks. This is an important basic rule that you should not make an exception to. After all, recovery phases are necessary in order to remain motivated, productive and improve performance. Even the most enjoyable task can become a drag if you’ve been working on it too long. Additionally, motivation often increases automatically with the prospect of a reward, whether that be taking a day-trip to the country-side or buying yourself a sweet treat. This is easier said than done when you’re in the middle of final exams and cramming but it won’t be something you regret!

5. Work together with others

Perhaps you are one of those people who can be quickly influenced by the dynamics of a group and are thus easier to motivate. After all, any learning material, no matter how tough, can be better mastered with others. If the right people come together, fun is guaranteed, regardless of the actual task. Sharing worries or problems is also a great support for many. It is simply easier to get through difficult times together. If you have a low point, you can depend on your group to lift you up and vice versa. On the flip side, it’s also important to mention that group work can also go in a completely different direction. If you are surrounded by individuals, who are constantly dragging you down and killing your vibe, see if there is anything you can do, to better shape and influence the environment you associate yourself with.

6. Question your expectations of yourself

Are you lacking motivation due to feelings of dissatisfaction in regards to your own performance? Are they realistic?
Constantly measuring yourself against the performance or the lives of others must inevitably end in some sort of complex. What matters is not how good you are in comparison, but what your strengths are, what you enjoy doing and how you can use both together to achieve your goals. If you aren’t sure about your own strengths, you can ask a good friend. Talking to someone close to you is often enormously helpful in regaining confidence in yourself and in dealing with external pressure.

If you’ve come to the end of this article and even the best study tips haven’t helped with your motivation, then it’s time to dig a little deeper and ask yourself if you’re on the right path. Maybe your interests have changed or your programme isn’t quite what you thought it would turn out to be. That’s ok too! If you’re considering a different degree program, our tips on choosing the right degree programme could be helpful.

Conclusion: Don't give up, keep at it

We will all experience lows and highs when it comes to motivation. Give the tips a go and remember to be patient with yourself. If all else fails, talk to a friend or simply readjust your course, as long as you keep looking forward!

Roman Peter


Best Operator 2020