1. Keep a Study Planner
While this step may seem pretty obvious and boring, for many of us it’s a crucial part of everyday life and keeping us on track. This step isn’t so much about the planner as it is about just sitting down and getting to work. Don’t wait for inspiration to hit or to feel some kind of joy and want to study. That’s purely wishful thinking and while you may have the occasional great day where this does happen it certainly isn’t going to be the norm. When these days do hit however, use their full potential and write down exactly what you need to accomplish each day in the following weeks. This way on the ‘normal’ days you’ll have your planner sitting beside you, telling you exactly what to do, taking the ‘shut-up and just do it’ approach to study.
2. Schedule around Your Lifestyle
Too often people, particularly newer students get into the habit of thinking their life and outside hobbies will fall nicely around their study schedule. For some, this may be true but for most scheduling the rest of your life around your study hours isn’t always the best way to go. It’s hard to stay motivated to study if you’re constantly and consistently neglecting outside interests. While it’s not a good idea to go the opposite track and study only when you have a spare minute either, forming the right study/life balance for you is crucial to maintaining study and your happiness while doing so. You should establish this balance early on in your studies to avoid burn-out. The balance is different for everyone so it’s best to take a minute and decide (just like a job) how many hours you feel you can happily and willingly study per week (and remember, not just when you’re motivated but when you’re feeling the pressure too).
3. Create a Study Space
Again, this is a bit of a no-brainer, everyone needs a space that they can study in. You should have and maintain a clean and clear space in which you can comfortably sit and study in for long periods of time. A designated study area is best but if that’s not possible, anywhere that you can focus is fine too. While a desk is best for most you may feel most comfortable curled up on the lounge with a stack of books, your planner and laptop handy. Everyone’s study area will be different. If you are lucky enough to have a specific study area, incorporating your own style and study tools into the mix can also be helpful, for example having your favourite books around if you’re a journalism student, placing a mood board on the shelf if you’re an interior design student, the Accounting Cheat Sheet if you’re a bookkeeping or accounting student and pictures or photos plastered on the wall if you’re an art or photography buff.
4. Change it Up
One of the best ways to create some new inspiration and motivation to study is by changing up your usual routine. Perhaps you could take on the high school approach to learning and schedule in alternating weeks of study to mix it up. Alternatively if you feel your schedule and study/life balance has a good rhythm you could change around your study space. Find somewhere new to study or simply find some new inspirational posters to hang up. Take a few hours to move things around and refresh whether it be your study schedule, your work space or other.
5. Do What Works For You
While these tips should certainly work for most, you may find another approach works better. Before you begin your next weekly or monthly plan, sit down and take a moment and think about what will work for you. If exercise, taking regular breaks, napping and drinking copious amounts of coffee help to keep you motivated and inspired in other areas of your life then it’s most likely that they’ll help you keep on top of your studies as well. If scouring pinterest for your next inspirational study quote floats your boat then do that, keep a scrap book of helpful images to get you raring to go in the morning. Try anything that might help, soon enough you’ll find your mojo, the most important aspect is to not give up on finding new inspiration as it usually hits when we try something different!