Sometimes when the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and your friends are texting you to come hang out, sitting down to study is the farthest thing from your mind. However, utilizing focused study time is one of the best ways to ensure you reach your educational benchmarks and achieve your highest academic potential. So, how do you motivate yourself when you would rather be doing anything besides looking at your books? Well, here are 5 tips for when you don’t feel like studying that you can integrate into your routine to make studying less painful and more productive.
1. Create a Deliberate Plan
If you’re the type of person who finds it easy to procrastinate studying, it might be in your best interest to create a deliberate plan you follow each day or week. Within this plan, you’ll want to include details such as how long you’ll study for, what topics or subjects you’ll cover, and when you’re going to sit down to do this focused work. For example, if you find that you work best in the mornings for a few hours at a time, then that might be the perfect time to schedule your study session in. On the other hand, maybe someone else focuses best for short spurts throughout the afternoon, and in this case, they should create their study plan accordingly. Ultimately, having a plan to follow and knowing exactly what you’re hoping to accomplish during your study session is critical so you can get in and out painlessly.
2. Prepare Your Study Space
Beyond knowing what you’re going to accomplish during your study session, when you’re going to do it, and for how long, the next most important step is to prepare your study space. So, try to find a quiet, distraction-free area where you can get in the studying zone without being interrupted. Again, this will look different for everyone. Some people might like to study at home in an office, spare room, or even the dining room, whereas other students might find it better to go to a local café or the school library to get their study time in. However, if you do go to a public space to study, be sure to find an area where distractions like chatting or people-watching won’t tempt you. Distractions can come in many forms, from our phones to our pets to outside noise, so do your best to prepare a study space that is free from any of these disruptions so that you can have a focused study session and get back to the things you enjoy faster.
3. Limit Your Session Length
Another thing to consider when creating a plan and preparing your space for studying is limiting your session length or including consistent breaks to help increase your overall productivity. If you sit for too long at one task without taking a break or working on something else, you begin to experience mental fatigue or brain burnout. You can think of this just like how a car does a burnout (by grinding its tires into the pavement without actually going anywhere), and that’s what begins to happen to you when you don’t limit your session length and take consistent breaks. Some great things to do while taking a short break from studying to allow your mind to reset include going for a walk, getting some fresh air, grabbing a coffee or water, or hanging out with pets. You will also surely check your phone during your break, considering you’ve had to set it aside during your study time, but be sure to get up, stretch, and walk around as well at the very least. Being mindful of limiting your session length in this way and taking consistent breaks is one of the best strategies to avoid studying burnout and reach your full potential.
4. Undertake One Task at a Time
Although we like to tell ourselves that we are the ultimate multi-taskers, it’s been scientifically proven that the human brain can only truly focus on one thing at a time. Therefore, when it comes to studying, it’s critical that you only undertake one task at a time; otherwise, you’ll overload yourself and won’t accomplish any of them. Again, this goes back to setting a deliberate plan for yourself to follow. You would never plan to try and do three or four tasks at once – so why do you still end up trying to do that? It’s because without a clear plan, there can be no clear execution, meaning you’ll bounce around on multiple tasks yet not make headway in any of them this way. Instead, you should mindfully create your schedule to only undertake one task at a time, and you’ll find that your focus, motivation, and productivity increase tenfold when it comes to studying since you’ll no longer be overwhelmed.
5. Rest Intentionally
Once you’ve finished your study session, it’s important to allow yourself some time to rest intentionally, especially if you have more work to complete or more studying to do. For some, resting or resetting might look like popcorn and a movie, a long dog walk, or a coffee date with a friend. Whatever it is that you enjoy the most in order to relax should be prioritized here. You can almost even think of the intentional rest as a reward for studying, meaning it’s the perfect time to order that extra whip on your latte or to click ‘next episode’ on the TV. Just be aware that once your intentional rest time is up that it’s time to move on to your next task or go back to studying. The whole idea of resting intentionally is to help your brain de-stress and reset so that you can achieve your highest academic potential more easily.
When you’re not feeling it, it can be challenging to garner the motivation and focus to get your studying done productively. However, by creating a deliberate plan for your study session, you will see it becomes much easier to find the time to sit down and study. Preparing your study space, eliminating any distractions, and limiting your session length will help you avoid burnout and get more work done during your studying. Furthermore, undertaking only one task at a time will not only make it easier for you to tackle your to-do list, but it will also help you get more focused work done in a shorter amount of time. Finally, after a long study session, it’s critical that you rest intentionally and give yourself a break mentally to recuperate and get ready for the next task. Ultimately, integrating these 5 tips for when you don’t feel like studying can help you crush your next study session and get back to the activities you love faster.
If you or your child require additional educational support to achieve your goals, why not reach out to our experts at Knowledge Bump today? Our customized approach to learning means that each student’s needs are considered to create specialized programming that helps them understand educational concepts and build academic confidence. So, contact us now and let’s help you reach your highest academic potential today!