Studying takes a lot of self-discipline and motivation, and there are times when we simply don’t have that. Whether it’s because you’re going through something difficult or you just don’t feel like studying, we’ve all been there. But don’t let yourself spiral and don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s normal to lose motivation sometimes. The question you need to be focused on instead is how to get it back. Whenever you feel unmotivated, follow these tips to encourage yourself and refocus on your studies. You’ll thank yourself in the long run for it.
Know That How You Feel is Normal – and Temporary
At the moment, it might feel to you that taking classes at home is a huge struggle. You need to keep in mind that this setup is temporary. Throughout our lives, we’ve all gotten used to learning inside a classroom and to suddenly have it all change can throw anyone off. Having school online means fewer social interactions and more distractions, setting us up for a real challenge. The first thing to do is accept that this feeling is normal. Feelings come and go and if you work towards it, you can overcome this unmotivated state you’re in. Accepting this will allow you to shift your mindset, therefore giving you the mental capacity to be easier on yourself and relax a little.
Take a Walk
This might just be the most effective thing to do when you’re unmotivated and need to study. When you have a lot of work to do, it could feel counterintuitive to get up and go outside, but it works. Walking is good for the brain as it stimulates blood flow and increases oxygen flow throughout the whole body. Not to mention, any moderate exercise will produce endorphins, putting you in a better mood. Walking lowers stress while creating productive momentum – it’s a win-win.
Commit to Just One Task
Once you’re back from your walk, it’s time to sit down and get some work done. Don’t start yet. First, pick one thing to focus on. Picking more than one thing will set yourself up for distractions. By trying to accomplish multiple tasks, you’ll be tempted to tackle the next thing once the first item on your list gets boring or difficult – it’s human nature. Write down the task you want to do. This will serve as a visual reminder to keep you going throughout the day.
Plan Your Breaks
Research has shown that studying in short bursts is when we learn best. The theory behind it is that learning involves creating memories. Memories are formed through links between neurons. For these memories to become embedded, the neurons need to be left undisturbed for a period of time. That’s why the best learning we do is in short bursts of time. Having spaced-out study breaks will allow the neurons to embed these new memories. So before you sit down to study, plan when you’ll be taking breaks – doing so will help you focus. Just don’t stop every 5 minutes to play a game – this will have the opposite effect. Give yourself 25 minutes to work followed by a 5-minute break. After doing this four times, take a longer break for up to half an hour and start over.
What we eat has a major effect on the way we think, feel, and function. There are a number of food groups that have been shown to improve brain function and maintain concentration. The most important thing to do is maintain a balanced diet. Snacking on fast foods throughout the day will make you feel slow and sluggish instead of energized and focused.