Sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to study, even if you have the most important test or presentation coming up.
Even if you know how important it is to study and everything inside you knows you have to do it, getting up the will to do what you’re supposed to do is, for many people, one of the most difficult parts.
You might have other responsibilities that are more fun – watching TV with your friends or spending time on Facebook seem so much more appealing than studying.
People often struggle to find the motivation to study because they don’t know how to start or where to begin.
They might feel overwhelmed by the task at hand and unsure of how to make progress.
Additionally, many people struggle with distractions and lack of focus, which can make it difficult to be productive at school or feel motivated to get anything done.
The good news is there are steps you can take to motivate yourself to study, no matter how difficult it seems right now.
In the guide below, we’ll outline 11 proven ways to find study motivation so you can get the motivation you need to make it through any study session.
1. Find a study partner
A study partner can be an incredibly useful tool when it comes to finding motivation to study.
When you have someone to study with, you are more likely to stay on track and feel motivated and less likely to get easily distracted.
Having someone to talk to and quiz you can also help you retain information better.
If you don’t have a study partner, try joining a study group or searching for forums or websites that allow you to connect with other students who are looking for someone to study with.
What to look for in a study partner
Some things to look for in a study partner include time, personality type, and personality fit.
First, you want to make sure your study partner is free when you are.
If he or she doesn’t have the same schedule as you, it will be hard for you both to find time to meet.
Also, think about how motivated your study partner seems in class and whether this motivation carries over into studying outside of class.
When it comes to motivation, motivation is a characteristic that varies from person to person.
While you might think someone else is motivated, motivation is very personal and what works for one person might not work for another.
Finally, you want to look at when trying to find a study partner is personality fit.
You want to make sure you get along well with your study partner.
It’s better for you both to find motivation in each other than to force it when it isn’t there, so try and find someone who can motivate you to get some actual studying done.
How to find a study partner
How exactly do you go about finding a study partner?
First, it’s a good idea to ask around and see if any of your friends or classmates would be willing to study with you.
If you don’t have anyone in mind, try searching for forums or websites that allow you to connect with other students who are looking for motivation.
There are many different places where you can find a partner to study with, from your school’s Facebook page to university-specific forums.
Of course, if you’re not a student, you might need to turn to a co-worker or friend who also needs to get some studying done.
Benefits of having a study partner
There are lots of benefits to using a partner to find motivation to study.
First, motivation is contagious.
When you study with someone who seems to be hyper-motivated in class, he or she will likely motivate you to do your best work when it comes time to hit the books.
Also, motivation can be hard to come by when you’re slogging through hours of studying every night alone.
But motivation is much easier to come by when you study with someone else who has it.
This motivation will help you push through studying sessions that would otherwise be impossible to complete on your own.
2. Create a list of your goals and the reasons you want to accomplish them
One of the best ways to find motivation to study is by creating a list of your goals and the reasons you want to accomplish them.
When you have a tangible list in front of you, it’s easier to see what you’re working for and to find inspiration when you’re feeling down.
Your goals can be anything from wanting to get straight A’s in all your classes to wanting to read one book every month.
The important part is that your goals are personal and meaningful to you.
If you don’t have any goals, try thinking about what areas of your life you would like to see improve.
Once you have an idea of the types of goals you want to achieve, take some time to write down the reasons you want to achieve them.
For example, if your motivation is to get an A in one of your classes so you can get into graduate school next year, think about why you want to go to graduate school.
Do you want to study abroad? Do you dream about getting your Ph.D. someday? Are you unsure of what you want to do with your life, but you know that getting a graduate degree is the best path forward?
Whatever your motivation is, write it down and keep it in mind when motivation is lacking.
This will help push you forward when studying becomes too much.
3. Reward yourself for accomplishing small tasks
One way to find the motivation to study is by rewarding yourself for completing small tasks.
For example, if you read one chapter of your textbook, reward yourself by going for a walk or watching an episode of your favorite show.
If you practice ten minutes on your instrument, give yourself five minutes of break time.
This will help keep you motivated throughout your studying sessions and make it feel more like a game rather than a chore.
4. Create a distraction-free study spot
It can be difficult to find motivation to study when there are so many distractions around you.
This is especially true if you’re trying to study in your room, where the TV is always on, the door is constantly opening, or your pets are begging for attention. The same goes for if you’re studying at a local hangout where your friends will constantly be coming through.
The best way to find study motivation is by finding a good study spot with no distractions.
Some of the best places to study include a quiet corner in the library, studying at a quiet coffee shop, or coming in early to school before everyone else arrives.
If you can’t leave your home environment, try making some changes that will help reduce the amount of distractions around you.
For example, try turning off the TV, putting away your cell phone, and shutting the door to your room when doing your study sessions.
If you have pets, try putting them in another room or creating a safe space for them somewhere outside of your study space so they won’t disturb you while you’re focusing on important tasks.
5. Try different study methods to find the one you like best
The wrong studying method can sap your motivation and leave you feeling helpless. That’s why it’s so important to try out different studying techniques to find the one that best fits your personality.
Some people might find that they work best by listening to music while they study, while others might prefer reading their textbook instead.
Still, others might find that they work best when they take breaks every hour or so to move around and get some fresh air.
It’s important to experiment until you find a study method that you enjoy and that helps you focus and learn the material.
If the first method or technique you try doesn’t work well for you, don’t be afraid to try something else.
There are tons of different studying methods out there, from the Pomodoro Technique where you study in short bursts to the Feynman Technique where you summarize and teach the material to someone else.
So if you don’t like one study method, try another until you find one that’s enjoyable and effective for your unique situation.
6. Get enough sleep to improve focus and energy levels
One of the most important things to keep in mind when finding motivation to study is getting enough sleep.
If you’re tired, it’s going to be difficult to focus on your work and you’ll be more likely to give up.
On the other hand, if you’re well-rested you’ll have more energy and be better able to focus on what you’re doing.
Aim for at least eight hours of sleep per night so you can start your day feeling refreshed and motivated.
If you find that you’re struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, try talking to your doctor about ways to improve your sleeping habits.
There are many things that can help, such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, creating a relaxing environment in your bedroom, and establishing a pre-sleep routine so you can calm down for the night.
As motivation to study is closely tied with motivation in general, getting enough sleep will help improve your studying sessions too.
7. Use anti-distraction apps and website blockers
With such easy access to social media, YouTube videos, and other online distractions, it’s easy to waste time and lose the motivation to study.
That’s why it can be extremely helpful to use an anti-distraction website blocker or app that will block the sites you’re trying to avoid.
This way, you won’t be able to go on social media or YouTube until your study session is over, which makes motivation much easier.
Apps like SelfControl and AntiSocial keep you on track by blocking distracting websites of your choice.
You can also use motivation apps like Forest that reward you for staying focused with virtual trees that grow the longer you study or work without distractions.
It’s important to note that using these apps and website blockers will only be effective if they’re used in conjunction with motivation techniques like establishing a study environment and finding motivation to study strategies that you enjoy.
While these apps and website blockers certainly won’t hurt, they’re much more effective when paired with positive motivation techniques like rewarding yourself for studying or creating a list of your academic goals.
8. Start with the easiest tasks first
When it comes to finding motivation to study, one of the most important things to remember is to start with the easiest tasks first.
This way, you’ll be able to get a sense of accomplishment from completing a task and will be more likely to continue working.
If you start with a difficult task, you might become overwhelmed and give up.
By starting with the easier tasks first, you’ll be able to avoid these negative feelings and stay motivated throughout your study session.
For example, you might want to start by organizing or cleaning up your notes to get them ready for your study session. Once you get the satisfaction of checking that task off your list, it’ll be easier to motivate yourself to study further.
9. Watch a motivational speech
Watching motivational speeches can be a great way to get motivated to study.
These speeches can help you to focus on your goals and motivation techniques that will help you accomplish them.
They can also provide inspiration and motivation when you feel like giving up.
These speeches are often available online for free, so you can watch them whenever you need a boost of motivation.
When watching these speeches, make sure to take notes on the techniques and strategies that seem most helpful to you.
Then, try incorporating these techniques into your own study routine.
The more you practice using these techniques, the more likely motivation to study will come naturally.
10. Schedule your day
When you create a schedule and stick to it, it helps you get tasks done even if you don’t feel like doing them.
When motivation to study is low, it can be helpful to schedule your day according to the tasks you need to accomplish rather than how you feel.
For example, if you have an assignment due in two weeks, schedule time for completing this task every day until it’s completed.
Then, when motivation isn’t at its best, you’ll be able to look at your schedule and see the motivation techniques already working for you.
Even if motivation isn’t on your side, this will make it easier to stick to your study routine and accomplish all of your goals because it’s there on your schedule and it has to be done.
11. Break it down into small tasks
When you have a big upcoming exam or presentation to study for, it can seem like a massive task that’s impossible to conquer. But if you break that big task into several smaller ones, motivation might come easier.
For example, if you have a paper due in two days, you can split it up into several parts: planning the paper and outlining the general points, proofreading and revising your work, and formatting and proofreading again before turning it in.
By breaking down the large tasks into smaller ones, motivation to study can become more manageable.
A Final Word on Finding Motivation to Study
When it comes to finding motivation to study, there are many different things that work for different people.
Some might find a study partner to be helpful, while others might create a list of goals and the reasons they want to accomplish them.
Still, others might reward themselves for accomplishing small tasks, like reading one chapter or practicing ten minutes on an instrument.
It’s important to find what works best for you and to create a study routine that is both effective and enjoyable.
By testing out the different study motivation tactics in the guide above, you’ll be well on your way to motivating yourself no matter what is going on.