This has always been the ultimate question for students. Most students are fully aware of the importance of reading a particular chapter, preparing for classes or systematically completing an assignment. But instead of putting 100% effort behind these tasks, we tend to put them off and rush at the very last minute, experiencing the full force of the anxiety, stress and panic.
So how do you motivate yourself to study (or perform any task for that matter)?
The best way to address this is to uncover what are your primary motivating factors.
Pleasure & Pain. We are driven by 2 main forces.
1.The desire to feel pleasure.
2.The desire to avoid pain.
So if you chose NOT to study something, you have (unconsciously or not) associated more pain with studying and more pleasure with not studying.
Here is an example. You should study for a class the next day but your favourite TV show is on. If you decide to skip studying for class, you have concluded that the pleasure from watching TV is more valuable than the pain of not being prepared for class. You are probably thinking what is the worst that could happen if you fail to prepare? You can catch-up later. So, until you decide to change this thought process you will ALWAYS choose the TV show over your studies.
This is why you will notice the total opposite when it comes to exam time. The pain of failing a subject or having to repeat it over again next semester is more intense than the short term pleasure of watching the TV show. So, that is why no matter what activities are on during exam time, more often than not, you are always able to FORCE yourself to study. So, how do I get myself to study?
It will take you less than 5 minutes to execute the below steps. Whenever, you feel like you are struggling to study, perform these steps and watch your motivation level rise.
Step 1: List 5 reasons how studying (insert subject/reading assignment ) will bring you pleasure.
1.Feel prepared in class.
2.Less stressful than the usual last minute cramming for the exam
3.If I focus, I have what it takes to do it quickly and effectively.
4.I can focus on more enjoyable activities without a guilty conscience.
5.Exam preparation will be so much easier now that I learnt this information.
Step 2: List 5 reasons how NOT studying (insert subject/reading assignment ) will bring you pain
1.Feeling completely stressed out and hopeless during exam week.
2.Feeling totally lost and bored during class
3.I have to restudy this whole chapter again later
4.The amount of study that needs to be done will start mounting since I keep putting off studying.
5.I could fail my exam and not get my dream job
Once you complete this list, you will be more associated with studying because it not only gives pleasure from doing it but by NOT doing it, you KNOW you are setting yourself up for pain.
How motivated you are depends solely on how strong you reasons are so choose powerful ones.