5 Ways To Stay Motivated Throughout Your Studies
When new students first embark on the journey of study, they are full of excitement about the future and what lies ahead. Many fail to recognise the hard work that will be expected, or underestimate the efforts that will be required. Regardless of what programme you choose, there are bound to be challenges along the way. During these periods, however, it’s important to stay motivated and focus on why you began in the first place. If you’re experiencing a lack of motivation, or perhaps are a new student who would like to avoid this situation, see below for some helpful tips.
1. Make sure you have a good study space
If we can provide one piece of advice, it is don’t underestimate the power of a decent study area! A good study space includes adequate lighting, minimal interruptions, appropriate resources and a comfortable chair. Without this space, students are at greater risk of being distracted and tend to be less productive. This isn’t a direct influencer of motivation, but when we’re unproductive and don’t achieve our goals, this is when motivation starts to fade. Try to avoid studying in places such as your desk at work, on the couch or in a busy caf, as distractions can occur. If you don’t have the space within your own home, try somewhere like a public library or quiet meeting room within your workplace.
2. Remember that it’s okay to have failures and doubts
Anyone who says that they completed a degree without encountering challenges or doubts, is either lying or a descendant of someone like Albert Einstein. Seriously though, when you’re completing your degree, don’t view failures or challenges as major setbacks, view them as learning experiences. It’s also important not to doubt your abilities – if you weren’t suitable for the programme, you wouldn’t have met the eligibility criteria to begin with. Susy Kassem said, “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will”. If you’re experiencing doubt or struggling to overcome some setbacks, write down why you started, and try to find that sense of excitement again to stay motivated. Remind yourself that study isn’t forever, and you’re doing it to get to the place where you’d like to be.
3. Set measurable and achievable goals
Again, the act of setting and writing down personal goals is often overlooked. In order to stay motivated, you should set goals that are both measurable and achievable. If you are undertaking a programme with monthly subjects, set monthly goals so that you feel like you have achieved something at the end of the month. If you achieve the goals, it’s important to reward yourself too, providing positive reinforcement to persist with your studies. Although this seems like something you would do for children, it can actually make the world of difference for adults undertaking study, and be that extra bit of motivation you need to keep going.
4. Focus on the short term
While study is a long term goal with long term benefits, when considering motivation levels it is actually best to focus on the short term. Often when we look towards the long term future, we become overwhelmed with what has to be done before we reach our end goal. Throughout your studies, you need to remain positive and focused. As such, you should focus on how much you’ve achieved, celebrating the smaller milestones, rather than thinking about how much longer you have to go. We encourage you to recognise the small things – they add up!
5. Don’t let study become your life
There’s no denying that study will become a very big part of your life as you try to balance that with existing personal and professional commitments. One piece of advice to note, however, is that you need to maintain a balance and ensure that it doesn’t take over your life. While you will need to put time into your studies, you will also need to make time for yourself and those around you. If you find that it is taking over your life, consider cutting back or taking a break where necessary. At the end of the day, your health and happiness will be key in order to stay motivated, so make sure you listen to your body and maintain a healthy balance.
What do you think?
Do you have any other tips to stay motivated to add to this list? I’d love to hear from students around the world who can share what helps keep them on track towards their end goal of graduation. Comment your thoughts below to join the conversation!
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.