This blog post was written by Charlotte, a 2nd year Psychology student at the University of Surrey.
When it comes to studying, it is completely normal to lose motivation at times. Getting back into the swings of things after the holidays can sometimes be a lot easier said than done! As a second year university student, I’ve experienced this feeling many times, through my GCSEs, A-Levels and even the last couple years of my degree. Here are a few tips and tricks I try to use when I need a motivation boost!
Make a timetable
Creating a plan is a very useful way of mapping out all of the tasks you’d like to get done within a certain time frame. Whilst planning out my weeks, I try to divide big tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks and spread it out across the week, as being faced with a big lot of work in a short space of time can feel overwhelming sometimes.
Start with the tasks you most enjoy
After a period of rest from my studies, I’ve found that starting with work that is most interesting and enjoyable to me is a great way to get back into ‘study mode’, especially when I’ve lost a bit of motivation. I also find it’s a helpful way to ease myself back into my studies after a holiday.
Work with others
In general, I personally find studying with others around me, in places like the Library or even a café, much more motivating than working alone. However, recently I’ve discovered that there are virtual ways to do this too! Websites such as YouTube always have creators live streaming ‘study sessions’, which may seem a little silly at first watching a video of someone doing their work, however it can actually be a huge motivation boost! Alternatively, setting up group video calls with friends is another way you can study together, from the comfort of your own houses.
Try new revision techniques
Something that I feel I am yet to master is finding that one revision technique that I use time and time again. Personally, I have found that if I continuously try to revise each topic in the exact same way, I quickly get bored and lose momentum. By trialing different ways of making my notes look pretty from time to time helps to keep me engaged and motivated to study! A few of my current favourite revision techniques include making flashcards on Quizlet and making A3 mind maps.
Not many of us can concentrate on one thing for hours on end. Taking regular breaks during and between study sessions is so important, as making sure you are rested if key to producing great work. A way to help factor in regular breaks is called the ‘Pomodoro technique’, where you work in 25 minute blocks (called a ‘Pomodoro’, with a 5 minute break in-between each block. After completing 4 blocks, you can take a longer break! The aim of this method is to enable you to have complete focus on one task at a time, so having a plan on what you want to get done during each ‘Pomodoro’ is key! When it comes to the breaks, I find it best to stay away from my phone during the 5-minute breaks and instead going to get a snack or just simply walking around a little. These regular breaks are great in helping you to refocus and not lose concentration whilst working.
I hope these tips have been useful, and I wish you all the best with your studies!