How to Enjoy Studying, No Matter How Tedious It Gets
No one ever said that going to college would be years of wall-to-wall excitement.
There is a lot of fun, particularly when the class is exciting and interesting. It’s possible, though, to enjoy studying even if you don’t especially love the class. Here are five great ways to go about doing that.
Make It Matter
Apparently there is some truth to the cliché that time flies when you’re having fun. Researchers have found that having a goal you’re excited about makes activities much more interesting. Taking an “achievement-oriented action,” in fact, is a much stronger motivator than mere satisfaction.
By definition, any time you study it’s an “achievement-oriented action.” Remembering this point will help you reframe your mental attitude. View your studies as one more item you get to check off on your to-do list rather than as something odious that you have to do.
Just Do It
You likely know yourself well enough to know when you’re about to chug into procrastination station. It’s that dark, mental place where anything from shampooing the cat to cleaning the bathroom seems more appealing than studying.
The problem is, the more you put off a task, the more unappealing it becomes. You will have to start eventually, and chances are you’ll wind up kicking yourself later for all the time you wasted putting things off.
Don’t fall victim to your own lack of enthusiasm. It might be hard at first to give yourself that little “just get going” kick, but once you establish the routine you’ll find it easier to bring yourself back in line.
Sometimes students struggle most with classes they’d never take if they didn’t have to. When the intrinsic interest isn’t there, motivation can be hard to come by.
That’s when you remind yourself that it’s impossible to know now what will matter a few years into your career. Maybe you hate writing, but anyone with an eye toward management will have to, at the very least, be able to write a cogent email. Develop those writing skills now, so you’re not lamenting later that you wish you’d paid more attention.
Play To Your Weaknesses
What’s your favorite indulgence? It could be something as simple as a single piece of luscious gourmet chocolate or a latte at your favorite coffee shop after you’ve spent a certain amount of time studying. Or it can be as audacious as a weekend getaway after keeping a paper or project on track and on time.
Set up a reward system, and make yourself earn these privileges. It’s much easier sometimes to keep on track when the incentive is close at hand.
The Final Countdown
Remembering your ultimate goal – a college degree – can get you back on task when Facebook sounds more interesting.
This technique is great when you’re close enough to your degree to literally count the days. Mark each one off on a calendar or create a chain and remove a ring daily. Buy or create a Thought of the Day motivational calendar that reminds you of all the reasons you went back to school. There’s a lot of power in simple motivators such as these.
If you’re measuring the time left to graduation in months instead of days, count down toward the end of the class or semester instead.
From time to time, everyone will suffer from motivational slumps. Taking simple steps such as setting up a rewards system, making every class count, and keeping your ultimate goal in mind, will make studying more fun and productive.
Written by Ashford University staff