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Revising anywhereWhat do we mean by motivation?

We all have different reasons why we take a certain course of action. Before you embark on any type of study or training it’s important to establish what you want to achieve through it. It might be that you want to further your career or want to learn more about a subject.

In order to maintain your motivation to study, you need to be really interested in the subject you are studying. This may sound rather obvious, but this is vital if you want to stay the course. Any subject can be interesting if you are curious to learn more about it.

How do I motivate myself to study?

People often find it helps to think back to a time in their past when they felt really excited and committed to doing something that they wanted to do, and remember the toughest part in studying is getting started. As long as you are determined and push yourself to pick up the book, half the battle is already won. With will power, determination and using the study motivation tips below, getting study motivation shouldn’t be a problem!

Motivation tips:

  • Find the right environment. If possible, have a regular study area. Make sure it has good lighting, ventilation and is quiet. If you have a designated room, then it helps to store all your study materials in your study area.
  • Study at the right time. If you can it is always best to get your work done first and then plan your relaxation or fun time for later. Choose a study time when there are likely to be fewer distractions and when you are not tired. Try and find a time that works for you. Some of us are ‘larks’ and some are ‘owls!’
  • Get started. The hardest part of doing anything is getting started. If you find just starting the hardest part, then just set yourself small targets. For example, set a time limit of just 10 minutes or decide to read just the one page. You are likely to find that once you’ve started you will want to do more.
  • Get into the right frame of mind. Gather together all the materials you need, sit down, clear your mind and take a few deep breaths. Go over in your mind, or make a note, of your aims for this study period so that you are clear of what you plan to do.
  • Stop (and start) at an enjoyable bit. When you need to take a break, for meals or other activities, plan to stop when you are at a more interesting section in your reading. You will then find it easier to continue studying later, much like you would when putting down a novel at the ‘who done it’ part!
  • Finally, reward yourself. If you have achieved your aims for the study session then it is time to reward yourself. Always reward yourself immediately even if it is just with a cup of tea and your favourite soap on TV.

Learn more about motivation

Watch a video where an Open University student discusses his experiences of study and getting, and staying, motivated, see Finding the motivation to learn

Learning in a way that suits you personally is essential for staying motivated. Find out more about Making the most of your learning style

Further information on motivation

Find out 5 ways to motivate yourself to study a boring subject and/or complete a project.

Find some useful links on goal setting and how to get motivated at Psychology Today