Have you ever had days where your classes are just, well … boring? Where you feign interest in what the teacher’s saying? What about when you sit to do your homework but you’d rather go hang out with friends?
Guess what, a lack of enthusiasm shouldn’t make you feel guilty. It happens to everyone at some point in life. But, the problem’s that without motivation you can’t achieve much.
See, the best students know how to spur themselves into attentiveness. They can get back their drive even when the situations seem daunting.
Yet you too can learn these tricks. Here, I’ll show you steps that you can apply when in class and to your self-study or homework.
Motivate yourself for class learning
- Take part in the class discussions:
When the teacher asks questions, answer them. And no, you don’t have to get all answers right, just contribute!
Don’t be afraid to look like a dweeb to your friends. Hey, if that’s what your friends do to you, consider making new ones. See, it’s never about how you’d look to others when you are enthusiastic in class. What you get from class will benefit you for years to come.
Remember, teachers are people too! When you show interest in what they have to say, they’ll go the extra mile to help you with your coursework.
- Reduce the distractions around you:
Something happens when you sit in the rear of the classroom – you can get away with cheekiness. It could be amusing at the time, but it also makes you lose focus.
Still, it doesn’t matter where you sit. Wherever you are, make sure you can pay full attention to what the teacher’s saying.
So, if your desk’s by the window and you watch the birds the whole time, change seats! And to be honest, the front-row desks are the best when you don’t want distractions.
- Keep records and prepare for upcoming tasks:
Your smartphone has a calendar app. Or, you can install a ‘to-do’ app. They’ll help you keep track of upcoming tasks and psyche you for class.
And, the feeling of control you get from the upfront preparation will keep you motivated.
- Postpone the small talk with friends for after-class hours:
Okay, okay, I know you can’t wait to hear the latest gossip. Whispering with your BFF during class time is exciting, no doubt.
Why don’t you do it later (or some other place), though? Where you won’t piss off the teacher and distract your classmates.
You can’t recover focus when you keep on attending to matters that don’t relate to class. Do yourself a favor; listen to what the teacher’s saying. And if your friends aren’t interested in the learning that’s going on, let them be. You’ve your classwork to look out for, after all.
- Be positive:
Maybe you have a history of poor participation in class. Or, you’re not the type that can muster interest for the dull literature classes. We all having something we struggle to adopt, mark you.
How well you do things doesn’t matter—it’s about attitude.
Work harder and be persistent, and your motivation levels will increase. The teacher and your like-minded peers will notice your efforts, and cheer you on. That’s because a positive attitude brings out the goodwill in others.
Motivate yourself for self-study
- Sit in a conducive environment:
Choose a quiet place to do your homework. Somewhere you can hear your thoughts. Well, that depends on what works for you, of course. But, the place you choose for self-study needs to be distraction free.
A room that’s far from outside noise would work best. That could be your bedroom or a dedicated study room.
Letting your family know that they shouldn’t interrupt you during this time also helps.
- Freshen up before you start:
I guess that you do most of your homework in the evenings—after school. If it’s before dinner, eat a snack to tame that grumbling tummy. Or if you commute through a smog-filled neighbourhood, take a bath to freshen up.
Just make sure that when you sit, you’ll not have to attend to ‘small matters’, at least for a while.
In turn, your mind will be able to concentrate better. And you’ll work faster too!
- Collect everything you need to do the homework before you start:
Collect all the material you need beforehand. You should plan for it if you have to. See, avoid anything that will divert your attention from the self-study.
Things like missing a textbook will kill your drive. Do yourself a favor and get it early enough from the school library during the day.
The same applies to research sources. Your school has an online resource where you can read material related to your homework. But, that doesn’t mean that you should waste those few minutes browsing through texts. Do that before you start and you’ll be able to focus better.
- Switch off or silence your phone:
Picture sitting on your desk and you see on social media, friends having a blast at the mall. Or, notifications that keep on interrupting your train of thought.
Yes, you use your phone and computer to communicate. But, this isn’t the time to keep in touch with friends. That can wait.
At this moment, your phone’s a diversion. It will make you lose the rhythm that keeps you motivated. Switch it off.
- Take frequent breaks:
After long periods of study, though, your body will start to complain. Maybe the chair you’re sitting on isn’t ergonomic. And the sitting posture doesn’t help.
Your mind too needs to shift attention from the monotony for a short while.
Go ahead and take a break.
That way, you can work for longer and keep the fatigue at bay.
The ability to self-motivate is an asset regardless of whether you’re in school or at work. By learning it early, you give yourself the benefit of time. And with constant practice, you’ll increase your chances of doing it right.
You’re free to tweak some aspects of these steps. But note that distractions are your greatest foe when you want to keep up your enthusiasm for a task.