How to Stay Motivated at University

Staying motivated can be an issue for many students at university. Here are some top tips to help stay on track.

One of the biggest challenges you can face while studying is a lack of motivation, but it’s a common occurrence for the majority of students. In this blog post, we’ve come up with some key tips that can help you to stay motivated whilst you are studying at university. 

Know your learning style

Everyone learns and takes in information in different ways, and some learning styles are more suited to some rather than others. For example, some people learn better through visuals, whereas others prefer to read and write everything down. If you’re not sure what type of learning style suits you the best, there are plenty of online tests you can take, or it might just require a bit of trial and error. Other people prefer to mix things up, and use a combination of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles. 

Focus on one task at a time

If you’ve got multiple projects going on at once or have several pieces of work you need to tackle, it can be overwhelming to try take on everything at once. You’ll work more efficiently and more productively by working on one task at a time, so try and put everything else out of your mind and pay all attention to the task at hand. 

Prioritise and schedule your tasks

Student studying at university

Knowing which tasks you need to prioritise, and then creating a schedule based on which tasks need taking on first can help you to feel more relieved of stress and give you a stronger sense of motivation. It will also motivate you to focus on the task at hand, as you’ll know what you need to prioritise. When considering what to prioritise, think about any deadlines, upcoming exams, or heavily weighted work you have coming up and choose how to best prioritise your studying time. 

Keep track of time 

Taking a time limited approach to your studies can help you to organise your studying schedule and can be a source of motivation. Instead of asking yourself ‘can I complete all my work?’ consider how much work you can get done over a certain period of time. This can keep you from getting too overwhelmed with never-ending studying and gives you a clear indication of how much work or studying you need to do within your allotted time. 

Set realistic goals

It’s important to stay grounded and be realistic about what you will be able to achieve whilst studying. Setting no goals at all will not give you anything to work towards, whereas setting goals which are too ambitious can leave you feeling stressed and under pressure. This is why it’s important to set realistic and achievable study goals, as hitting your targets will be a constant source of motivation and can even encourage you to go beyond the targets you originally set. 

Take regular breaks

The importance of regular breaks should always be appreciated. Attempting to concentrate for too long without any breaks is not the optimal way to study, as your brain gets tired and will automatically begin to get distracted or switch off. Even if your break consists of a 10-minute walk and a glass of water, it’s important to get up from your desk and temporarily give your mind a rest. You don’t want to take breaks that are too long, as it can be hard to get back in the swing of studying again, so regular short breaks are the optimal way of breaking up your studying time. 

Try the Pomodoro Technique

One highly recommended study method is the Pomodoro Technique which was established in the 90s and is still widely used today. The Pomodoro Technique involves breaking your tasks up into fifteen-minute intervals, in which you need laser-like focus, before then rewarding yourself with a five-minute break. 

The psychology behind this technique is a big reason why it is so popular, as it’s difficult to feel unmotivated if you know you only have to work for fifteen minutes before you can take a break. The method may not work for everyone however, but it’s worth giving it a go and seeing if the Pomodoro Technique can help improve your motivation whilst studying. 

Speak to and support your course-mates

The chances are, there are plenty of people on your course that may also be struggling with motivation for the same studies. Getting in to study groups or speaking to course-mates about the work can be a great source of motivation. Sometimes, having a discussion amongst fellow students can be a more productive way of studying, as you can share information and learn new things. 

Motivation is unique for everyone, as we all work differently. However, the tips listed in this blog post are proven ways of increasing motivation, so hopefully you can improve your efficiency whilst studying following them. 

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Student studying at university