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How to motivate yourself

There are tons of different ways to increase your motivation. it is always important to be motivated in whatever you do. However people often think that some people are just more motivated than others, this is true but only because these people WANT to be more motivated.

If you want to really boost your productivity and really thinking like a smart student here are a few tips to help yourself get more motivated.

Stay motivated!

Set yourself some realistic goals

The first step to being more motivated is to set yourself a task to do! People are much more motivated to complete small tasks rather than large daunting tasks, so split up a big task into lots of smaller ones. It is important to set realistic goals, don’t trying to ask too much of yourself. When you complete a goal make sure you note it, nothing is more motivating than seeing how far you have come already.

Set goals for your own learning

Try to see which concepts you can learn to help you with your work. if you have a big task that needs doing try doing some reading around the subject, and see what you can learn before hand to make your work better and easier to do. Learning goals help motivate you about your subject and true student thinking requires a thirst for knowledge.

Make sure all your goals are SMART goals

Find out more about SMART goals

Make sure you know what completing the task will do for you

It is always important to see the bigger picture. When you draw up a set of tasks make sure you know how completing each task will benefit you. This is a great way to motivate yourself, it makes the task seem more important and it actually seems like less work, if the benefit to you is much better than the work you have to put into the task. Completing a task will be a lot more enjoyable too!

Keep a positive attitude

When starting any task it is important to remember ant tasks you finished in the past. Just by knowing that you have finished a similar task can increase your motivation. Or if you have to do a task that requires you to use a skill that you are proficient in, remember that you are good at it! It will help increase your motivation and improve your attitude.

Carry on positive self talking

Remember to always tell yourself that you can do it! A strong internal positive voice is one of the best ways to motivate yourself. If it helps do not be afraid to say it out loud, remember you have to motivate yourself.

Work hard

Remember, your work is what yields results, do not forget to put the most work you can into something!

Use study techniques

It is always useful to use certain study techniques, there are different techniques for different types of learners. I would recommend the Feynman technique as a good method for studying and understanding your work – see below.

The Feynman technique

Richard Feynman was an accomplished scientist, known for his amazing ability to absorb information at an astounding rate. Feynman would often reach the same conclusion as a student of a subject after a brief explanation of the course material, even though the student had been studying the same material for a much longer time. How did he do it? Well Feynman used a technique that is now dubbed the Feynman Technique. It’s a great way to absorb information quickly and teach yourself a subject and comprehend the subject in a lot of depth in a short amount of time. This is a great skill to have when studying at university. You can use this technique to help you better understand a topic before a test, to make sure that you can answer any questions thrown at you, its much better than cramming before an exam.

The first step is to choose the concept you wish to learn about. Firstly get a blank piece of paper and jot down the subject you are trying to learn right at the top of it. I like to write it using a different coloured pen, but do it whichever way you find makes it stand out to you. Now all you have to do is teach it to yourself. Try to imagine that you are teaching someone who has never studied what you are trying to teach. Use very simple terminology in your notes and try to add diagrams where you can. Doing this will not only re-enforce anything you have already learnt but it will also point out anything you do not fully understand! Throughout the procedure, keep asking yourself questions about what you are writing about. If a question comes to you that you do not know the answer to go away and learn what you need to know from a textbook or ask your lecturer. Keep going back to the material until you can answer your question yourself. Don’t be afraid to say to yourself or anyone that is trying to explain to you that you don’t understand it.

One of the most important tips when using this technique is to use the SIMPLEST language that you can. Try to stay away from terms specific to the subject you are trying to learn about. For example I study Economics and when explaining something to myself using this technique I always try to stay away from using lengthy terms like aggregate demand (even though I know what it means) and instead I say the entire demand within the economy. Also I always like to use analogies. The human brain is configured to better understand stories rather than processes, so I always try to make an analogy for something I am trying to learn. Try using it when taking notes in your next lecture and see if you feel that you better understand the subject that was taught!

Derren Brown’s Tricks of the Mind is also excellent for memory techniques that really work!

Monitor your learning

It is important to keep track of what you have done and what you have learnt. This is a great way to see how far you have come and how you have developed as a student. Remember it is always important to look back and see what you have come from and the mistakes you have made along the way. Also it would be a great idea to test yourself constantly.

Look at the mistakes you have made

What we do right is only half the story. We all make mistakes and the best way to learn is to learn what you did wrong before. See any mistakes you made in tests you have done and make sure you go back and make sure you can answer them! The key to being a smart student is to learn from the mistakes you have made and not to repeat them.

I hope these tips have given you the tools to motivate yourselves and do the best you can. I also hope that you can now see that everyone makes mistakes, every smart student sees what they did wrong and ensures they never make the same mistake again.