What do top CEOs, professional athletes and University graduates have in common? They know the secret to maintaining motivation to achieve their goals. This week, we continue our Super Quick Study Tips series by sharing some advice to help motivate you.
1. Understand what motivates you
You will find that your personal motivation can be broken into two areas.
Intrinsic motivators, are those internal feelings that drive you to want to study. Think about what interests or excites you the most about studying. An intrinsic motivator could be the sense of achievement in finishing a unit, the goal of graduating, or the passion you feel about the subject.
Extrinsic motivators are what you will get as a result of your studies, such as improved career, higher salary or a better work life balance. What is your end goal? What do you picture your life like once you finish?
Try creating a list of your intrinsic and extrinsic motivators and stick it to the wall in your study space. This will remind you why you undertook study and keep your goals front a centre of your mind.
2. Have a realistic schedule
It’s important to be realistic with what you can achieve in the time that you have and not take-on too much. A easy way to do this is to have a plan A and a plan B.
Plan A might be completing one reading, finding one primary source for an assignment and two secondary sources. Plan B on the other hand could be completing the reading and finding a primary source.
Even if your commitments overtake your ability to acheive everything you planned, by having a back up you can feel satisfied in your success.
3. Get social with other students
Another way to stay motivated is to connect with other students. Regular social interaction can make studying more fun and there are lots of opportunities to join existing study groups or create your own.
The shared experience of studying give you a common connection with other students and oppertunities to find other interests, which in turn helps you tap into your intrinsic motivators. Why not visit SOL Mates, the Swinburne Online student meet-up Facebook page to see our students connecting in real life.
4. Set goals
Create a list of outcome oriented goals for each study session. Choose goals that are bite-sized and can be achieved in an hour or less.
So what is an outcome orientated goal? Consider the difference between a goal to research for an hour vs finding two or three good references. The former is open ended and without a definite finish, whereas the latter has a recognisable end point. This means you know exactly when the goal is achieved and you can move on to the next task.
5. Take a break
Don't underestimate that study is work, so make sure you plan regular breaks. Whether you just grab a cup of coffee or use ‘free time’ rewards to incentivise your studies, take time to read a novel or your favourite blogs, study in the morning and meet a friend of lunch, rewards and free time are a great tool to help you maintain your motivation and keep your studies on track.