For many students, studying is a challenge not because they are incapable of grasping the material, or because they don’t know the correct study techniques, or because they can’t make the time. Rather, there is a simple explanation for why many students struggle to study effectively: procrastination.  Studying is first and foremost about taking the time to read through the material, and a student who doesn’t give himself that time is likely at a disadvantage as far as academic success in concerned.

That being said, it’s understandable that students procrastinate and find themselves lacking in motivation. Schoolwork is often dry and boring. Distractions are around every corner. Nobody wants to study, ultimately, so it’s always easy to make excuses and postpone your work.

How can this be avoided? How can we compel ourselves to study when we’re thoroughly lacking in motivation? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Get a study partner.

If you aren’t motivated enough by your workload and your grades, you can try to create accountability by finding a study partner who is in a similar situation as yourself. You and your partner don’t need to actively discuss the material together, but simply sitting at the same table and insuring productivity from the other is a great way to keep yourself honest – and help your friend out, too. This follows the model set by finance, organizational behavior, and business administration courses, where students work together and report far lower levels of procrastination.

Lose the distractions.

When we procrastinate our studying, we usually occupy ourselves and put off our work by seeking out distractions. These distractions could be social (such as a conversation with a friend), internet-based (such as watching videos or reading articles online), or activity-focused (such as going to the kitchen and helping yourself to a snack), among others. If at all possible, sequestering yourself away from these distractions can help you become more motivated by default. Ditch your computer, head to a library, and bring nothing else besides your work. You’ll be amazed to see how much more you get done.

Divide and conquer.

Students usually report that they are least motivated and most procrastination-prone when they begin a new assignment or start studying for a new test. Getting started and tackling something new is ultimately where students find themselves daunted and unmotivated. You can counter this issue by dividing and conquering: split a new task into ordered parts and address them one by one. This way, getting started and building motivation won’t be as much of a challenge.

This are just a few of the tips students can use when trying to motivate themselves to study rather than procrastinate. Whatever method or methods you employ, it’s ultimately important to find a technique that works best for you.

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