Motivation is the power that guides our behavior and enables us to take action. It may ebb and flow, but it is present in all of us and allows us to remain active when faced with challenges. We all find motivation in different things and need to find ways to sustainably use this power. So what happens when you find yourself unmotivated? Here are some steps to overcome a lack of motivation.

First, identify your unique study habits and needs 

Ask yourself questions such as the following:

What type of study environment is most comfortable or productive for you? Do you study better during the day or at night? Do you like to listen to music while studying? Or do you need complete silence? Are you able to study if your room is messy, or do you always feel like you need to clean up a bit before you can focus? What do you enjoy doing the most? Are there specific classes that make you feel anxious? How do you feel after you have achieved a goal?

These are just a few examples of questions that can help you better understand yourself. Answering these questions honestly can reveal a lot of meaningful insight as to what type of environment is best for you to feel comfortable and overcome a lack of motivation.

Create realistic goals and a prioritized to-do list

Goals are hard to achieve without proper motivation, and it’s easy to procrastinate on important or difficult tasks. To overcome this, you can prioritize your tasks based on urgency. Then, you can create a to-do list to determine what to work on or study immediately. Tackling your most daunting work first might be motivating because you know that once you complete the work the rest of the tasks on your list will be easy or enjoyable. Alternatively, getting your easier work done first and conserving time and energy for your most difficult tasks might be a better approach for you. Remember, no matter which way you decide, you can always make changes to your list as you go along. 

Increase your self-confidence to overcome a lack of motivation 

In order to accomplish your goals, you first need to believe in yourself. Self-respect and confidence will help to keep your intrinsic motivation high in every area. If you’re feeling down, try making a list of everything you’ve already achieved. Give yourself credit for both the large and small things you’ve done. Your achievements don’t even need to be tied to studying — they can be as simple as making a friend smile today or taking time to floss in the morning. Keep your list of achievements close by and add to it whenever you feel proud of something you’ve done. Whenever you feel feel down, use the list to remind yourself how far you’ve already come. Sometimes being reminded of past successes is just what we need to feel motivated to work toward more accomplishments.

Study with friends or in groups

If studying alone is not efficient, try to create study groups. Coming together with your friends and sustaining a collaborative, healthy study environment can enable you to keep each other motivated. Additionally, tutoring each other and solving problems together will increase your comprehension of subjects. 

Stay active and sleep well to overcome a lack of motivation

Exercising regularly, a night of healthy sleep, and meditation are very helpful for boosting intrinsic motivation. Even if you do not have enough time to meditate or exercise regularly, sleeping at least 7 to 8 hours a day and taking small walks will help you to clear your mind and stay motivated. 

Talk to someone and ask for help

If you cannot take concrete action despite doing everything aforementioned, you might be suffering with anxiety and stress. Talking about your feelings can be good for your mental health and is often the first step to overcoming mental health conditions. While some people prefer to speak to family or friends, others may wish to discuss their feelings with a professional. Don’t be afraid to ask for help — there are people out there who want to and can help.

Want more advice on studying and staying motivated? Check out our blog!