The best way to study (even when you don’t want to)

From+calcworkshop.com

From calcworkshop.com

Marlon M., Staff Writer

     “AGH! Youtube looks so enticing! Oooh, what about chess! One game won’t make a difference. Darn, I lost that game! I have to stop at a win. YES! I won, let’s keep my win streak. Darn, lost again, I’m tired, I should probably go exercise though. I’ll go bike riding for a bit. Ahh, that was fun, but now I’m even more tired. I can’t concentrate on my homework. Hmmm, but Youtube seems enticing…” 

     I know all of us have experienced this feeling at some point in our lives, whether it be when we are supposed to do homework, chores, practice, etc. Some people have overcome it and found a way that works for them. Though there are many ways to control these urges and focus on the task at hand, these are the ways that I found most powerful and effective. 

     The first thing I do is to prepare for my study sessions. I try not to focus on the outcome too much, limit the session length, and put on some lofi beats to keep me from allowing my mind to wander. I also sometimes put on a “study with me” video off of YouTube, where people record themselves studying, often with the Pomodoro technique. I also try to prepare physically by cleaning my desk, getting a cup of water (or coffee, if that works for you), and preparing all the supplies that I need for the study session such as pens, rulers, erasers, etc.

     Now, all you have to do is study! This should come easy now. Just start your timer, turn on those beats, sip your coffee, and start. Take baby steps, all you have to do is write one word, draw one diagram, do one small task, and this will start your momentum to continue. There is one effect in productivity where all you have to do is do the first and smallest part of the task. If you need to go running, but you don’t want to, just put on your running shoes. If you need to play piano, just sit at the bench and play one key. If you don’t want to read, just read one paragraph. Though it may not work all the time, at some point, your brain will say “why not?”, and do that thing that you didn’t want to do. Use this to your advantage.

     So, how did your study session go? Did my tips help you? Let me know how it went, and please give any of your suggestions on how to study when you don’t want to. We all want to continually improve, so we should all help each other out!