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What to Do When You Have No Motivation to Study

A reader emailed me a question recently about how to deal with the fact that he often can’t motivate himself to study.

Here’s the thing about having “no” motivation – when you think you’re at this point, it’s often the case that you simply haven’t put systems in place to generate extra motivation. In other words:

“Build more motivation-generating systems!”

Your level of motivation to complete a particular task is dependent upon the reward for doing that task, the consequences of not completing it, and how tempting other activities are in the moment.

Each of these factors can be tweaked through the use of motivation-generating tools and systems.

  • Add extra rewards – fun breaks, treats, or digital rewards in apps like HabitRPG
  • Create new consequences – get an accountability buddy, or bet on yourself with Beeminder
  • Make it harder to access tempting distractions – study in an austere location, and block distracting websites

When you feel like you don’t have any motivation, think about which factor is the biggest cause. Then, try to build a system that will fix the problem.

If you’re unable to see the video above, you can view it on YouTube.

Looking for More Study Tips?

10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades - Thomas Frank

If you have trouble with procrastination, you’ll find more tips on beating it in Chapter 7 of my free 100+ page book called 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades (While Studying Less).

The book also covers topics like:

  • Organizing all your files and notes
  • Getting more out of your classes
  • Taking great notes
  • Reading your textbooks more efficiently

…and several more. It also has a lot of recommendations for tools and other resources that can make your studying easier.

If you’d like a free copy of the book, let me know where I should send it:

I’ll also keep you updated about new posts and videos that come out on this blog (they’ll be just as good as this one or better) 🙂

Video Notes

Here are some of the systems that make up my own motivational groundwork:

What to Do When You Have No Motivation to Study
Here’s a Pinterest-worthy image for sharing this video 🙂

What systems have you built to increase your motivation?

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