For most students around the world, winter can be a real struggle when it comes to motivating yourself to study. Between the cold temperatures and the short hours of real daylight, the season can really take a toll on your motivation. If this sounds familiar, there are some things you can do that can provide that extra boost of productivity when you need it the most.
#1 – Get Daylight Bulbs
You probably already know as a medical student that there’s absolutely nothing that can take the place of real sunlight, but daylight bulbs are as close as it gets. If you’re finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning because it’s still dark, or if you’re struggling to stay awake past 6 in the evening because it’s already dark, installing a few daylight bulbs can really help. If you opt for smart bulbs, you can connect them to an app on your phone or tablet and then program them to come on and turn off at the times you choose. Essentially, you get to simulate the sunrise and sunset on your terms.
#2 – The Pomodoro Method
The Pomodoro study method was developed to help students stay motivated and focused while they work. It’s basically a process that involves studying for 25 minutes, then taking a five-minute break, then studying for another 25 minutes and so on. All you need for this one is a timer and a small reward that you can look forward to during each five-minute break.
#3 – The Forest App
The Forest app is based on the principle of the Pomodoro method, but it builds upon it to turn focusing into a game. The framework of the app is an adjustable Pomodoro timer that allows you to choose the length of your study sessions and break sessions according to your personal needs. Before you get started, you’ll need to choose one of the dozens of cute “trees” you can grow during your study session and add to your Forest. The best part? If you turn it on, there’s a feature that will wither your tree if you access anything other than the Forest app on your phone!
#4 – Music
Of all the different ways to motivate yourself to study, turning on some music is by far the simplest – especially with all the free streaming services out there. It’s important to choose music intended to help you focus rather than distract you, and that’s where Spotify comes in. Simply search for “study music” and you’ll find hundreds of different playlists curated by other students. Aside from this, you can build your own playlists with any songs and genres that help you focus. Some of the best options include lo-fi, classical, and soft instrumental.
#5 – Reward Yourself
Most students feel more compelled to do things they really don’t want to do when they know there’s a pot of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow. Start on Sunday evening with a piece of paper and make a list of everything you want to accomplish study-wise in the upcoming week. Then, break that down into smaller chunks spread over seven days. Write each day’s goals in your planner, then decide how you will reward yourself if you fulfill your goals for the week. Make sure it’s something you really love and make sure that the goals you set for yourself are challenging, but not out of reach.
Millions of students worldwide dread studying at some point or another, whether it’s out of boredom, burnout, frustration, or something else entirely. However, with the right music, the right lighting, and the right technology, it’s entirely possible to find your motivation – especially if there’s a reward waiting for you once a week when you’ve met your goals.