Whether you are studying for the OT exam which is in 8 weeks’ or 4 weeks’ time, students tend to start with great enthusiasm and dedication. However, this positive attitude tends to be short lived, and most students find themselves struggling to stay motivated and maintain consistency throughout their studying. Even many hardworking and motivated students sometimes become unmotivated to study on certain days.
These are the 7 best tips that can help you to stay motivated when studying
1. Write Down Your Reasons for Studying
Whether you’re feeling unmotivated or not, take a moment to reflect and write down all the reasons for which you are studying. You can ask yourself basic questions to get started, for example “Why did I choose to become an OT/OTA?”, “What type of job do I want once I achieve my goal of becoming licensed?” etc.
Whenever you find yourself feeling uninspired and tired of studying, take some time to look at these reasons, to remember all your goals and objectives behind your studies. This will help motivate you to continue your studies with more hard work and dedication.
2. Set Realistic Study Goals
Students have a tendency to study multiple topics at the same time, for example: pediatrics and splints, which is impractical. Dividing your focus and attention, and having unrealistic goals usually contributes to feelings of being overwhelmed. This subsequently results in the students becoming unmotivated and struggling to study. Although all these subjects are important to study, it is advisable to have a plan on how you are going to study throughout the time you have. It is imperative to have a strategy, to know when you are going to study content, and when you are going to take practice tests. Pass the OT offers each student a customized study plan to help you set up a study schedule that is achievable.
3. Set Up a Positive Study Environment
A positive and calm study environment is conducive to staying motivated during your studying. To stay motivated and focused on your studies, it is advisable to have a dedicated place for studying and to eliminate all the distractions from that place. Try removing everything unrelated to your studying tasks from that particular space. A positive study environment doesn’t only tend to be a well-organized place to study, with all your study-related materials such as books, notes, etc. organized, but it also involves the appropriate management of other resources such as laptops, mobile phones, etc.
4. Follow Your Own Study Approaches
Needless to say, it is only you who knows what works for you. Hence, instead of hastily following another person’s studying or learning approaches, find the approach that works best for you. Determine what type of learner you are, whether you are an auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learner. Using studying about the different types of splints as an example, if you are a visual learner, you might need to write about the splints on a piece of paper whereas if you are an auditory learner, you may need to read about the splints out loud. Moreover, the right study approach will not only make your learning process better, it will also keep you motivated for your studies.
5. Reward Yourself
Yes, you must reward yourself for all the hard work and dedication that you are putting into your studying. It doesn’t have to be something big, but you can reward yourself with several short breaks, your favorite cuisine, a short walk, an extra hour of sleep, etc. This will help keep you motivated and enthusiastic. It is a fact that when you have something interesting to look forward to, you automatically become more motivated to reach that point of being rewarded. It is one of the best strategies to help you maintain consistency and to get your studying done effectively. Moreover, rewarding yourself increases productivity and encourages you to accomplish further tasks or objectives.
6. Stay Connected with Others
It is crucial for you to connect with other students, mentors, family, etc. to stay motivated for your studies. Try to be around people who keep you motivated to study and encourage you to keep on going. Working with a tutor is also extremely helpful, to connect with someone who has the knowledge and who has been in the same situation that you are in right now. Pass the OT offers you access to working with a tutor either one on one or by joining one of their weekly group calls. This not only makes the learning process more fun, but it also offers a sense of accountability. There are also YouTube videos, relevant Social Media platforms, Blogs, etc. to help you stay connected with a learning community.
7. Exercise Regularly
Last but not least, it is extremely beneficial to exercise regularly to keep your mind and body active and healthy, which further helps you to stay motivated and study effectively. Studies have shown that exercise such as swimming, running, etc. boosts your cognitive skills- thinking and concentration abilities. In scientific terms, these activities provide appropriate oxygen and blood to your brain to keep the cells nourished and to help you stay on a productive track. It is recommended to schedule exercise activities when you take a break from studying as this will help you to stay energized when you get back to your studies.