How to study when you are not interested – 5 tips

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A lot of students find it very hard to get down to study. The question they face is on how to study when you are not interested? Here are some tips to push yourself to study when you are least motivated.

How to study when you are not interested – Tip #1 – Break the Inertia

As Newton famously stated, “A body at rest tends to be at rest…”. Well, this is equally applicable to starting any new work. The human mind refuses to start anything it deems unpleasant.

Studies are not an exception. Rather they are the norm when it comes to unpleasant things. A majority of students just find it impossible to get started. One way to overcome this is the “5-minute rule“.

The 5-minute rule asks you to do any new work for exactly 5 minutes. Set up your alarm clock for exactly 5 minutes. Pick up your Physics or Chemistry book and start studying for 5 minutes. At the end of 5 minutes, if you feel like continuing, give yourself 15 minutes more. Else, stop it and move to something else for the next 5 minutes.

How to study when you are not interested - Break the Inertia.
How to study when you are not interested – Break the Inertia.

The 5-minute rule prevents you from procrastination. It also keeps you insulated from not having to continue beyond 5 minutes if what you have picked up does not interest you.

How to study when you are not interested – Tip #2 – Switch subjects & avoid boredom

Do not get fixated on one subject. Take a break after 20-30 minutes of studying.

The break can be used to

  • stretch your muscles,
  • relax your eye muscles by focussing on something distant and
  • improve blood circulation by doing some quick pacing in an open area or the corridor.

You can always come back to a subject after 30 minutes on something else. This also acts as a double motivation that you can get back to that interesting Physics chapter after 20 minutes of Math.

How to study when you are not interested – Tip #3 – Change the mode of studying

Do not stick to a single mode of study especially when you are revisiting a topic. Switch to other modes. You can try

  • Listening to an audio version of the lesson
  • Watching a youtube video of the lesson
  • Solving past question papers
  • Challenging a friend for a quiz where you fire questions to each other alternatively.
  • Preparing a mind map
  • Preparing a flash card set for use later on

You can get as creative as you like.

How to study when you are not interested – Tip #4 – Use high tempo music

Music with a high tempo (one with a fast beat) often boosts your ability to go faster and accomplish more in a given time. This works especially for mathematics or problems in Physics.

It works by getting your mind to function at the speed of the music and forcing it to fall in rhythm.

How to study when you are not interested – Tip #5 – Challenge yourself

As you get into a flow, a way to keep yourself interested in getting back to academics is to challenge yourself. Here are some examples

  1. If you have been solving 10 math problems in an hour, challenge yourself to solve 12 in the next session of 1 hour
  2. If you could commit 3-4 answers to memory in one session of 30 minutes, challenge yourself to 5 answers at the same time.
  3. If you have scored 90% in your exams, aim for a centum in the next and nothing less.
How to study when you are not interested - Challenge yourself
How to study when you are not interested – Challenge yourself

Keep pushing the boundaries constantly to extract more from your study sessions.

How to study when you are not interested – Tip #6 – Take a break

At times, the body just needs a well-deserved break. Use the break to freshen up your thoughts, and targets. Realign and reprioritise your study goals during these breaks.

Take a walk or do something different for a change to help the brain rejuvenate.

Conclusion

You should also have a mentor or somebody who commands your respect to help keep you in line with your goals. They should act as your mirror to ensure you are working steadily towards your targets. Having an external party keep you accountable to your own goals brings in a lot of discipline as you would not want to cut a sorry figure in front of them.

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