I can’t study – How to break mental blocks that prevent you from studying

by on October 2, 2008

“I can’t study!”

Having one of those frustrating moments where you just can’t seem to make yourself study?

I find procrastinating in such situations just makes me feel an overwhelming powerlessness…whereas forcing myself to study results in a study session severly lacking in enthusiasm.

How can you transform those mentals blocks to enthusiasm for your studies?
I haven’t found any single method that works 100% of the time for that “I can’t study” feeling. However there are some practical things that you can do to enthuse yourself and get some study done.
Here are some ideas and tips to help get down to studying:

1. Get rid of clutter in your room
Clutter on your desk and in your work area can block your ability to focus on your studies. Spend five minutes clearing your desk and or work area and notice how much more approachable study is.

2. Organize your notes
Categorize your notes and refile them. The act of organizing can help crystallize our goals and motivate you to action.

3. Decide to only study for 10 minutes
Committ yourself to only a small bit of study and you are less likely to be overwhelmed.

4. Mindmap the area you need to study
By mindmaping the material you already know will help to start making connections in the subject and more importantly will interest you and motivate you to start studying to learn more.

5. Do a motivation exercise and make the benefits real.
To motivate yourself dream for a moment on the benefits you expect to get from studying. Imagine also the praise and recognition you will receive. Put yourself in the future having already happily and succesfully mastered your subject area.

6. Structure your study session
Use a structured approach to your study session:

(i) Set a small measurable goal
Now set a small goal of what you would like to achieve over the next 10 minutes. Focus on on one small chunk of your study area. Write down what you would like to achieve.

(ii) As you study jot down questions on the material.

(iii) After 10 minutes test yourself with questions

(iv) Take a 2 minute break

(v) Repeat the cycle again.


7. Play a game with the study material

Find or make a quiz or a crossword on your chosen area. Use it on your fellow students.

8. Skip studying and try Skimming and Scanning.
Just scan the subject area quickly. Scan quickly the texts of your study area without committing yourself to any focused study. Look for the major themes and items in the texts.

9. Learn a new memory technique
Have fun applying a new memory technique to your studies

10. Get a study partner
A very effective technique for motivating your studies is to get a study partner. One way of working with your partner is to divide up the material in two, each partner studies his area separately and then teaches that to his partner. You will both benefit enormously from the act of teaching as this actually enhances your own learning.

11. Go for a walk
If none of my suggestions worked try going for a walk outdoors.  A breath of fresh air can do wonders for the brain!!

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