How I Force Myself to Learn

Image from @geoffreykang_21, Unsplash

Let’s face it, some topics can be incredibly boring. Boring as in you are fully convinced that you don’t want to learn anything about it. Boring as in you are close to falling asleep due to the sheer dullness of the content.

Okay, well, the last one might seem a bit harsh, but for some I understand may be the truth.

The world can be, unfortunately, quite boring at times. Whether it be science, math, or 18th century US politics, everyone has something which just doesn’t spark their interest. It is a tragedy which almost all students face at one point or another

Even more tragically, we must sometimes force ourselves to gulp down the content just so we can achieve the grades we need in school (yes, a true 1st world problem).

That being said, I would like to share a few tips and tricks my friends and I personally use to help force ourselves to learn material, even when we are edging to being bored to death by it.

The Question Barrage

Image from @jontyson, Unsplash

Like the name suggests, here we are simply asking ourselves a barrage of questions about the material. Here, we are attempting to spark any interest at all we may have about the topic. Having an interest in something will almost always make it 10x easier to learn about.

What’s the key idea of this content? If I can summarise what I’m learning in one sentence, what do I say? Is there a situation where I can use this information? What is the purpose of this information? How can I use this information for my own personal gain?

The most effective question we can ask is if there is a situation where you could use this information, and if so how. It is my firm belief this helps us strive to become more curious, more creative, and overall more knowledgeable people.

The question barrage is undoubtedly the most brute force, but also the most effective technique we can deploy to force ourselves to learn, if we can ask the right questions to spark that curiosity.

The Fake Competitior

Image from @mattlee, Unsplash

This one will work best if you are a competitive type of person. A person who wants to comes out on top of the rest. A person who strives to crush the competition and beat their rivals. It will be of tremendous value if you can combine a competitive nature with the desire to learn and get past school.

When using this technique, you will want to remind yourself what the ultimate goal is, and what your rivals and competition are currently doing to beat you to get to that same goal. Remember that the other students you’re competing against may be flying past the material and moving ahead of you right now. Is this measly biology chapter on the circulatory system truly the place where you want to slow down and get left behind?

Please note I do not condone trashing yourself , or beating yourself up for not studying. I will outright denounce self-hatred here and now.

No, the aim of this technique is to motivate yourself to bring yourself back onto the right track. Remind yourself what you’re studying for. Pride? College? A dream course? Rekindle that inner fighting spirit and trudge forward! Your competition is watching you at every step and awaiting your setbacks, do not give them that satisfaction.

Some other good advice to heed and remember is to be well-rested and drink plenty of water, but naturally I don’t want to imitate your parents saying that for the 29th time.

Another lesser known tactic to motivate yourself to study is to actually completely step away from the study desk entirely and instead do a mini exercise. While this may seem downright counterintuitive, it’s actually been proven that a small bit of EFFECTIVE exercise helps our focus, concentration, and energises us throughout the day.

Overall, just remember to stick to a reliable study plan and be able to do the work. Consistency will always pay dividends!

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