Motivation in your studies: this is how you can do it!

Written by: Christina Pichler, 05.11.2020

Studying is the right choice for you, but you have reached an all-time motivational low? Doubts arise and you don’t seem to be able to get excited about anything?

Do not worry. Most phases pass after a little while and having difficulties with motivation is totally normal. However, you can also help your luck a little and try various things to make your studies enjoyable again.
We put together 10 tips for you on how you can gain back your motivation and have a fresh start.

1. Enjoy previous accomplishments

If you just had a very stressful phase in your studies, for example an exam marathon, it is quite understandable that you do not feel like jumping any further. Enjoy the feeling of achievement for previous good grades.

We should definitely celebrate ourselves and be proud of how far we have come already! When we become aware of previous successes, the motivation usually increases all by itself, because we can see that all the effort is actually worth it.

2. Motivation board: Visualize goals and success

If you internalize your goals and successes, it will help with your motivation as well. Always keep in mind what you have already achieved and where you want to go next.

You can set up a personal motivation board for this because repetition helps us memorize things better. Everything that you have already achieved and that you are proud of can be included. Your content may or may not be directly related to your goal. Success in sports or other hobbies also deserves a place here. These achievements represent perseverance or other skills that can help you with studying.

Your motivation board should be placed somewhere where you can always see it. The space above your desk is ideal, for example.
Progress can also be shown here. Break tasks up in little steps if you are doing this, which you can then display on your motivation board and tick off after completion. This way you can see where you stand and how far your goal is. That itself is pure motivation

3. Small steps for big tasks

Sometimes tasks are so big and unsolvable that they seem somehow threatening. You hardly seem to be able to cope with it and you find yourself wondering if you can actually do it. Motivation is lacking, sometimes panic starts to spread. Exam periods are the perfect example.

Nevertheless, you can put an end to this horror very easily. Try to divide big topics into small steps. This automatically shifts your focus to the next sub-goal, which will be easier to achieve. If we think in small, doable steps, we do not only have the feeling of making progress, but the big goal is getting a little closer every time you complete a task as well.

4. Share your success and your goals with other people

Do you want to finish your master’s thesis by summer or complete your homework right after the compulsory lectures? Then talk about it with people close to you. They will keep asking you about your goals and will look forward to your progress with you. Even if you are not making good progress or are in need of a few words of encouragement, you will surely find the necessary help and support for your motivation here.

5. Take a break

Are you in the middle of preparing for the exam and already running out of breath? Nothing wants to stick, everything is getting too much and you have the feeling that you just cannot handle learning anymore?

If there is a point in the middle of the exam phase where your motivation crashes, you should take a break. Short breaks will help you feel motivated again. Here are tips for effective study breaks!

A short walk in the countryside, meeting with friends in your favorite café or a quiet afternoon on the couch in sweatpants often work wonders. Everyone has to take a deep breath from time to time. After that things usually tend to go uphill again and learning will be easier for you if you have briefly stepped away from what you are learning.

6. The motivation to get going

You can’t do things the way you want to? Do you constantly miss deadlines or are you just getting things done on time? Is everything too much for you, which is why starting is already a big hurdle? The whole thing has a name: procrastination. To prevent this from happening find suitable solutions to better structure yourself.

Set clear priorities and find ways to use notes, plans or calendar entries to keep track of what is currently important and what you want to achieve each day for example. Of course, these daily goals should be rewarded! Also, be aware that once you start, things tend to get easier. Postponing them usually only makes you worry more. What are you waiting for?

7. Solutions for motivation robbers

Student life is often portrayed as being carefree and relaxed. You hang out in student bars all the time, live in a wild flat share, have fun at sociable student dormitories and skip lectures all the time. However, that is often not more than a cliché. Active studying is really demanding. For example, if you are barely making ends meet financially and low-paying part-time jobs take up a lot of your time, you can try spending a little less money here and there. By the way, you can live frugally as a student with these tips.

If you suffer from great fear of exams, if your private life is crazy at the moment or if you simply live with the wrong people, life as a student can be really stressful. It is only logical that your motivation will vanish and your worries will overshadow your enjoyment of studying. Try to find personal solutions and eliminate triggers. Be sure to work on these burdens before your studies and your motivation continue to suffer.

8. Group work – get inspired and motivated

When you work with others, the group dynamic tends to pull you along and you often achieve goals that you probably would not have achieved on your own. In addition, the joint appointments of your study groups will help you to stay on track.

By the way, it is particularly useful when preparing for oral exams. And after the work is done, celebrating success with your group is ultimately more fun than alone.

However, choose the right people for this. Because group dynamics can also go in the wrong direction. If no one has the necessary motivation, the whole group is happy to be distracted and the motivation will be completely gone.

Look for a group that pulls you along and get involved in return. If they have to constantly chase after you, in order for you to meet deadlines and appointments, you will probably no longer be included in the group. There should always be a give and take from everyone involved so that the joint work is motivated and the group dynamic works well.

9. When studying robs your motivation

Some semesters run great and practically on their own. Cool people, casual lectures and awesome grades. Then there are those phases where everything is tough. The lectures are boring, the lecturers unsympathetic and your studies only seem to annoy you. Yes, sometimes we imagine studying, the new place of residence or the entire situation to be a bit easier than it actually is. This can happen and it is totally normal.

Question your expectations and be honest with yourself. Were your ideas not completely realistic and did the harsh reality catch up with you? How could you handle it differently? Try to think about what will help you personally if you cannot find any motivation at all and what your own motivation strategy might look like in the long term.

If you question everything and are wondering, whether to quit your studies, that’s of course a big decision that shouldn’t be made on a whim. That is why we have put together all the information on the subject of dropping out of your studies.

10. Find your own strategy to stay motivated

Everyone is different in what actually helps in the respective situation. The best way to find out for ourselves is usually to think about it. All of these tips can be well-intentioned ideas, but what motivates you personally, you can only find out for yourself.

Maybe a good coffee and a little break is enough to get you motivated to go back to studying. Maybe you need some exercise to regain your motivation or you simply need a long phone call with a good friend. Once you have found your personal strategy, it is great to apply it to all sorts of situations in order to find your way back.

Of course, motivation does not appear magically, it is a very individual matter. We at STUWO hope that our tips can help you to find your own personal motivation strategy.

We wish you a lot of fun and good luck with your studies.


We are happy to help!