This week’s question is about a really important subject that I’ve rarely gone into too much detail over in this blog.
No matter how hard I try, I just can’t get into the habit of studying. I always get distracted by other stuff. I know it’s supposed to get easier when it’s a habit but I can’t even get into it for a week straight. What should I do?
I’d start by verifying you have clear goals. Why do you even want to study? If you can’t give an emotionally compelling answer to that question then start there. People don’t do unpleasant things that they kind of want to do. People only do unpleasant things when they have a damn good reason. You need to find a good reason.
That subject can be dense as hell. It’s probably the bulk of your problem. People that have a really good reason end up doing what they have to do. This can be kind of tough to develop the answer to though. I feel like there is always a way but it requires time and creativity. There are other short term fixes as well but eventually you should be solving this problem.
In the short term, make your study routine as easy to follow through with as possible. If you are trying to develop a study routine that includes 2 hours of studying a night then it’s no surprise you’re struggling to do it. Even the most disciplined person in the world would dread that prospect. That’s part of the reason why I recommend a 15 minute a night study session on this blog. The shorter a study session is going to be, the easier it is to get started.
While I recommend 15 minutes of studying a night, while you’re trying to develop the habit of studying, you could make that study session even shorter. If you can get yourself to study 5 minutes every night then you’ll be better off. Heck, if you can get yourself to take out your textbook, turn off your distractions, and sit with the textbook for 30 seconds, you’re going to find it a whole lot easier to start studying. Make the habit as simple as you have to make it get yourself to follow through. Later you can worry about making that habit more useful.
It’s hard to completely start a new habit. It’s much easier to change a previous habit a little bit. Once you start studying 5 minutes a night, adding an extra 5-10 minutes to it is much easier.
Of course, there is no guaranteed way to get you to follow through with the habit. If reducing the habit doesn’t help you follow through with the habit then you might be having one a different kind of problem. Motivation is my first instinct but you might have picked a poor time and place to study. Keep your eyes open for ways to make the habit harder and harder not to develop. If you can get through that first week, it will just get easier from there.
Do you want to know how to study in less than 15 minutes a night? That’s what this blog is all about. Be sure to follow and check out the archives to get all the details. Also, be sure to check out the ebooks in the sidebar.