Personally I struggled quite a lot with not being able to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish on a day. I currently get way more enjoyment out of studying than five years ago and I will help you to also release the burden of difficult/boring tasks.
The following saying, I read it of a poster once in the high school deans' office, stayed with me for a long time:
"Choose a job you love and you never have to work a day in your life."
I can't deny that the saying portrays a romantic notion, which I happily believed in for a long time. It is sadly not true. I currently believe that the following one is more realistic:
"It's no use doing what do you like, you got to have to like what you do."
There will always be things you loathe to do in any job. It's unrealistic to expect that if you choose what you love, it will never feel like working. So instead, you should strive to make your daily hassle a more enjoyable experience. My struggles with my productivity were of course not only due to not liking my studying assignments. It did however make a tremendous difference when I tried to see my studying as an opportunity I was given. This was true of course, but I never really realized. I will explain to you what I did to make my most boring studying assignments a privilege, feel free to apply the same strategy to whatever you need to start loving.
When I finally had a clear path towards my Bachelor degree I gifted myself a wonderful fountain pen.
I have mentioned this in a previous post "Why you should get yourself a Fountain Pen", but I am going to say it again. A good pen will do wonders for your handwriting & motivation. Additionally it might also trigger a better grip which could lift some strain on your wrist and hand.
For me it made many study sessions a lot more bearable. Every time I picked up the pen, it reminded me of how far I had come. Furthermore, the writing experience was also a lot more enjoyable. I didn't get the annoying hand cramps I had always gotten before.
Other forms of rewards I used:
- A night out with friends
- Buying myself an ice-cream (Yes it is that simple)
- Time off (this is the best one honestly!)
- (way too many!) Notebooks
According to this article by Two Sides paper is one of the few truly sustainable products when you choose the paper that's certified with a PEFC or a FSC logo on it. Good paper makes a world of difference when you have to write a lot. There's nothing more annoying to me than seeing what you wrote on the other side through the paper. The paper I now use daily doesn't bleed through and allows me to upload my handwritten notes to my phone app, making revision on the go a lot easier.
Interested? Get yours here: Oxford notebooks
When you prefer note-taking by hand, I can give you the advice to go through your full pages when you finish them; this makes your accomplishment very visible and statisfying!
Goals and visualising progress
Before starting a new class I went through the syllabus and wrote down all small tasks:
- Lecture attendance
- Group meetings
- Take-home materials
Completing the whole class piece by piece, rather than all at once made it way more achievable and therefore also rewardable.
In the time I studied in Amsterdam for a minor in Neuroscience, I used Notion to keep track of these small tasks. It works like a charm, syncs across my devices and it showed my progress in percentages! I used this standard Notion template.
Feel free to just browse through all of their free templates. Best of all, the Notion standard plan is free if you have access to any university email.
Till next time!
I hope you learned something!