Six ways to stay motivated to study
Studying for the CA qualification is tough, and the sheer volume of material you need to learn for your exams can feel overwhelming at times.
Whether you are at TC, TPS or TPE level, finding (and keeping!) the motivation to keep going can be a challenge. However, with the right motivation, you are much more likely to go the extra mile with your studies and be more focused on your success. Here are six ways you can boost your motivation levels.
1. Break it down
We often feel demotivated because the task we face feels too big, too hard or too much of a challenge. That’s why it’s important to break your studying down into smaller, more manageable chunks of work.
The idea of revising an entire module in one go can be rather daunting, so make things easier on yourself. Take a more structured approach and plan out what you will study week by week.
Developing your own personal study planner is a useful way of keeping track, and it can be as simple as blocking time out in your diary, or using a handy study app such as GoConqur or iStudiez to get organised.
2. Deal with distractions
Whether it’s your email, WhatsApp or Facebook notifications popping up, the lure of ‘just having a quick browse’ online or friends asking you to meet up - distractions are part of everyday life. However, they are also a major time suck so it’s important to take control of them.
Simple things you can do to help stay focused are: switching off the notifications on your phone and diverting calls to voicemail while you are studying. If you have a habit of straying onto Facebook and other sites, consider using an app such as SelfControl to limit the time you spend on them, without blocking them completely!
3. Do what works best for you
When it comes to successful studying, you’ll soon discover what your most effective approach is. For some people, working by themselves is better, while others may prefer to study with friends to help keep their energy levels up.
It is recommended that you study in the evenings, but there is no need to go overboard and study late into the night, every night. You may also find that you are more productive in the mornings, or at weekends, so try to vary the times when you study.
Where you study is just as important as how you study, so make sure your study space is comfortable and free from the things that might distract you!
4. Remember the big picture
Sometimes we can get stuck in a downward spiral when it comes to our studies, and forget why we are doing it in the first place.
Remember that qualifying as CA is a great achievement, and something that will be worth all the effort you’re putting in. When you’ve got there you won’t look back and wish you hadn’t studied, you’ll be glad worked hard and got your qualification.
If you are feeling demotivated, try to remind yourself why you are doing this – every minute you spent studying helps bring you closer to your goal of becoming a CA and the rewards that can bring.
5. Don’t leave questions unanswered
When you are studying, it can be demotivating when you don’t know the answer to something. Make notes about anything you are not sure of, and don’t leave any questions unanswered – these are gaps in your knowledge which need to be plugged.
Talk to your tutors about any niggling doubts you have about the course material – it’s much more motivating to know you’ve got everything covered then to hope that everything will just ‘come right’ in the end.
6. Take a break and reward yourself
You won’t feel 100% motivated if it feels like you are studying every hour of the day - that’s not healthy or productive. Although the CA qualification does require a lot of hard work, it’s important to factor in regular breaks and down time to help you stay at your best.
Setting yourself clear targets to work towards is a great approach, as once you’ve reached them you can give yourself a well-earned break.
Physical exercise is a great way of taking your mind off things, so even though you might not feel like it, going to the gym or playing sports can help you feel refreshed and ready to go.