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5 tips to get you in the mood to study

Written by Nicole Dalbo on Wednesday, 21 October 2020. Posted in Helpful Tips, Traditional Students

Teenage girl sitting at a table in front of a large window while writing in her notebook.

Studying: an integral part of earning an online high school diploma, but not always fun. Even the best students with great work ethics can sometimes struggle with getting their mind into the right space. They can be easily distracted, have other things to think about, dislike the material, or just simply lack motivation. So, what do you do to get yourself in the mood to study? Here are five helpful tips.

Is it normal to not be in the mood to study?

Not being in the mood to study is totally a normal thing, so don’t sweat it if this is how you’re feeling! However, it’s important to not let these feelings take control of your life. What really matters is how you work past this temporary mood and make progress despite of it! If earning your high school diploma is important to you, you’ll want to equip yourself with strategies to power through your schoolwork and reach your goals no matter what comes your way.

Why am I so unmotivated to study?

Think about studying as a form of work. When we weigh our options, enjoying a recreational activity is going to be way more tempting than putting effort into work. The most important thing to remember is that everything needs balance. Remember the reason why you’re working toward your goals, and think about the opportunities that can result by applying yourself.

However, if you suspect if your lack of motivation is intense and lasts for a prolonged period of time, it may be something more serious. Connect with your doctor and describe to them what you’re experiencing. However, there are definitely strategies that you can try first to overcome your lack of motivation.

5 tips to get you in the mood to study

1. Don’t procrastinate.

Waiting until a few days, or the day before the test can make the task seem too big. It also doesn’t give enough time to adequately devote yourself to the material. In addition, this last-minute rush can add even more pressure to an already stressful situation, making concentration more difficult.

Read more: A Day in the Life of an Online High School Student

2. Acknowledge why you don’t want to study.

Knowing the cause of a problem is the key to finding the solution. Do you find the material difficult? Set a reward for yourself to motivate you to complete your goal of studying. Are you having a problem with a friend or family member? Try to resolve it before focusing on your studies so it isn’t weighing you down. Make a list of anything that is mentally distracting you and tackle each individually or come up with a plan to address them later so they don’t distract you so much while studying.

Read more: How to Get a High School Diploma as an Adult

3. Study in a tidy place.

Messy areas can be distracting, leading your focus to everywhere but your schoolwork. They also don’t provide a lot of motivation for productivity, as well as making it more difficult to find important materials. Keep your study space clean and neat, organizing what you need and eliminating what you don’t.

Read more: 6 Reasons to Get a High School Diploma and 3 Reasons Not to

4. Set limits.

Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to take on big, long lessons first. Start small, tackling the easier work first then graduating to more complicated lessons. Also set time limits as you go rather than trying to accomplish everything at once. Give yourself a set amount of time to work instead of trying to finish it all at once. These limits will set the pace, easing you into studying while making the increase in work a little less daunting.

Read more: One Student’s Advice for Juggling Online High School and Helping Family

5. Get competitive.

While you don’t want to compare yourself to others, a little competition can be healthy, especially if it is with yourself. Set yourself a goal of improving your grades and scoring higher than on the previous test. Use those improvements or benchmarks as motivation before each exam.

Read more: How to Get a Job With an Online Diploma

Which mood is best for studying?

As you develop more and more study habits, you’ll discover what mood is best for you! Before you start studying, you might want to get pumped up or get nice and cozy—and that’s totally up to you! You’ll just want to find what keeps you focused and motivated so that you can conquer anything that comes your way.

Let James Madison help you succeed

Not everyone learns in the same way or at the same pace. No matter if you’re a full-time student or a working adult, James Madison High School can help give you the tools to unlock your potential. JMHS offers affordable, self-paced online courses so you can study when and how it’s best for you. Enroll online or call our Admissions team at to learn more.

About the Author

Nicole Dalbo

Nicole Dalbo

Nicole Dalbo studied English Literature with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Scranton and is currently working toward her MS in Marketing. When she isn’t writing, Nicole can be found watching the newest Marvel movie, baking something sweet, or jamming out to live music.