Ok, we all know learning is beneficial but what can we do to keep ourselves at it? Let’s face it. Learning and staying motivated is a BLOODY HARD thing to do.
Typically, I start off all excited about a topic, have dreams about what I’m going to achieve and accomplish. I begin and it is all going well! Piece of cake you say. If you’re like me, (i’m currently learning French), you start imagining a day where you are impressing everyone with your French vocabulary.
And then halfway (I’m exaggerating here! Maybe 1/10th?) into the process, it ALL FALLS APART. Things in your life get in the way. The excitement dies off. Suddenly, it is so hard to get there! Your progress slows down and then, the learning gets swept under somewhere and your goals desert you and in the worst cases, you blame it on something other than yourself.
Motivation techniques for learning
So what motivational techniques are there to help us stay on track with our learning? To be successful learners, we need to learn how to learn.
1. Break down your learning into chunks
Plan your learning and divide it into digestible chunks. Be realistic. It’s okay if it is only a really small chunk. You want to make sure it is do-able, something that you can regularly commit to. This will help you slowly build your routine.
2. Try the “Pomodoro” technique and reward yourself
Barbara Oakley teaches a course on learning how to learn. In her highly rated book, Learning how to Learn, she recommends the “Pomodoro” technique, which she believes is one of the most powerful methods to help one learn. Decide on your task and do the following:
- Set a Pomodoro timer or any timer (traditionally to 25 minutes, but its up to you to decide).
- Work on the task.
- End work when the timer rings and checkmark the task.
- Treat yourself for completing the task! And continue again.