When You Just CAN’T Motivate Yourself to Study, Consider This – College Info Geek

When You Just CAN’T Motivate Yourself to Study, Consider This – College Info Geek


I got a question
from a student recently that I think really
highlights a problem that a lot of us have,
and the problem is this, we think that we can’t get the
motivation to do something, when, in reality, we’re
simply not willing to get the motivation to do it. So, I wanna read you
this question real quick, and give you my thoughts on it, and, hopefully, it’ll help you if you’re having your own
motivational problems. So, it says, “one of the biggest
problems I’ve been having “is the struggle to see the
consequences of not studying “or not doing an assignment
until the last possible second – “and by last, I
mean really last. “I really need to be getting
onto these things earlier, “but I just can’t
bring myself to do it. “I try to imagine the way it
would feel to have it done, “or even the consequences
of not doing it – “which is always a
lower grade than I want. “I’ve just found myself
lying around, doing nothing – “or literally doing
anything else that I could “possibly do besides
actually working.” So, one thing he also
mentioned in this email is he liked the
method I use to force myself to wake up
in the morning. How I schedule a tweet
to go out at 6:10, that I’ll give
people $5 if I don’t wake up on time to delete it. But he said, also,
that he’s not willing to put money on the line, and
that he doesn’t have Twitter, and it’s really
highlighted to me that he has the ability to
set these systems up, it’s very easy to set
up a Twitter account, and it’s very easy to
pony up $5 to do something that’s really going
to benefit your life, but, at this point, he wasn’t
willing to actually do it. So, really, in my
mind, this highlights the difference that
I mentioned earlier. It’s not that he can’t motivate
himself to do something, it’s that he’s, as of
yet, been unwilling to set up the systems to
create that motivation. Now, your motivation
to do something that will help you
in the long-term has to compete
with your impulses to do other things
at the same time. Which means, that, motivation is determined by a few
different factors. Mainly, there’s
the desire to get the Reward for doing that thing, you want to get a
good grade on a test, so you have to
study for that test. But there’s also the
possible Consequences for not doing that thing,
the pain that you’ll bring upon your future self if you
don’t get this thing done. But there’s also the impulse
to get into other activities, to go on Reddit,
to go on Facebook, to hang out with your friends,
or go on a Netflix binge. These are always competing with your motivation in the moment. So, essentially, you
have to find ways to tweak each of these values, in order to generate the right
amount of motivation to get yourself to do whatever it is
you’re not currently doing. And here’s the key insight here, you can build systems to
create that motivation. You can build a system that
creates heavier consequences for not doing what you
were supposed to do. Or, you can build systems that
give you ancillary rewards in addition to the main
reward it’s given by the task. You can also set up
systems that make it harder to get into those distractions, you can find apps that
will block the websites that you don’t want to be
distracting yourself with, or you can go to the library
so you’re not near your friends when they decide they
want to go bowling. Now, all these are
things that you can do, so the problem
isn’t that you can’t motivate yourself,
it’s that, right now, you’re unwilling to
lay the groundwork, and build the systems in order
to generate that motivation. The pain or discomfort
of not doing what it is you’re
supposed to be doing has not yet become great enough that you’ve decided to
make a change in your life. This reminds me
of a comment that I got recently on that video
about my wake up system, somebody said that,
basically, it’s ridiculous, nobody should have to
threaten themselves to get up on time, or
to pursue their goals. And yeah, in an ideal
world, I agree with that, ideally, we would
be able to generate the motivation we
need to do the things that are gonna benefit
us in the long-term, that’s what long-term
thinking’s all about, but we don’t live
in a perfect world, we don’t live in
an idealized world where we’re always
looking to the future. We live in the real
world, we live in a world where our impulse of
desires in the moment are often the things
that rule our minds. So, we have to work
within those parameters, work within those limitations, and create systems
that can help us overcome those
impulsive desires. So, the question to
ask yourself is simple, have you actually done
all that’s in your power to create systems to
generate motivation? When you tell yourself
that you just can’t get the motivation to
study or do your homework, are you being honest with
yourself, or, in reality, are you just not willing
to put in that groundwork? Are you not willing
to build those systems to create
the motivation? If that’s the case,
then look at what you’ve been doing in the past to
create that motivation. If it’s not sufficient, then
it’s time to make a change. (electronic music) Hey guys, thanks so
much for watching this quick video on motivation. Now, if you found it useful, leaving a Like can really
help this channel out, and you can also get new
videos every single week on being a more
effective student by clicking the big red
Subscribe button right there. I also wrote a book on
how to earn better grades, which also includes
some more tips on how to beat procrastination, so if you want to get
that, it’s absolutely free, just click the
picture of the book, and I’ll send you a copy. You can find a
summary of this video, along with some links
to extra resources at the companion blog post, which you can access at the
orange logo right there, and if you missed
last week’s video, we talked about how I organize my files, notes, and
other school projects, so, if you want to
see my folder system, click the thumbnail to watch it. If you have questions, or
want to connect with me, I’m on Twitter, at TomFrankly, or, you can leave
a comment below. Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “When You Just CAN’T Motivate Yourself to Study, Consider This – College Info Geek

  1. unbelievably amazing video brother, in 5 minutes i feel ive taken more away from this video than hours of other videos! subbed!

  2. how do i create the systems, based on what factors do these systems work and how do they compete with the rest of the distractions.

  3. My problem is that i study effectively for like 1 hour and then rest for like 3 hours cause i just dont feel like it i really hope that i would stop. there were a couple of days when i woke up 6:00 a.m exercised and started studying. but only for a short period of time .
    Im just so sick of myself always throwing things for tomorrow and also i have a really important exam coming up in the next 2 weeks but all iv done is study 4 pages all day only 4.
    Im smart but i dont use my brain enough and i try to convince myself by reminding the consequences of not studying but still nothing.
    Its just killing me please if you could advise me anything cause i really need your help
    Iv tried everything literally evrything making a schedule , managing my time but it only works for me for a short time then its just useless

  4. I just feel so hopeless, though. You could install programs on my computer that stop me going on Facebook and Reddit. You could take away my computer entirely and replace it with a computer with nothing but MS Word installed. I still don't think I could do it. There are days where I just sit/lie and do absolutely nothing all day. I feel paralysed.

  5. the problem is i do work better and faster in the last minute. i get better ideas. if i start early, i unnecessarily take a longer time to complete that task.

  6. I found that it helps when you just break thing down. Usually people cant be bothered doing things because the task seems to be paramount. However, just doing something simple like a plan consisting of dot points, can really boost your motivation.

  7. Yet another useless motivational video that doesn't help and provides the same garden variety "advice" 😔 If we have to threaten ourselves to study through negative reinforcement, is there not a bigger picture here that we are all missing? That just doesn't seem sustainable to me. But maybe I'm just a hopeless case, who knows :/

  8. I’ve motivated myself through school by wanting to get into a good law school and now I’m here and I’m fucking miserable. It’s not the workload, it’s the idea of spending the rest of my life as a lawyer thats giving me a crisis and I have no idea how to motivate myself to study

  9. This video was so motivating I literally stopped watching it at around 2 and a half minutes in because I realised what I needed to do- thank youuuu

  10. I used to be able to focus on my work. One day everything changed and I’ve tried everything at this point. Library, different natural medicines, tea, different methods, blocking websites, and I always find my self forgetting what I was reading or studying.

  11. In my case, I'm struggling with my job… I now I have to do some things, but the "reward" would be to stay in the team,,, but I don't really want to stay there… I don´t want to be unemployed, but I don´t want to remain there… It has been hard…

  12. My problem is I get into a cleaning frenzy when I'm procrastinating… so I feel like it's ok to clean for two hours straight! I feel good about the clean house but now I'm totally burnt out from intensively cleaning for hours. (just did that).
    I need to regulate my cleaning… and Reward myself with cleaning!!!! Is this weird?? I'm not even 20 yet!!

  13. My distraction is youtube. I am doing all of my assignments onliine which makes it really hard for me because I am easily distracted constantly by my computer lol I know it sounds funny becuase I need my computer to do my assignments, You are not the only person I watch on youtube there are times where I am doing an assignment and then I would go on tube and search random videos to watch instead of doing my assignment that is due the next day. There are days where I try to motivate myself by telling myself "no youtube today, assignments today." For me I have to learn to manage my time and not be distracted all the time. I have to stay focus.

  14. I JUST WANT GREAT GRADES TO BE ABLE TO HAVE A GREAT FUTURE LIKE MY CLASS MATES BUT I CAN’T FOCUS ON STUDYING AND I STARTED TO PANIC BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO TO BE ABLE TO STUDY AND I THINK THAT I DON’T NEED THESE ARGUMENTS BECAUSE IN THE END I WON’T DO ANYTHING WITH HISTORY AND CHEMISTRY AND BIOLOGY OH MY GOD I THINK I NEED A NEW BRAIN

  15. I really like that you're discussing about putting environmental systems in place, but unfortunately we keep bringing up these ideas about "generating the motivation" or being "willing" to create those systems. It's hard to believe that motivation or willingness are just generated within us if we simply call upon them. These things are often a result of our past history under similar conditions. I.e. In the past, when you were motivated, you accomplished something, and the accomplishment was so rewarding that it increased the probability that you would become "motivated" to complete a similar task in the future. The rest of us will have to investigate our own past to find what motivates us, and like you said, put systems in place that will lead us to succeed. The answer is in those systems, not inside of us. Perhaps the same things that motivate you, motivate some of us too. It's nice to be able to see these systems being implemented because telling people that something is easy is not motivating, but I think showing them is. Keep up the good work.

  16. You know when you're motivated to study, then your parents tell you to go study, and you lose your motivation. XD

  17. I know im smart.. im not saying im a prodigy but im not dumb.. But i procastinate way too much. If i have a test, I would leave it till the last day to study and even then i only start studying late at night. I dont party, I dont go out, i dont drink/ smoke and never have. Im just home doing nothing. Im unmotivated and hopeless.. It sucks.

  18. What if I’m not allowed to have social media or if I have NO money. I don’t get distracted by internet… YouTube is all I have… I still get bored of it easily. I also have NO friends. 😭 I get distracted easily when studying (or doing anything) and I don’t know how to stop and just focus.

  19. There can be other aspects why an individuals could have issues motivating themselves. Examples such as health, work, fatigue, diet, obligation, stress, anxiety, depression, …Or the roommate not wanting to use his headphones to listening to his music and anime! sigh

  20. Well , even the fact that i had to click on this vid motivated me enough , imma finally start studying , thanks i guess xdddd

  21. I guess this is why people say "knowledge is power". It might not be that people are not willing to motivate themselves; it is in fact because people do not know the motivation system well enough to be motivated to make one of their much-less dominating motivation, yet ones known very clearly by their rationalities as things that should be done, to be the dominating motivation among all other motivations. Dealing with one's motivation system is actually considered very dangerous by me; it could mess up your motivation system and recognition system, if done the wrong way. It is a very decent risk which is very likely to bring distorted recognition systems. A distorted systems could be life threatening in my opinion. I think we people are smart to not mess with it while being not so sure. But thank you Thomas. This is for real human development and life changing. Hope you are doing well!

  22. soooo

    I'm a Senior and I have my bio exam tomorrow. Two papers on 4 different chapters with like up to 5 to 9 subunits each. I've been studying since the last week of January and am still studying the night before. I'm literally dead. But you know what, let me TRY to motivate myself to keep studying. Even if it feels like I'm about to combust because of the amount of information I am currently withholding

    Pray for me.

  23. Having a major exam in two days time and can't seem to open the book. It's like having an invisible wall in front of you.

  24. Is there anybody wondering how he 'stick' ( sorry idk what word to use 😅 ) the books on the wall like that ??

  25. I have no motivation to motivate myself as someone else said. And, unlike the original question, I can see the consequences. But I can't bring myself to do the homework at all.

  26. It’s Saturday 8:00 pm, I have A level history on Monday biology on Tuesday and religious studies on Wednesday and yet I haven’t even started to revise. However I know people who have the same exams as me and have been revising since 2 months ago. Idk how they do it

  27. in a perfect world people who struggle generate enough motivation to get up on time would not exist, but this is not a perfect world

  28. please check learning breakthrough program. it's probably the only brain fitness exercise in the world that creates positive neuroplactic changes in your brain responsible for willpower. make sure to do the exercises twice every day for three years. search about this deeply. good luck

  29. I lost motivation and i failed at school then i started watching these videos and i got motivated and entered the medical school and studied hard and now im a 4th year medical student 🙂

  30. This has become such a huge burden in my life that I'm bawling my eyes out just hearing you talk about procrastination.

    I need to change

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