The Christmas holidays are over and it’s time to go full steam ahead with your studies. It can sometimes be quite hard to motivate yourself to get started again. We’ve come up with these five tips for you with help from students.

1. Switch off the phone!

Whether you realise it or not, your telephone is a huge distraction when you’re studying. Econometrics student Michel Pham therefore advises switching off your phone and putting it in your bag if you’re planning to really work hard for a while. WhatsApp is a huge culprit. But sites including Facebook and Twitter are also a distraction. Something you recognise? It’s best to put away your laptop as well as your phone. If you really need your laptop to work, use the programs that are available to block certain websites.

2. Don’t study alone

It works for Michael Garcia, international IBA student, to sit among other students who are also studying. For example, it’s good to study in the Polak building instead of at home. If other students are working hard around you, it gives you the feeling that you aren’t the only one who has to study. It also works well to work together with fellow students. For example, agree that you all go through a chapter on Wednesday evening and discuss this together on Thursday morning. This actually forces you to work through the material. What’s more, everyone picks up different things from texts which means that you’ll remember things that you usually wouldn’t even have noticed.

3.Reward yourself

Nothing is so demotivating as studying for hours without being able to do something nice. The materials you have to work through seem endless and at the end of the day you feel as though you’ve learned nothing. Accountancy student Andrea Riul always rewards herself if she has been working really hard on her studies for a certain number of hours. This method often works well, although it works better if the reward is something you’d normally not buy. If you buy something cheap you’re more likely to just buy this without having to stick to the agreement you made with yourself.

4. List your goals

Whether these are long-term or short-term goals, it’s important to know why you’re working hard. Econometrics student Jip van de Sar also agrees that goals are motivating as you have something to work towards. But do make sure that these are achievable goals and don’t immediately set yourself the goal of becoming Prime Minister. An achievable goal is for example “typing five hundred words every day for a 10,000 word paper”. This keeps your goals achievable as well ensuring that you feel good about yourself. You enjoy your work more if you’re successful in achieving your goals time after time, which in turn makes it easier to keep working.

5. It’s important to take a break

Carolina Perugachi, Economics and Business Economics student, says that it is important for her to take regular breaks. A good idea, because taking a break during studying has many advantages. First of all it’s good to rest. Concentrating continuously on your studies demands a lot of physical effort and after a certain number of hours of studying you hardly take in any more information. Moreover, in that short period of rest your body processes the information you’ve just gone through. So it’s a win-win situation. Just by taking a short break, you can often start again at full power and you feel totally refreshed. Take, for example, a five-minute break every hour and an hour-long break after four hours of studying. Don’t study from seven in the morning ‘til twelve at night; as well as being extremely demotivating it simply serves no purpose.