How to Make Studying Fun (or at Least Less Boring)

Studying is boring, right? Every time you have to open up a text book or tackle a homework assignment, a million things go through your mind that would be more fun to do. Like skydiving or watching paint dry or typing a YouTube
comment about how the fact that I’m holding a
fidget spinner right now makes you want to puke. Yeah, I can see you warming
up your fingers Derek. Of course, studying is
something that you sometimes have to do which leads to the obviously
question if you have to do it, is there at least a way
to make it more fun? Or at least less boring? Well that’s what I want
to talk about today. I’m gonna get this out
here right up front, there is no way to make
studying always fun. After all, part of learning process is to sometimes go through challenging and difficult material and that’s not always going
to be a walk in the park. But there are things you can do to make studying more
fun more of the time. And that’s what I want to
talk about in this video. So let’s dive right in. (rap beat) First and foremost, if you
want to make studying fun, you need to get interested in your topic. All the way back in 1913, Francis Lockwood wrote in his book The Freshman and His College, in the long run, the secret of study resides in our ability to bath our thought, our task, our lesson in the stream of interest. But how exactly do you gain that interest? Well, you certainly don’t do it by jumping straight
into the minute details. To gain interest that’s
truly strong enough to power you through the
hours of rigorous study, you need to expose yourself
to the truly exciting facets of the topic. First, nobody reads The History of Middle Earth before reading Lord of the Rings or at least watching the movies first. And nobody goes digging
through C sharp documentation unless they’re interested in
building something in C sharp like a video game. That’s why Bill Nye made
Bill Nye the Science Guy. Why Carl Sagan made Cosmos. And why David Attenborough
helped to make Planet Earth. These three men are
known first and foremost as Science Popularizers. Because they knew what it took to get the public interested in science. They knew that showing
electricity in action or showing a shark hunting its prey is far better at generating that needed initial spark of interest than talking immediately about Ohm’s law or talking about how the dorsal fin affects the flow of dynamics. And the best teachers in the world understand this innately. They know that they need
to get their students initially excited about the topic before they jump right into
the rigorous minute details. But if your teacher’s not good at that, you can do that yourself. One great way to do this is to find a book or a movie or a podcast or even a video game that give you an initial high level
introduction to the topic in an entertaining way. Or that somehow connected to it. I’ll use my girlfriend Anna as an example. Anna is somebody who
really doesn’t like to read a whole lot of non-fiction. But last year, we took a trip to St. Louis to go to city museum. And on the way, we listened to a podcast called Hardcore History. And if you haven’t listened
to this podcast before, it is one of the downright
most entertaining podcasts in the world. It is my personal favorite podcast and the particular episode
we were listening to was talking about Ancient Persia. After we listened to that episode, Anna actually got interested in the topic and she went and bought the book Persian Fire by the historian Tom Holland. And this is a good book. But as you can see right here, it’s a pretty thick history book. And it’s not Anna’s usual affair. But despite that, she
finished the entire book. Because the podcast gave her that initial spark of interest. And I remembered while she was reading it, she’d come up to me several times and say, “hey, I remembered when he
talked about it in the podcast.” So she was building an interest link. (rap beat) A second tip that I hope
you’ll become more interested in anything you’re studying is to adopt a growth mindset. Carol Dweck’s book Mindset
The New Psychology of Success contrasts people with fixed mindsets people who essentially believe that talent or intelligence is
fixed and doesn’t change with people who have growth mindsets. People that believe
anything can be changed and improved upon. Early on in the book, Dweck demonstrates how
the mindset that you have also plays a huge role on
how interested you’ll be in your studies. Especially when the going gets difficult. During her research for the book, she followed premed students who were taking an
initial chemistry course during their freshmen year in college. And in this course, the average
exam grade was a C plus. It was one of those weed out courses that’s basically designed to be difficult so it weeds out people
who are not a good fit for the medicine program
right at the start. In the book, she reported that most students started out
pretty interested in chemistry. Yet, over the semester,
something happened. Students with a fixed mindset
stayed only interested when they did well right away. Those who found it difficult showed a big drop in their
interest and enjoyment. If it wasn’t a testimony
to their intelligence, they couldn’t enjoy it. In contrast, students
with a growth mindset continued to show the same
high level of interest even when they found the
work very challenging. Challenge and interest went hand in hand. So try to reframe the way
you think about your classes. Not as tests or evaluations to show everyone how intelligent
or unintelligent you are, but as continual learning opportunities. Opportunities to learn, grow and yes sometimes fail. But to come back and
improve upon those failures and to win eventually. This is a global mindset. If you can do this, you’re
gonna find that your studies across any subject you tackle are gonna be more enjoyable
and more interesting. (rap beat) Another great way to
make studying more fun and interesting is to
do it with a partner. But studying with a partner
is a double edge sword that can go wrong really easily. And I find there are two main
pitfalls that you fall into when you do this. First and foremost, if you
study with the wrong partner, they are going to distract you and you’re never going
to get any work done. And I definitely been here. During my freshmen year, I tried to study with
the people in my dorm and all we ended up doing was opening up Duke Nukem soundboards and wasting all of our time. But just as easily, you can find a partner who goes
through the work so quickly and does so much of it that you end up glossing over
the problems and the concepts and never end up really
learning them yourself. So if you’re gonna do this, you need to not only find
a partner who’s focused and stays on task the whole time but who also ensures that you understand the problem solution and that they understand it as well before both of you move on. (rap beat) The next tip is to change your environment in non distracting ways
that makes studying more enjoyable. And there are a lot of
ways you can do this. One of the best ways is
to find a study playlist that you enjoy listening to that doesn’t distract you. And I’ve been making a
playlist here on YouTube called the Ultimate Study Music Playlist for a few years that works really well when I need to get some work done. It can also help to find a study spot you usually enjoy being in like your favorite spot in the library or a good coffee shop or maybe study with a cat. And having a good drink
next to you while you study definitely helps as well. Pretty much every single morning, I make a pot of cinnamon clove tea which is basically my favorite kind of tea and I drink that while I do some writing. And it might sound weird to you but the ritual of having that pot of tea and being able to pour multiple glasses while I write makes the process of writing more enjoyable. So I do it. (rap beat) And that brings us to our
final tip on the list. You want to make studying
more fun and more enjoyable and create many rewards that you get for doing that studying. Your motivation to complete your tasks is to find partly by the
reward you’re going to get for doing it. And with studying, there’s a pretty obviously main reward. You’ll get a good grade,
you’ll graduate from college and you won’t have to live
in a van down by the river. But that doesn’t have
to be the only reward you give yourself. You could also create many rewards that can be an incentive
for finishing an assignment or even just putting an
amount of time in it. You’ve probably all seen the
Gummy Bear trick on Facebook and that might work for some people. I think I would just
eat all the Gummy Bears and close my book right away. But for the most part, these rewards should be high density fun. Letting yourself go out with friends or letting yourself play
Overwatch for a while. Something that isn’t stupid
like scrolling through Facebook for five minutes. It’s also important to
plan out the details of these mere rewards in advance. As the author Piers Steel talks about in his book The Procrastination Equation, rewards are a lot more motivating
when they’re preplanned because they build anticipation. You know in the back of your mind that once you finish studying, you’re gonna get to do something fun. And that’s gonna further
increase your motivation to power through that study session. This video was made possible
in part by Skillshare. Earlier, I talked about
how important it is to get interested in the
things you’re studying. And that’s especially
important for required classes you have to take. But there are also
things that you probably always wanted to learn. Things you already have an interest in maybe playing the guitar like I am or learning digital illustration or maybe just learning how to cook so that you don’t have to keep living off of Hot Pockets everyday. If that’s the case then you should definitely
give Skillshare a try. With over 16,000 courses and a ton of different topics, there’s something for almost everybody and almost all their
courses include challenges and projects that you can tackle to start putting what
you’re learning into action right away. A premium membership on Skillshare will run you about 10 bucks a month which basically makes it
a Netflix subscription that will actually make you smarter but the first 500 people that click the link in the
description below and sign up will get a free two month
trial of unlimited learning. And trust me, in two months, you can learn a lot. So if you’re interested, definitely go give that link a try. I want to give a big thanks to Skillshare for sponsoring this video
and supporting this channel and thank you so much for watching. If you found this video
helpful, give it a like. And if you have additional tips
that I didn’t mention here, definitely go down in the
comments and share them so that other students can benefit. You can also hit that
subscribe button right there to get new videos every single week. And if you want a free copy of my book on how to earn better
grades, click right there. Additionally, you should
definitely go check out this week’s podcast episode where we discuss the
book called Essentialism which is one of the best
books I’ve read this year. So click right there if
you want to check it out. Or click right there for
another video on this channel. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll see you guys next week.

About the author


  1. The most important thing is to really develop an interest in the subject, a willingness to explore, rather than rewarding yourself like a circus monkey for studying. Just this interest and willingness to explore is the only mindset that has worked for me, no need to complicate this with growth/still mindset jargon.

  2. sad thing I'm a library science student and even tho I love libraries and working in them there's nothing interesting in the history of bibliography.

  3. I found it funny how you mentioned not "living in a van down by the river" as a reason to motivate yourself to do study better, but funny thing is my goal is to travel around alot in a van and build up wealth while I live in the van bc it's cheaper than some rent and house payments

  4. i did fail in my phy i am in freshman and the feeling is very hard also losing all the motivation for the course and i am watching your video but this things are said is easier than done i think lots of pressure

  5. Your productivity videos are such a big influence. Thank you! I hope that there’s a summary of all your points though because that was a lot of info but good job on these vids

  6. Nothing can help my laziness,but this guy says some pretty cool stuff that's mostly true and actually tries to help. U gained a sub from me

  7. If you live in England and you are studying for GCSEs, I recommend the website Seneca Learning. It’s free right now and it covers everything in small chunks but it is definitely a lot better than reading from a textbook. It gets you through about 4 lessons worth of work in 30 minutes, it’s honestly changed my grades already and I’ve only used it for a few days.

  8. I cant read a book or watch a show without getting bored or checking my phone at the same time. A growth mindset will fix that.

  9. I had a large biography project. A lot of people had chosen bland historical figures. I chose Alan Turing who I really had wanted to learn more about, after watching a movies based off of him and the enigma. It made my project much more enjoyable to learn about, and I could see all the differences in the movie and the real thing.

  10. Can someone help me to know how to make latin and greek more interesting?
    (please I’m not being ironic I need help)

  11. I think understanding how study is related to your life helps.You can gain satisfaction if u can account for some phenomenon with ur knowledge.

    Also, you should not on study only for exam. It is because exam always come with failure. Student will think that study means nothing, but failure. Such mentality will stifle ur interest in study.

  12. Loved the video! Apparently the rewards thing doesn't work though because your more focused on the reward rather than the actual task. Maybe if you did something nice before hand then you'll be happy to work because you've already done something you like

  13. All I did is imagine my idols and say 'I'll only meet these kinds of people if I study' and that worked. Also, pop in some music to make it less serious, and it'll make you remember a bit longer. Dunno why that works, but you remember things easier when you just speed read instead of trying to shove information into your head.

  14. ok ok wait. hold up, Tom Holland wrote a book, he is a historian?? But when i search him up it shows up as ACTOR not historian, and he hasn't written a book!!

  15. So let me explain a situation, I live in a country where higher education is free therefore majors with high paying jobs hav suuuuppper high acceptanve averages. I dont have the best but mine is pretty high all my cousins brothers and friends have slightly higher Avreges and they are all going to be doctors. I didnt want to be a doctor, I wanted to major in something like language and translation journalism or something like that but these require really low averages which makes them reqlly overused so then if i graduate I cant have a job or start a buisness because everyone and their mother has that major littrealy the ministry of education said that.

    Yesterday i discovered that with my average I can go to med school, the thing is ive always considered myself a humantarian student and I am not that bright I fear going to med schoolq nd not being able to make it half way through. Or make it through med school and working something i dont like but I also fear not having a job and starving to death so………

  16. Well, I Enjoy Studying Outside like in the Balcony or Garden or whatever. Plus, I enjoy studying while listening to Musics so It can be more challenging to focus on the topic or Lessons thought.

    Just my Opinion to Music Lovers! ✌🏻

  17. I did this when me and my mom

    If I increased my GPA by something I got that amount of money to go to 5 and below.
    My GPA increased from the 70s to the 90s

  18. Good Teacher Explain, The Great Teacher Demonstrates And the Best Teacher Inspires. But I Love You And Your Channel. Please make more videos related to Studies or Music.

  19. I ended up reading comments, watching what my cat was doing, wondering what was on tv, instead of watching the video. Just can’t pay attention to anything, that’s my problem.

  20. TOM HOLLAND WROTE A BOOK?!?!?!?!??!!??!

    Oh wait I checked and there is some old bloke with same name… holy heavens, I almost passed away

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *