Revision techniques: Five top tips to keep you motivated.

This post was brought to you by Sports Management student/football star, Tom…

Revision techniques are difficult to adopt, not only because there are so many of them, but because revision itself can be a pretty tedious activity. Don’t worry – you’re not alone when it comes to things like this. No matter if you’re the most dedicated student in the world, sometimes, you just can’t get your head in the game. If you’re feeling like that right now, I’ll try and give you a helping hand towards getting your revision techniques on point with requirements, and keeping yourself motivated.

1. Music


Perhaps not surprisingly so, we start off with music, a common self-motivator, which many of us already tend to use to aid concentration for many purposes, such as taking part in physical activity.

In my opinion, listening to music when doing coursework can be a little bit hit and miss. I tend to find that if I’ve produced a detailed plan for my assignments, I can listen to any genre and the work will get done. Although, if I throw myself into the deep end with no planning at all, it just tends to serve as a distraction. It’s highly important to think about the type of person you are. Ask yourself: “Am I one of those people who starts listening to their favourite track and can’t stop myself from twerking?”

If the answer is NO, then there’s no need to worry. But if the answer is YES, consider listening to a song you’re not really familiar with. Your first thought may be “not a chance”, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! If you know the song better than you know the back of your hand, you’ll end up writing only one paragraph per hour – not cool.


2. Reading


As academics in higher education, we’re expected to do more reading than we’re assigned. Reading ten pages of a journal/case study for our coursework may not excite us as much as watching a sporting event, but as hard as it may be to believe, doing background reading is just as important as our sports clubs winning at the weekend!

The good thing about reading is that it can be done in a relaxing environment and it’s not a strenuous activity (if anything, it’s just a little time consuming). If you’re looking at this tip thinking: “how is reading going to motivate me?” then think about it from this perspective: after reading up on the subject our coursework is based on, we broaden our knowledge surrounding the specific topic. By doing so, wee build confidence in what we can achieve, thus being more inspired to do some work. On the other hand, if we don’t read around the subject, the task may seem more demanding than it actually is. This is where we meet our best friend – Mr Procrastination.

Even if you don’t enjoy reading, try it and see how you feel afterwards! I promise you, it’ll work.


3. Time Management


Effectively managing our time can also motivate. If we can find a balance between work and pleasure we’ll be well on our ways. But how do we find the balance?

The best indicator of this is our own attention spans – how long can we work for until we get bored and feel we can do no more? By being honest, we can judge when we’re producing a high standard of work, and take note of when standards start to slip.

Once we have a rough estimate of this time period, we can start to plan around our own lifestyle. A way to do this could be in the form of a timetable; whether we write it out on a piece of paper or decide to simply type out a few reminders on our phones, it doesn’t matter. Although, making sure we have something there to assist us in allocating time slots for work and play is essential.

As a result, we can have dedicated hours to spend on coursework and at the same time, enjoy the things we like to do. Our daily activities can be the catalysts to motivate ourselves to get through our workloads!


4. Goal Setting – S.M.A.R.T


SMART is a very well known goal-setting technique which is used by many organisations and teams in a range of different industries. The framework encourages effective and achievable targets to be made. When we begin to make our own personal targets, it would be smart (pun intended) to consider the following;

Specific – A specific goal has a better chance of being achieved than a general one. (Who, what, where & why?)

Measurable – Ensure that the target can be measured so there’s a valid indicator to see if it has been achieved or not.

Attainable – Be realistic; can it be achieved in the time we want it to be achieved?

Relevant – Make sure it’s meaningful and applicable to the overall outcome.

Time-bound – Set target times and dates for when the work has to be completed by, but make sure this isn’t the hand-in date. Set the dates prior to the deadline to allow time to hand in a first draft and receive feedback from tutors and further improve the work.

Once we’ve followed the set guidelines provided by this framework, further effective and motivational goals will be made!


5. Visualisation


In terms of visualisation, this is where we can begin to ask ourselves:

  • Where do I want to be when I leave University?
  • What is my dream job?
  • How will I get there?

The best way to start here is to search for jobs we may be interested in in the future. As daunting as getting a job may sound whilst still being a student, this can be a great way to spark a new found interest in our studies. Some job descriptions will indicate what grades, skills and personality traits are needed. As a result, this will provide us with an early opportunity to improve our academic performance, which may give us a competitive advantage over others applying for the same jobs in the future.

Asking the three questions above will help us to discover a potential path to take to strive towards our dream jobs. Knowing which little steps to take is far more comforting then the thought of going from university life straight into employment. With this in mind, why not start looking now?


So there we have it: Five top tips to keep ourselves motivated during our studies”. I hope you’ve found these useful and can apply them to yourself. If you do so and you see positive results, let us know, and if you feel that you have your own useful tips, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!


Stay motivated, stay inspired! 🙂

– Tom