Struggling to motivate yourself to learn something new?

In my previous blog post, I wrote about investing in yourself and how it can help your career.

Often, investing in yourself involves learning something new.

We may need to learn something because:

The thing is, it’s not always easy.

Despite the fact we recognise we have a need to learn something, we still struggle to motivate ourselves to do so.

You may have the time for it.

And you’ve already recognised there is a need for it.

But, your attempts to do so have made you think this topic is boring; you dread sitting down and learning this new thing.

This is something I still struggle with, but I have found ways to make some things easier.

Here’s what has helped me with this:

1. Learn with a friend

If you’re learning with a friend, you get the added bonus of spending time (whether online or IRL) with someone whose company you enjoy.

For me, what has helped me the most in this regard is the fact that if we have sessions set up to learn together, and I bail - then I’m not only letting myself down, I’m letting my friend down as well.

And we can’t have that can we!

2. Find resources that appeal to me

Most things have TONNES of resources online dedicated to teaching you this thing. It’s just a matter of finding it.

I’ve made the mistake countless times of trying to chug along on a course just so I could finish it. (I forgot about sunk cost, silly me!) The worst part was that none of what I “learned” stuck with me.

While I don’t think you should switch and try something else too quickly, I do think you should try something else if you honestly feel like you’ve given something a good go.

3. Timeblocking

What I like about timeblocking is that it removes the need to decide to do something when the time comes - as I have already decided beforehand.

It clears up some mental energy.

You can create a calendar event to do this.

E.g. Monday 20:00-21:00 Do the first two chapters in Marie Drake’s Test Automation for Accessibility Course

4. Remind yourself of the why

At the start of learning something, the why is fresh in your mind.

But after a while, it can be easy to forget why you’re dedicating all this time to learning something in the first place.

Remind yourself of the why.

I’ll be honest, sometimes I try all of these and they don’t work.

But often, I only do a few of these things and that’s enough to motivate me.

How about you? What do you do when you struggle to find motivation to learn something? Let me know on Twitter @NicolaLindgren or on LinkedIn.