What use is learning

Frustration while studying? Here are 7 quick tips that will help right away

by Tim Reichel

It will be soon. You are about to light everything - at least you feel like it. You're frustrated because learning isn't going the way you imagined it would. You're stuck and all that stuff just doesn't go into your head.

Too much, too complicated, too poorly prepared: studying can be terribly frustrating. Especially if you actually want to study in a concentrated manner, but cannot find the right approach. Everything feels heavy and you can't even see the slightest progress.

Don't worry: you are not alone in this. Every student goes through these phases and every now and then torments their way through their studies.

Unfortunately, this is of little use to you at the moment. Not much is missing and the last bit of motivation also disappears. But before the frustration overwhelms you and forces you to give up, I have seven short tips for you that can give you new energy.

So: put the match away!


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7 tips against frustration when studying

Next time you're about to throw in the towel in frustration, these tips will help you:


Tip # 1: change your expectations!

Frustration often arises when expectation and reality fall apart unfavorably. That means: If you have set yourself too much and then the desired results do not happen, you feel bad.

So frustration is a matter of attitude and has to do with your perception. What I mean to you as a hobby psychologist: On the one hand, you cause your own frustration; on the other hand, it is also up to you to change your attitude.

So shift down a gear and think for a moment about your own expectations - are they realistic? Are you expecting too much from yourself? Can you ever meet your expectations at all? And then you adjust your goal setting.

Reading tip: Why you need a vision for your studies and how to find it


Tip # 2: focus on your successes!

When you are frustrated everything looks negative; the whole world is angry with you and nothing works. But that's not true! It is only your subjective perception - and it is up to you to change this perception and set a different focus.

This is not easy and of course it can also be that you are currently in a strenuous streak of bad luck. But you still have the opportunity to change your point of view and have a positive attitude.

So make it clear to yourself what you have achieved so far: Where were you a year ago and where are you now? What difficulties have you already overcome on your way? What are you grateful for Consciously focus on the positive and draw new strength from it.

Reading tip: Journaling during your studies: How to become a better student with a diary


Tip # 3: focus on one thing!

Especially when you have a lot to do, you run the risk of getting tangled up multitasking and wanting to do too much at once. But multitasking is not only a productivity killer, it also ensures that you lose focus when your workload is too heavy and in the end you don't get anything baked.

Instead, focus on the next step and only do one thing at a time. This single-tasking helps you to stay focused and sharpens your senses.

It also takes the pressure off of you having to work on different construction sites at the same time. Always take care of one task - but do it properly.

Reading tip: The amazingly simple secret of highly productive students


Tip # 4: learn in small steps!

Doing a lot of tasks at the same time is just as frustrating as too large units, in which you cannot see progress even after hours of work. Therefore, get used to dividing your tasks into intermediate steps.

If you learn in small steps, you can organize your work better and regularly give yourself little sense of achievement. Every time you complete an item on your to-do list, you take a step forward and keep getting closer to your goal.

In addition, small tasks seem less oppressive. Work packages that are too large inhibit your motivation and reduce the desire to start. That doesn't happen to you with small subtasks.

Reading tip: How you can achieve your goals in your studies step by step with the first brick method


Tip # 5: change your work rhythm!

Frustration can also be caused by ingrained and ineffective learning techniques. In other words: If you work in the same way for your studies in huge time windows every time, even though you are only advancing at a snail's pace, it will wreak havoc on you in the long run.

What helps then is a change of rhythm: change the way you work. Try something new and adapt your working conditions. For example, change your workplace (from your desk to the library) or change the duration of your learning units.

Consciously do something different than usual and thereby break up old, unproductive structures.

Reading tip: How to use the Pomodoro technique to do more in a single day than in a whole week


Tip # 6: avoid the perfectionism trap!

Many students not only have too high demands on themselves, but generally work far too perfectionistically. You want to master every detail to perfection and lose sight of the essentials in the process.

As a result, they learn unproductively and waste their time on unnecessary odds and ends. Therefore, you should try to find the jump in time while learning.

Make it clear to yourself that you will never understand a topic perfectly and in every conceivable detail. That is not possible - for anyone. On the other hand, you shouldn't use this mindset to justify sloppiness in your study. The balance is important.

Reading tip: Why perfectionism is important in your studies and how you don't get ruined by it


Tip # 7: speak yourself strong!

Especially when things are not going smoothly during your studies and external influences are making life difficult for you, you can consciously counteract this with your own communication.

In stressful situations, many students get into a negative spiral because they tell themselves how bad things are going and how hopeless the situation is. However, if you selectively toggle the switch in your head and instead talk yourself into it, you can break this pattern.

You can influence your thoughts - and your thoughts influence your emotional state. In this way you can give yourself strength and take momentum for new challenges.

Reading tip: Motivation in your studies: 50 strong thoughts with which you can motivate yourself every day


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Frustration in learning is as certain as the "trivial" in the lecture. Every student comes to a point where they want to throw in the towel.

These short downs aren't that bad - if you manage to pull yourself up again and overcome your frustration. All you need are a few small motivational tricks and the right attitude.

Extra tip: In the future, pay more attention to HOW you are studying and less to WHAT you are studying.

As you improve your technique while studying, it will pay off for you in the long run. Because as an academic you will later find yourself in a professional field in which lifelong learning is compulsory. Otherwise you won't get far.

So now is the best time for you to train your skills and frustration management.


Image: © Ryan McGuire / gratisography.com