Once you’ve reached a certain point while cubing, if you’ve not been able to improve much in recent months or it feels repetitive, it’s hard to find the motivation to practice. Especially in recent times, as the pandemic has resulted in many lockdowns and in-person competitions have been cancelled or postponed, it’s hard to keep up the same level of practice or interest without having face-to-face interactions with fellow cubers and the fun of being at competitions. Here are a few ways I keep myself motivated when I find myself tiring of cubing and practising certain events.
Broaden Your Horizons
If you’re someone who practices only a few events like 3x3, then it might be best to broaden your horizons. There are around 17 WCA events, and many of them are quite different from each other and require different skills. The way you solve a 3x3 blindfolded is not at all the way a normal 3x3 speed-solve is done. Having a variety of events to get into might help keep your interest. I started to pick up 3x3 FMC and megaminx when I had started to feel a bit bored of just 3x3 events. It worked wonders, and FMC has actually become one of my favourite events to practice. You might even find some carryover skills, something that you learned for 4x4 could be useful while solving a 6x6, or some technique in FMC could help improve your 3x3 skills.
Picking Up New Skills
Doing solve and solve mindlessly has sometimes led to me just losing motivation in certain events like 3x3. One way to solve this problem is to try and constantly expand your knowledge to break out if you’re stuck at a particular average time. There are so many resources online where you can learn many algorithm sets, like a few cool Winter Variation cases for 3x3, the last 4 edge cases for 5x5, advanced insertions for FMC, and so on. Focusing your mind on improving in a particular event might help alleviate the boredom of just doing random solves, especially if you decide to focus on a specific aspect of that event, like trying to learn PLL for 3x3 or trying to improve lookahead by planning the first F2L pair.
Competitions and Breaks
Cubing should first and foremost, be fun and enjoyable. If you don’t find solving cubes interesting anymore, then you might want to take a short break, if it’s not currently working out. Some people have even taken breaks and come back to find a renewed interest, so they’re able to practice more and improve quickly. Too much of anything is never good.
One of the best ways to make cubing fun for me is to go to competitions. I always look forward to meeting up with friends and competing in a fun and friendly environment, and that keeps me motivated to cube. Breaking your personal best times officially can be a joy, and the thought of trying to beat my PBs in various events has also helped to keep me motivated for practice. Unfortunately, in the current climate, physical competitions aren’t possible. There are definitely alternatives you should check out. There are countless online competitions taking place nowadays, Cubelelo regularly hosts online competitions and live-streams the final rounds, and speedsolving forums have weekly competitions as well. You can use these markers to see if you improve, to see how you can beat your PBs in a competition-like environment.
On the whole, my advice would be to relax and enjoy yourself while cubing. If you’re not having fun, or you feel bored while learning new things or practising, then there’s no harm in taking a short break to explore other hobbies. You can always come back to cubing a bit later and you might be surprised to find how much fun it is again. If not, then I hope these tips will be helpful to motivate yourself to cube and improve further. Happy cubing!