Short version of my question: What are good and motivating working habits for a mathematician?
N.B. There are similar questions to mine: see this (how to read maths) or this (efficient study) or this (good habits). But none of these covers my question. I have also heard the standard answer: develop your own working habits. But I feel that I am neither efficient enough nor fast enough at studying mathematics, so I want to improve my working habits.
Long version of my question: For me, when reading a highly theoretical book, it is quite possible to get lost and become demotivated. This is because sometimes there is not enough motivation to read complicated definitions and study full proofs again and again (sometimes full proofs are not available, definitions are fuzzy or 'advanced' etc.).
I would like to ask if there are some 'gamification' tricks that convert boring-looking (since I know they are very rarely boring) things into the puzzles I enjoy. Advice about reading would also be more than welcome, because the problem could be my reading strategy: maybe there is a more efficient reading strategy that keeps things alive and attractive.
To sum up, I would like to ask for your strategies for serious mathematical study and how to turn it into enjoyable puzzles when it does not seem very attractive in itself.
Note also that there is plenty of advice about working for exams, but that is not even close to a potential answer to this question. That is because working for exams is, by definition, equivalent to working on or memorizing boring things to pass the course and get the grade. In a course setup, there is usually nothing about motivation for real learning. I am not asking about motivation to study mathematics for a course or exam, but about how to motivate oneself to think through complicated things which at first sight make little sense when one has not acquired the background.