We’re now coming to the end of the university year and with that comes deadlines and exams. I know how hard some people can find it to keep motivated throughout the year, especially when the sun is out to distract us and it’s so close to the holidays!
In this blog I’ll give a few of my tips to keep motivated. These can help in exam season but also throughout your studies to keep you on track and avoid getting a build up of last minute work.
Firstly, I think its so important to set up routines. By this, I mean getting up at a regular time and setting up a study space. An example could be waking up at 8am every day to start working and only choosing to work at a desk, instead of in bed. This will help to form a link in your mind between working and your desk, in turn helping you to become more productive as you’ll be more ‘in the zone’ when you start. In addition, it should help improve sleep and motivation in the long term. When creating an effective work-space, it’s important to not surround yourself with any distractions (e.g. phones) and ensuring that all the resources needed are easily within reach to avoid procrastination.
Secondly, a good playlist can keep you going. My course is very intense on coursework and I’ve found that setting up a good playlist with uplifting, yet relaxing music can help calm you and keep you going for much longer. An app I recommend would be Spotify. A free version is available, and it lets you build a playlist of your favourite tunes. I would recommend this for creative courses as I find that listening to music can help get the creative juices flowing.
Have a break…
Another thing, although it sounds contradictory, is to actually give yourself a break from time to time. I know too many people who don’t work in the day but then work throughout the entire night, which is neither healthy nor sustainable. Others (including myself) simply work all day every day but this can be ineffective if breaks aren’t taken because the brain gets bored and studying begins to have bad associations in the mind. I would therefore recommend going for a walk, even for 10-15 minutes. I find the best way to switch off is to not look at any technology or devices and simply enjoy the moment. This will give your mind a break and keep up motivation and focus when you come back to work again.
Diaries and lists
Finally, keeping a diary or making a list of everything that you want to achieve can really help. It’s often less stressful if a clear list is made and you can simply work on completing the tasks step by step, helping to break up a larger (and sometimes overwhelming) project. This could include prioritising deadlines/tasks as well as organising what you will do and when, so that no time is wasted unnecessarily. This can also provide motivation because you can see your progress and it helps you to determine how much work has been completed.
Overall, I understand how hard it can be to keep up motivation and just keep going, but it is possible. One of my favourite quotes is “It always seems impossible until it is done.” Just remember that it’ll all be worth it and although hard work is required, the benefits will always out way the negatives. By setting a routine and effective workspace, breaking up larger tasks, listening to a playlist and giving yourself a break, motivation should be on the up and studying will become less of a chore.
In the blog are photos which I have taken from taking a break and going on a walk around Loughborough campus. If you wish to see more photos that I’ve taken around you can visit my Instagram @alicemariemcc.