Today, I really wanted to share some of the things that help me stay motivated whilst at Uni.
Having survived my first year, I feel like I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks to keep me on track with my work. I swear, the amount of times last year that I felt like it was all too much, or spent hours procrastinating, is ridiculous! This year, I want to stay on top of everything and I hope this post can help you do the same!
The first thing that’s integral in helping me stay motivated is a calendar. I have an A1 academic year calendar that I’ve put up above my desk. I use this to plot out my assignment due dates so I know exactly how long I have to complete the work. I find it so much easier to actually visualise it like this and keep track of everything.
As well as a calendar, my daily diary is essential in keeping me motivated. If I’ve made a written to-do list, I’m more inclined to stick to it. Also, writing down my schedule and including notes of the reading or essays I need to do makes me feel like I’m on top of it and have everything under control!
I also really like to print out the syllabus and any course documents I’ve been given. At my Uni, everything we need is posted on one website which is really easy to use and it’s great to have everything in one place. However, I really like to print off a reading list or a lecture and seminar timetable so I have a physical copy of everything I need to do for each module. I find this so helpful in keeping me motivated as I can leave myself notes telling me when things need to be done and highlight the most important things and – my most favourite – ticking everything off once I’ve done it.
If you haven’t guessed already, I like to be organised and have everything planned out. Therefore, you might not be surprised with the fact that my next point is a schedule. I’m definitely someone who quite likes a routine so setting myself a schedule will make me motivated to stick to it and actually get the work done! I personally like to plan for my reading to be done at least two days before my class so I can read over my notes the night before. For me, this stops it feeling overwhelming or rushed.
As well as study-centric tips, I 100% suggest doing other activities to keep you motivated. Studying solidly will inevitably lead to complete boredom and literally nothing will be going in anymore – it’s a waste of time and just not worth it! As important as work is, other things are too. I personally find going to the gym keeps me motivated as it gives me an hour or so to clear my mind so I can come back to my work with a fresh perspective. It doesn’t even have to be something productive. Going out to lunch with friends or just taking a short walk can make all the difference in keeping motivation levels high.
Lastly, relaxation is SO important for your motivation. As I said before, hours and hours of work with no break can be too much and you need to allow yourself time to switch off. I suggested before that doing other activities can build your motivation up so you can keep going but for this one, I mean something that will keep you from burning out. I personally like to dedicate some time before I go to sleep to watch something, probably Friends, so I can shut off and make sure I’m refreshed to start again. I find this makes so much difference in how motivated I am the next day.
Although I do (somehow) manage to stay pretty motivated most of the time, I do have days where none of this works and I can’t get motivated. However, that’s OK! I know I can’t work solidly all day every day so if I can’t stick to the schedule, I can give myself a few hours, or even a whole day, until I feel better again. And, I try my hardest not to feel guilty about it!
I hope some of these tips have helped! If you have any other suggestions I would love to hear them – especially if they could help me on my low motivation days!
Also, let me know how Uni is going for you at the moment – or anything else in your life that you need motivation for!