Tips for Staying Motivated

M. Murphy '18

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  We’ve all had those days when we know that we should be studying and being productive, yet we find ourselves lethargically lying in bed doing absolutely nothing. As senior year approaches, the desire to be lazy is amplified with the oncoming “senioritis.” As glamorous as doing nothing may sound during a very stressful week like midterm week, it is extremely important that we push through procrastination and be efficient. Because I have experienced my four rounds of midterms and almost four whole years of that above-average workload here at Nardin, I have some tips to offer my underclassmen and incoming freshman to make this seemingly impossible task more achievable:

Get assignments turned in on time.

  This is surprisingly difficult sometimes when you have a busy or stressful week, but it is extremely important! It doesn’t seem like a bad thing when you let one assignment go, but a couple assignments later, you have lots of work to do to catch up. Also, missing one assignment means that you have no idea what is going on in the class, and each day you miss an assignment is another day that the lesson will not make sense.

Start long term projects ahead of time.

  A month always seems like so much time for a project; however, that due date manages to creep up on me. All of the sudden, it’s midnight, and the project is due that morning. The feeling of anxiety I get in this situation is unlike any other anxiety I have ever faced. If I have learned anything, it’s that in order to avoid that dreaded midnight scramble to do a project, start the project the day you get it. This way, it will be much easier as the deadline approaches, and you can ask the teacher any questions that may arise as you complete it. If I save it for the last minute, there is no opportunity for me to ask my teachers how they want a specific component to be executed. I have written many essays at 9 P.M. on Sunday night constantly thinking to myself how much I wished I had at least done something to be proactive for this paper so that I could have any questions that I had answered.

Set goals for yourself

  I know this is super cliche and extremely overused, but it is definitely something to consider. Setting goals is very helpful because it gives you a list of everything that you need to get done and allows you to manage your time accordingly. Also, once you complete everything on your list, there is a complete weight off your shoulders and distinct satisfied feeling. On the flip side, if you don’t complete everything on your list there is a very unsettling feeling that can motivate you to do more work. Either way, it’s a very effective method. Having said that, make sure that you are not setting unrealistic goals for yourself. If you are setting goals for your weekend, be reasonable and be sure that everything on your list can be done in a single weekend. Unless you are Superwoman, you probably cannot read an entire textbook in one weekend.

Reward yourself once tasks are completed

  Look for that light at the end of the tunnel, or in my case the end of the AP Gov outline. For example, once you finish a section, allow yourself to watch half an episode of The Office. This never fails to motivate me. If I tell myself that once this task is completed, Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute will humor me, the speed at which I complete my work is unprecedented.

Turn your phone OFF

  Phones are the enemy of motivation. Your phone screams at you to look at it every time a notification comes in. Make sure that it is off so you don’t hear its alluring text tones enticing you to check it. It will completely throw off your groove and suck up way more time than you think. You tell yourself it’s just one text you’re answering, but you secretly know it will turn into 4 hours worth of texts.

 

 

  I am not going to lie, I wrote this entire article during a study break when preparing for midterms seemed like an insurmountable barrier. Although it may not be the most fun thing in the world, setting aside time for work and being efficient in that time is very important. Besides, isn’t it much more relaxing to go to bed knowing that your work is done instead of knowing that when you wake up you will have to do work that you should have done the previous day? Staying motivated can significantly reduce the time you are working and increase the time you are relaxing, so get motivated with these tips and start working!

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Tips for Staying Motivated