Finding Motivation

This weekend, I had to study for a final, finish my part for a group project, and also complete an assignment, all for the same summer class. This is a summer class that is ending in two weeks, and it’s also the last summer class of my graduate school career. So as you can imagine, my motivation is starting to wear a little thin. I’m ready to enjoy summer!

But this weekend, I had to reach deep and find the little bit of motivation left, to get my work done, get through the weekend, and finish the last few things for my class. In addition to drinking lots of coffee, I have a few tips that I rely on in times like these.

  • Make a list
    I always start by figuring out what exactly it is that I need to do. It’s always so much easier to get started when you know what’s ahead of you.  


  • Make a mental plan
    I might not know exactly how long each thing will take, but I can estimate. It can make you feel calmer and less stressed to know about how long you think your work will take.


  • Schedule in breaks
    It can seem tempting to just buckle down and get all of your work done at once, but this actually ends up hurting you. Taking a break can keep you from mental (or physical) exhaustion, and your brain really needs those breaks. You’ll come back to your work feeling more refreshed and more motivated.


  • Don’t forget to eat
    This goes along with taking breaks, but remembering to eat is a very specific kind of break. Just like giving your mind a break is important, it’s also important to give your body a break and feed it. You’ll think much more clearly when you’ve had something to eat.


  • Know how you work best
    This one is a bit more personal – you have to figure out how you work most effectively. I know that I like background noise on when I’m working on an assignment or a project. But when I’m reviewing notes and studying, I need quiet. Creating a study guide helps me remember better than just reviewing my notes or books – it’s the writing or typing of it that’s helpful to me.

This weekend, for me, the motivation that I needed to find was for school, but these tips can apply to anything – something at work, or even just errands that you need to run over the weekend. Let me know if you have any tips in the comments, I’d love to hear them!

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