Ah, the beginning of fall semester! Everyone is out buying school supplies and books, preparing themselves to make this semester the best in their academic career- then it hits you. You're three weeks into classes, the homework load is starting to get packed and all you want to do is curl into bed and sleep until christmas. How do we lose motivation so fast, and more importantly, how do we get it back?
There are plenty reasons why we lose motivation, the biggest one being laziness. Motivation is brought from desire and interest, but when things get overwhelming, your body loses sight of the desire and doesn't want to do anything except eat ice cream and Netflix for 8 hours straight (which was definitely my biggest problem). According to SuccessConsciousness, "Lack of motivation and lack of enthusiasm are two of the main reasons for failure and of living a mediocre life."
Have no fear, there are still ways to fight temptation and stay motivated to achieve your goals! Sticking to this list will not only keep you motivated, but also productive and eager to achieve more goals.
1. Make a routine and stick to it.
This is the first step to any time of success: make a routine. After you get up, there should be a morning routine to get yourself prepared for the day, times for you to eat and when you should typically get to bed. Your body will adjust to these times, making it easier to get up in the morning and complete your routine all over again. For example, for some people after they wake up, they go straight into the shower, wash their face, brush their teeth, get dressed and have a quick breakfast to ensure they start their day properly. It all depends on the type of person you are, so make a plan and stick to it.
2. Get up at the same time everyday and always make your bed.
As hard as it can be, get up early and at the same time everyday. It's such a hard habit to break, but it's definitely worth it. You'll notice how much more time you have in your day after you start waking up early, making you more productive. I typically recommend making yourself get up somewhere between 8-9:30am to start, so it's not ridiculously early or late.
3. Make a weekly calendar.
New discovery that helps me: keep a weekly-formatted calendar out and write in the top things to do each day. For the typical college student, write down your classes and their times each day, as well as classes at the gym or socials/events you plan on attending weekly. Keep this calendar out to where you see it every single day, that way you're forced to see what needs to be done.
4. Carry a planner with you and actually use it.
Other than the weekly calendar, its important to keep a planner with you as well. As a planner nerd, I keep two planners: One for school (homework, projects, anything class related) and One for the rest of my life. For the school planner, I use a small and compact book with a monthly calendar to remember when exams and projects are due and a weekly horizontal layout to write down homework assignments everyday. I like to make sure these types of planners have enough space to get the job done but are small enough to carry everywhere.
Then we have our daily planners, the ones that hold everything else that happens in you life. You can use these to keep track of appointments, events, tv shows, vacations, to-do-lists and anything else you have going on in your life. I highly recommend using an Erin Condren Life Planner for keeping track of things happening in your life. Not only are the Life Planners amazing at keeping track of everything, they are also completely customizable for you. The planners have interchangeable covers that can be customized with your name on it, three different layouts to pick from (vertical, horizontal and hourly), a neutral color scheme or multi-color scheme within the planner and different colored rings to keep the planner together. Although they can be pricey, it's a great way to get organized.
5. Keep your school supplies together.
I always do this myself, because I find it makes me want to do my work faster. While if my supplies were scattered everywhere, i'd want to just stay in bed. My recommendation, keep everything by your desk or study area.
6. Stay organized.
Other than keeping things together, keep things organized. Use folders, use page markers and put everything where it belongs. You're more likely to work better in a clean and organized space than one that is cluttered and overwhelming. Keep it simple!
7. Sticky notes are key.
When in doubt, take out the sticky notes! Have something you don't want to forget? Use a sticky note! Want to keep yourself motivated with your favorite quote? Sticky note!
8. Keep a style when writing notes.
Everyone has their own way of studying; mine happens to be note-taking. I've noticed if I make my notes look more appealing, especially with key terms, I remember them better. Remember to keep it functional and clean!
9. Dedicate a day of your week to school.
Usually Sundays are the go-to days for school, but any day works! Dedicate a day that you have the most free time to studying and homework.
10. Keep a to-do list and alarm reminders on your phone.
Wunderlist is my app of choice when it comes to reminders and to-do lists. It's free, simple and great for any college student. Not only is it great for school related lists, like homework and projects, but it's great for grocery lists or shopping lists for your dorm/apartment.
11. Keep your environment clean.
One of the things you should include in your daily routine is cleaning. If you are in your own dorm/apartment, things should be cleaned almost weekly. Dedicate a few days of your week to cleaning certain things. For example, if you have your own bathroom, it should be throughly cleaned weekly while you can wipe down the countertops every few days. The cleaner your place is the less overwhelmed you'll be!
12. Don't skip meals, eat healthy and exercise regularly.
A lot of college students forget this, including myself at times. You are what you eat, so keep that in mind next time you're grocery shopping or in the dining hall. Sure that pizza looks awesome, but I promise you'll feel more energized and ready to go without all the carbs! Keep a water bottle with you at all times as well to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day; when you start getting dehydrated, the body can get tired faster making it harder to stay motivated.
13. Keep yourself busy.
The busier you keep yourself, the more productive you'll be. Other than being active in your classes, try working out actively, join a club or get an on-campus job to help get rid of some free time!
14. Take some breaks.
Although I still think its important to keep busy and stay actively involved in school, it's great to have some you time. Don't forget: work hard and play hard. Go out with your friends to that party, watch some tv or do something your town has to offer.
15. Remind yourself you can do this, because you can and you will.
Never doubt yourself. You are more than capable accomplishing your goals with these tips and sticking by them. Stay confident in yourself and show everyone what you've got!