As we draw nearer to the end of the semester, motivation to do ANYTHING (let alone study) drops to an all time low. That being said, the workload seems to become greater the closer to the end you get. It's almost like professors know students can't be bothered by anything that doesn't involve the words "winter break". Should you find yourself in this predicament, the following list of tips is for you:
1. Make a to-do list
The first step to getting anything done when you don’t want to do anything is to make a to-do list. By making a list, everything becomes visual and it’s a lot easier to keep track of what is due when.
2. Put your phone away
You ABSOLUTELY have to put away your phone. It’s very easy to go from checking your email, to checking facebook, to checking the groupchat, to scrolling through instagram, to setting an alarm and going to bed. If you’re constantly looking to your phone then your motivation will stay at an all time low.
3. Learn to say no to distractions
Getting pizza with friends sounds great, until pizza turns into a night out and you’ve still not written your essay that was due at midnight. Rather than making a mad dash to finish or saying you’ll do something later, learn to tell your friends no. While you may have severe FOMO, there’s always time to go out later. If worse comes to worse, have your friends come to you.
4. Form a study group
Some people just can’t study unless there’s someone else there with them. That being said, many can get caught up in goofing around rather than actually study. Utilize your friends and classmates! Quiz one another or give each other time constraints so that you actually get stuff done.
5. Implement a rewards system
If you know you can’t study with a group, then use the group as an incentive for getting shit done. If you’re having a hard time getting through your readings, place a gummy bear on each paragraph… unless you’re like me and those gummy bears will not stop you from not reading. All in all, implement a rewards system of SOME kind so that you have things to look forward once you’ve sold your soul to your textbooks.
6. Change up your scenery
You can go stir crazy sitting in a room for too long. If you stay in your room, you have a much higher likelihood of never getting anything done (especially if you like to study in bed). Try booking a room at the library or hitting up a coffee shop you’ve never been to before. A change of scenery will often get the creative juices flowing (even if you’re not studying something particularly creative).
7. Go for a walk
It’s been proven that going for a 15 minute walk greatly raises productivity levels. I’m not saying you should take a walk for every paragraph your read but you should set aside a time to get up and get out. If anything, taking a walk when you’ve hit a wall is a great way to at least give your mind a tiny break (without breaking the bank or causing you to procrastinate for the rest of the night).
8. Set realistic goals
You are destined to fail if the goal you set for yourself is to complete a 10 page paper in one night. Now I’m not saying you CAN’T do that because it’s possible, it’s just not fun and certainly something you can’t do more than 5 times… tops. When setting out to study, make sure you’re doing what is feasible. If you become overambitious you will burn out early and then the entire point of studying will be lost.
9. Make a playlist
Nothing gets the motivation going like a kick ass playlists. Some people like to study with instrumentals and others need rap in order to function. No matter your preference, Apple Music is a great way to put together a playlist that’ll keep you going well after you’ve moved from study-mode to party-mode.
10. Download a productivity app
The Internet can be a wonderful thing. What’s not wonderful is searching for an article you need to read for class then finding yourself binge watching the entire season of The Office for the millionth time. A way to curb this bad habit (which we are all guilty of and has caused many an all-nighter) is to download a productivity app. My personal favorite is the Self Control App, which allows you to block certain websites for a period of time. It’s been a lifesaver come finals time (or really come any time a big test or essay is happening).
11. Break it down
So by now you’ve already made a to-do list, a playlist, gone for a walk, and still cannot seem to find the motivation to study. Don’t worry, you may just need to break things down. You may be asking yourself, “How is this any different than a to-do list?” This isn’t just writing down everything you have to do. This is looking at everything you have to do and deciding what needs to get done first. Maybe you like to go from hard to easy or perhaps you like a challenge. Either way, breaking down each study topic piece by piece will help accomplish things faster.
12. Pull a Shia and “just do it”
Seriously. Just sit down and do it. Your paper, test, homework, etc. is going to happen whether you like it or not. Unless there’s some sort of divine intervention, you can’t put off the inevitable (you can but it’ll lead you down a path filled with more stress than you can imagine). So pull a Shia, sit down, and just do your freaking work.
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