Thanksgiving break starts this week; and after that comes the bliss of Christmas break.
Like many students, you’re likely exhausted with school at this point and inching toward complete demotivation.
However, losing your motivation before the break makes the time pass even slower — and it can affect your performance.
You may wonder how to keep your head up when you want to collapse, but you have a few smart tips at your disposal. Once your vacation time rolls around, you’ll be more than ready to indulge in the festivities and leave your worries behind.
Here are eight ways to keep the motivation flowing before the upcoming holidays.
1. Change Your Environment
Your dorm room may be comfortable, but it’s not always the best place for concentration. If you struggle to focus during these last few weeks, move your studying to a place that allows maximum productivity.
You may assume the library is the obvious choice, but it’s usually filled to the brim with cramming students in the weeks before exams or breaks. Pick a less-crowded spot like an outdoor space, empty classroom or specially designated study room.
2. Practice Self-Discipline
It’s easy to fall into the habit of staying up late or eating junk food all day with the semester’s end nearing. You may feel burnt out with school and want to begin your holiday habits before the break comes.
However, maintain your self-control until the vacation starts. Slacking off during school makes it harder to focus and take assignments seriously. This behavior can leave you with poor grades, which is the last thing you want before finishing the grading period.
Create a reward system to congratulate yourself whenever you stay on track, but avoid going overboard. Frequently treating yourself to ice cream or heading to the movies every day may not do much to help your motivation. Effective rewards and self-discipline methods make it easier to stick to goals instead of falling behind.
3. Enlist Help From Friends
Outside influences can motivate you when you lose steam, but it’s essential to surround yourself with positive energy. If your friends are as annoyed with school as you, your get-togethers will likely turn into complaining sessions instead of pick-me-ups. Hang out with some of your peppier acquaintances, or encourage everyone to look on the bright side. You’ll have time to do whatever you want after you get through these few weeks — hang tight until then.
Creating a study group will help you all stay on track and hold each other accountable. Nothing says friendship like sharing class notes and decoding complicated sentences in the textbook.
4. Organize Your Schedule
Buy a planner if you don’t already have one and make a to-do list of things you need to accomplish before break starts. You’ll feel motivated by seeing your goals in front of you, and you can check them off as you go. It’s easy to shun responsibility and forget your tasks when they’re thoughts floating around in your head. Putting them on paper makes them concrete and gives you more obligation to finish them.
Make writing in your planner something you look forward to by filling it with illustrations, flowcharts and more. Many planners allow you to track your daily and weekly academic goals while penciling in time for entertainment.
5. Practice Stress Management
The stress bug doesn’t have to monopolize your mind this winter. Make time for relaxing activities as well as productive ones — all work and no play piles on the cortisol. Take 30 minutes to an hour each day to decompress and give yourself a break.
Listen to your favorite tunes, exercise some helpful coping methods or practice meditation. Choose methods that do more than distract you from the problem. They should help you actively unravel the stress and manage any triggers that come your way.
6. Unplug the Electronics
It happens — you get bored, and your first instinct is to reach for the phone. You’ve spent an hour scrolling through social media before you know it, and you’re still not done with your paper. Technology’s allure can be almost irresistible, but your best bet is to unplug if you want to get anything done. Put your devices on silent or turn them off completely while you work on assignments. Place them somewhere far from your working area to reduce the desire to check them.
7. Plan Your Vacation
This tip may sound counterproductive, but it can do wonders to enhance your motivation. Planning fun trips and activities for your break will urge you to finish your work sooner and kick off the excitement. After all, few people want to be holed up in their rooms with extra work while their relatives enjoy a Thanksgiving meal together. Plan a ski trip, a cross-country drive or a visit to a warmer climate. You’ll be checking off items on your bucket list in no time.
other valuable tips:
8. Try New Studying Techniques
Sometimes you need a change to rekindle your spirit. Repeatedly doing the same things gets beyond tedious — you write notes, type papers, wash, rinse and repeat. Your exhausted brain will benefit from you switching up your studying style during these last weeks.
If you take digital notes, use a new program to make them colorful and exciting. Listen to an audiobook instead of flipping through pages of thick textbooks. Make a posterboard-sized flowchart with memorable illustrations and funny euphemisms for study terms. Any idea you can apply to revamp your learning will help.
Maintain Your Cool During the Semester’s End
Keep these tips in mind whenever you feel like giving up on school. They’ll help you power through the next couple months with less stress and better confidence. Don’t forget to share the wisdom with your equally frazzled friends — everyone could use a mood booster at this time of year.
Image Credit: stay motivated in school by Pixabay
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