Having been at Uni for a bit over a year now, I know how it feels when you can see the workload getting more and more and you know that all you can do is work your way through it. Naturally, there's always those days where you have a motivation-low, but over the last year, I've gotten better at motivating myself or taking my mind off work for a couple of hours when my brain needed a break.
As my busy times are arriving soon, bringing presentations that need to be prepared and deadlines that need to be met, I am starting to go over a few different things on how to stay motivated and work hard until I handed everything in and can relax for a little bit. I found myself making a list of things that I can do in between work-sessions and thought to myself "why not share some of my ideas and tips with my readers?". I'm sure there's more of you out there who are currently at Uni or in school or even work during the day - but everyone needs some time-out and motivating moments! So without further ado, here are my 4 tricks and tips on how to stay motivated during busy times.
1. Plan and make good meals. If you're having one of those days where you can just not allow yourself to do anything but sit at your desk and work, you need to find something that motivates you in the space of your home. Being a big foodie, I always make sure that I'm looking forward to my next meal(s), knowing that once I'm done with a certain part of my work or the clock shows me it's time to eat, I'll have a tasty meal to enjoy before going back to work. Even though I'm big on cooking on food, something else that can really motivate you food-wise, is knowing that you'll have good take out for dinner after a long, productive day, without having to cook again in the evening! Now, I would try to keep this to 2 meals a week, but hey, live a little!
2. Plan trips. Knowing my timetable and deadlines for the entire term at the beginning of each term helps me organise myself when it comes to making trips to places or having people visit me here in the UK. Knowing that after the deadline on the xxth of next month, you'll go visit a friend, go pay your family a visit home or have a friend visit you, keeps you motivated to work hard, so you can enjoy that travelling/friends/family time even more. If you're still in school or you can't afford (money or time wise) to leave the country, take trips to another city in your country! Even a day trip to London gives me a motivation boost and it's much cheaper than flying somewhere for a long weekend. If that doesn't work for you either, you can always stay around your home town and go discover new places nearby that you haven't seen yet. Simply going to the neighbour city/town and finding a new place to have lunch at can be exciting, so go for it! I personally have the luxury of 4 day weekends and I save my money to fly to visit friends in Europe - I've already got two trips planned for later in the term - how exciting!
3. Go to the cinema. If you're anything like me (and also most likely a Uni student or maybe work full time) and you enjoy going out but you don't like the feeling of being tired and lazy the day after your night out, find an alternative to get out of the house in the evening! While I go out a lot at home when I go there on holiday, I often prefer not to go out as much here in the UK, (yes I know, very untypical for a student) especially if I know that I'll have to get work done the other day. Instead of staying in and watching a movie at home, (which is always an option, of course!) I found myself going to the cinema a lot more than back at home. My friend and I often make out a day and time for when we want to leave the house after having worked all day and we'll go to the movies and forget about everything for a couple of hours. Not only can you avoid late bed times and likely tiredness the other day by going to the cinema instead of the club, you can also plan your day accordingly to when you have to leave the house to be at the cinema in time - you can 'clock out' of your work time for the day and enjoy the rest of the evening!
Other than that, knowing that you have to be done with your presentation/essay/homework by a certain time of the day/by a certain day, gives you a more scheduled view on how you have to organise your workload. I personally tend to do less work on a day where I'm free the entire day than on a day when I need to be somewhere at a certain time. So, if you think you can juggle a couple of hours of work every now and then, go for it! Just make sure that your job doesn't take up more of your time to do Uni/school work than it should.
Looking back at these for tips, I guess that you could conclude that my main tip is to get out of the house and keep your days interesting by organising something instead of just staying home all day.
This post turned out to be much longer than I expected, so if you've made it this far; congratulations! Do you have any tips/tricks on how to stay motivated? Do leave any ideas in a comment below :)