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Tips to stay motivated

As exam season is in full swing, and myself and quite possibly 90% of University students are chained to a desk of sorts revising (or pretending to revise) or finishing up projects or essays or assignments, and longing for freedom. With the same monotonous routine- waking up, scoffing mouldy toast before sitting down at the laptop can become pretty tedious pretty quickly. So here I am, attempting to give some insight on how to stay motivated at this tough time (first world problems I know😆). I'm actually writing this today as I hit a metaphorical wall during my revision, and just want to go home and have a cup of tea with Mum *sobs*. So maybe I can take my own advice today too, but no promises.

So, the first thing I would say is to change your surroundings.

If you're starting to hit a slump, it's always good to refresh your mind by taking yourself to a different café, room in your house, different seat in the library (if it isn't stuffed like a single decker bus, if you know, you know), or different building in your University. For me the worst thing about deadlines is the same boring routine, I start to overthink everything and get myself into a slump thinking why is this exam/assignment even relevant?! Changing your surroundings can kind of feel like a fresh start, make you feel like you aren't just writing the same notes you were an hour ago, and can also give you a fresh perspective to form new ideas or to help with that equation that just doesn't seem to be adding up (can't lie, I can't relate to this because I dropped maths as quickly as I dropped the hot pan that I forgot was fresh out the oven).

You should also give yourself small rewards, whether that's watching an episode of Netflix after you've completed a section of your work, or a certain amount of time; or getting a favourite food or meal; or just something you enjoy, because it's also important to take regular breaks (that doesn't mean working for half an hour and resting for an hour, have some common sense😏). But yeah, giving yourself little treats, which doesn't necessarily mean spending thousands of pounds on physical treats, it can be as small as taking a shower to feel refreshed and more awake, and to get rid of that hobo smell that has probably been lingering on you since you showered last week. By doing this it gives you something to work towards and look forward to, to a certain extent.

If you know me, you'll know I'm a bit of an organisation freak, and find it physically hard to pull myself away from the stationery section in any shop that has one. And with that, I love planning and writing lists and more planning and more writing lists (I know I'm cool you don't have to tell me). But recently I've noticed that I feel ten times more stressed when I have written a long ass list of everything I have to do, and then ended up only ticking two things off. It's not satisfying, to look at or for your motivation. Therefore, I propose writing a separate list retrospectively each day, breaking down each thing that you did during the day, the smaller the better, eg. I took a shower (why am I mentioning this so much, maybe I should go take one). This will make you feel much more accomplished, and much more likely to tick off more on your never-ending fat to-do list.

And in regards to the list, when initially writing it, sub-categorise sub-categorise sub-categorise! Split your tasks into mini tasks of the overall one, creating bite sized chunks that will be a lot easier to digest (intentional). Even if you haven't completed the full job, at least you will know that you are on your way there.

I think the biggest motivation for me is the feeling you get when you've done it. When you want to go to the gym but have to physically drag yourself there almost on your hands and knees, but when you've been and you feel the good ache from knowing that you've done it even though your brain was telling you to sit on the sofa and eat crisps. Or ticking that final thing off your to-do list, appreciating all of the hard work that has gone into it. If you've ever accomplished anything, which without a doubt you have, you will know what this success feels like. Hold onto that feeling and remember how good it is the next time you are in a slump to help motivate you to carry on.

So, that's everything I can think of right now. I hope this helped somewhat, and if it didn't, at least it gave me some procrastination time! Now, back to the books... Good luck everyone with whatever you need motivation for! ♡

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