5 Ways to Motivate Yourself in College

We all need that extra motivation boost, especially when we are drowning in class work. Feeling overwhelmed is completely normal but it shouldn’t take control over you. You have the ability to get things done! Use these five tips the next time you feel overwhelmed from school work:

1. Use a Planner (and Check it)

I strongly encourage any college student to use a planner and use it regularly. This is where you outline all of your to-do lists and keep track of your assignments. I use my planner every day by immediately writing down my assignments when I first hear of them in class, so I don’t forget later. I put a box next to all of my tasks, that way when I complete them, I check them off! Seeing a fully checked-off to-do list at the end of the day is so satisfying and relieving!

Having a planner has also made me more organized since all of my tasks are in one place written down and not fading away in my brain. I can also tell that using a planner helps me to take college more seriously. I have all my deadlines and responsibilities together in one planner and by checking it regularly, those important dates can’t be forgotten! 

2. Avoid Last-Minute Work

It’s just not worth it. Doing work at the last minute, especially a big essay or project, puts too much stress on yourself. Planning ahead is the most rewarding thing when it comes to schoolwork. If you have a big project to work on that you know will take you more than a day to complete, separate your tasks into different days. Plan the days that you will be working on the assignment at least a week before the due date. Depending on the number of hours you’ll have to put in for the assignment, have a goal to get it done the weekend before it’s due. That way, you’ll be completely avoiding staying up until 2am finishing the entire assignment.

3. Keep Your Future in Mind

When you have those moments where you would rather be at home doing nothing than sitting in a boring class, think for a moment about why you’re even in college. Why are you deciding to pursue a degree? Why are you taking the classes that you are taking? Chances are, you’re in college to receive a higher form or education so that you can get a great job and make your aspirations into reality. I know some of the classes you’re taking right now may be super boring or not interesting but have that end goal always in your mind. Also, enjoy every moment of college because it will be over before you know it.

4. Overachieve (When Appropriate)

This relates to my explanation of avoiding last minute work, but it’s something that I highly value. I don’t handle stress very well, so I always make sure that I get things done ahead of time. This motivates me because the less work I have means more time to be with friends or watch one of my favorite movies. I value my social time as well, so getting something done earlier is rewarding in the end. That doesn’t mean that you should rush to get something done, however. It means that you put the best amount of effort into it, just before the week the assignment is due.

5. Take Care of Yourself

I saved the most important for last. Hard work and college in general put a lot on your body physically and mentally. Be sure to eat well and get plenty of sleep and exercise. Your brain will function a lot better if it is taken care of properly. Also, make sure to keep yourself sane by enjoying time with friends and family when you can afford a break from work.

This list explains how I motivate myself in college and it has worked over the past three years! Take this list into consideration when you’re feeling not so motivated. After all, we all have those moments. What keeps you motivated?

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