12 Ways to Get Motivated to Finish the Semester

Every college student has experienced procrastination to the extreme or a sense of being too overwhelmed to function. Maybe you’re feeling it right now. Instead of stressing out or avoiding the responsibilities at hand, there are plenty of things you can do to get focused. When you feel yourself starting to drag your feet or perhaps browsing Netflix for a new show to binge watch instead of writing an essay due tomorrow, here are some things you can do to get back on track!

1. Get organized: Take a look at your agenda or, if you haven’t already, make a list of things you want to get done by the end of the day. Try filling your to-do list with small, easy to handle goals (Eat breakfast! Make bed!) Completing those little tasks you might have had to do anyway can make you feel more productive. It can also help you put things in perspective and know how to get started with your day.

2. Get rest: Make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night. If you can’t, or if you feel drowsy in the middle of the day, take a power nap. Studies have shown that 20 minutes is the ideal length of time for a nap in the middle of the day. Any longer, and you will feel even more tired than before; any less, and it may not be worth it.

3. Drink coffee: A cup of coffee while you’re studying or writing a paper can help give you the energy you need to finish. Just make sure you don’t drink caffeinated coffee within 3 hours before you’re going to sleep!

4. Treat yourself: Set a goal of things you want to get done and reward yourself as soon as you get them done. Whether it’s an ice cream, a cup of hot chocolate, or a cookie, you earned it!

5. Take a walk: Everyone needs to take breaks. Now that the weather’s getting a little nicer, a quick walk can be just what you need to calm down and clear your head before getting back to work. Just don’t be gone too long or it will turn into procrastination! Pre-planning a walking route can help eliminate the risk of procrastination.

6. Exercise: A quick 15-30 minute exercise can help blood circulation, which helps you relax and concentrate. You’ll also feel inspired and energized!

7. Breathe: Take a moment to practice yoga, meditation, or mindfulness. Any of these are proven to help concentration and relieve the feeling of stress.

8. Listen to music: Take a music break and listen to some songs that pump you up and make you feel good. Everyone should have a study-break playlist!

9. Try something new: While studying in the same location everyday helps some people get into a studying-mood, it can also become boring and you may dread going there. Try going to a different place to study— whether it’s a coffee shop or the upper JYC, see if mixing it up helps you get re-focused. Maybe you’ll even like the new place better!

10. Set time limits: Working under stress or a time-constraint can actually help you work harder and it can also help you manage your time. (Don’t forget to reward yourself for finishing things on time, too).

11. Stay positive: Don’t let yourself stress out, get upset, or become angry. Being happy is proven to help you stay motivated. When you’re happy, you’re proven to work harder and feel more productive.

12. Positive peer pressure: Positive peer-pressure is proven to help students do better in school. Hanging around other motivated people can encourage you to get motivated too. Get a study buddy. Call a parent, relative, or friend who will pump you up and tell you to get to work.

As tempting as it can be, choosing to watch Netflix instead of studying for that exam will only stress you out in the end. We’ve all been there and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t let yourself get off-track. The end of the semester is in sight and trying some of these tips might just help you find the motivation to finish strong! Good luck with exams and final papers, and just remember to do the best you can!