How to Stay Motivated at This Point in the Semester

Fall Break has ended and our professors are showing no mercy. There are projects due, exams to take and papers to write; everyone is overwhelmed. It is extremely easy to give up at this point in the semester and procrastinate to the point where it is no longer humanly possible to accomplish every task assigned to you. Here are some tips to keep yourself on track and hold yourself accountable for getting things done.


  1. Budget your time wisely. I know for most students, including myself, we have little to no skills on how to budget our time wisely. Get out your planner that you haven’t used since the beginning of the semester and start making goals for yourself. Prioritize all of the homework you have for your classes and set dates for when you want to have everything done. This will help you avoid struggling to finish three projects, a research paper and 4 chapters of reading in one night.

  2. Learn to set time aside to breathe. It is easy to feel burnt out when you don’t include time to just relax in your schedule. I know it is easier said than done when you’re a busy college student trying to do it all but if you don’t allow yourself at least a little time to just relax, you’re going to burn out earlier rather than after final exams. When you don’t allow time for yourself, you lose motivation to complete tasks and fall into the dangerous cycle of barely finishing projects on time only to realize you have more projects that you have neglected to do. It is okay to take time for yourself to make sure you don’t lose all hope in life.

  3. Reward yourself for finishing tasks according to your schedule. As an incentive for sticking to the schedule you have created for yourself, give yourself little rewards for staying motivated and on task. Once you finish your first draft of that research report, treat yourself to ice cream or watch an episode of your favorite show on Netflix. It feels good to stay on task and if feels even better to be rewarded for all of your hard work.

  4. Think about the long-term benefits. We’re all going to college to get a degree and get opportunities that will push us toward conquering our career goals. Just think that by getting through all of the insane tasks you’re asked to complete will put you one step closer toward getting that internship or securing that job. Everything we do in college is meant to provide us with the basis necessary for thriving in the real world. If we keep that in mind, it is easy to stay motivated and on top of things.

  5. Lean on your professors. If you are completely overwhelmed with the amount of work you have and you find you’re continuously struggling to get things done on time, talk to your professors. They are here to help you and they can offer you great advice on how to complete your work on time. They may even offer you extensions if you really feel like you can’t complete everything in a timely manner.

  6. Get your friends to stay motivated with you. Get a group of friends that share classes with you to push each other to stay on top of your deadlines. Check in with each other on progress and help each other when you’re in a rut. Surrounding yourself with people that are also motivated makes staying motivated much easier. You can also all do something together to reward each other when you get things done.

  7. Learn to say no. I know I am the worst at saying no to people and to opportunities. I continuously sign myself up for things that I know I don’t have time for. Sometimes taking a step back and realizing you are not superhuman and can’t do everything. It’s a hard pill to swallow but the sooner you realize it is okay to tell people no, the more time you will have to get the important things done. Your peers will understand that you need to focus on school or a project. You don’t have to volunteer to do everything your club is asking you to do and you don’t have to go out with your friends every weekend.

  8. Dedicate time to stay off your phone and the internet and stay focused on the task at hand. It is easy to get distracted by technology and you can easily waste a few hours scrolling through instagram or playing candy crush. When you are doing school work, don’t even have your phone near you. Put it on the other side of the room and look at it once you finish what you’re working on. You would be surprised with how much you get accomplished when you aren’t distracted by your phone.

  9. Find a place where you stay focused the most. I have found that I get the most accomplished when I study in the library or in a study room. I get easily distracted when I stay in my room the whole day because I am tempted to take naps or I just mess around on my phone. When I find a place that I am able to remain focused and get everything done, I make sure to dedicate my time in those places.

  10. Find a good playlist that keeps you motivated. I find that I get a lot accomplished when I have some sort of background music to keep my mind occupied. I usually listen to an instrumental playlist on Spotify or a calming music playlist on Spotify. When I have a soundtrack to keep me motivated, I find that I get more accomplished.


Hopefully, these tips help you stay motivated for the rest of the semester. Just know all of the hard work you are putting in will pay off once the semester is over and then you can take time to recoup and rest. Good luck with all of your work and remember you are smart and capable of getting everything done!