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How To Stay Motivated When All Else Fails (We’ve All Been There!)

Even before the pandemic, I would find that some days I could not get off my bed to work on anything. If you’re anything like me, you’ll know that this particularly happens over the weekend too; but is it so bad to want to take one day off? Finding the balance between knowing when to take a rightful break and when to continue working is the line I’m trying to tread to stay motivated.

I’ve realized over the years that staying motivated is a very different path for everyone. My best friend sits down, pulls out her planner, plans out the rest of her week, and sticks to that path. Me? Not so much. I’d do pretty much the same, but I’d have to hope and pray that somewhere along the week I’d find the motivation to not derail from my plans. This is when I decided to make a cheat sheet for myself that would actually help me get my work done, and productively too, not just for the sake of it. Understandably, you may have heard some of these ideas before, but here’s what works for me!


This is probably my biggest tip on here! If you’re finding that Monday through Wednesday you’ve done everything right, but the routine is starting to bore you on Thursday, find a small way to reward yourself to continue. In my case, I’d tell myself that I’d get 15 minutes to online window shop if I worked for an hour straight. The times you allot may vary per person, but don’t feel guilty about taking some time to yourself.

Get Enough Sleep

I cannot emphasize this enough. It took me years of last-minute studying all night long in high school to realize that that’s something that just does not work. A friend of mine told me the other day that when you sleep, your mind replays whatever happened that day and makes memories stronger. I don’t really have a way to back this up, but it does make so much sense. I’ve always found that no matter how scared I’ve been to not study some part of my syllabus before an exam, it always paid off to sleep even for 5 hours at that cost than to study everything, sleep for 2 hours, and retain nothing.

Talk To Someone You Trust If You’re Overwhelmed

I’m a person who doesn’t like talking to even my friends when I’m going through a stressful time, but my mom once sat me down and had a conversation with me at a difficult time in my life, and I was surprised at the comfort I found in that conversation. Even though it may not do something immediately to help your circumstance, talking to someone who can reassure you and give you a boost of confidence can do wonders to your mindset. It taught me that sometimes it’s okay to ask for help, even though you may feel like you don’t particularly need it.

These are my top three ideas that I use whenever I feel like my work is getting to me, but there are so many other ways that I know you can use to stay motivated, especially at school. Using the pomodoro technique to study, going out with a friend for a 30-minute lunch break, or studying somewhere that’s not your room (and won’t make you want to jump into bed) are some other ways I try to stick to what I’ve planned. Remember, you’re human, too! You’re going to need a break sometimes and you 100% deserve it. So, don’t feel bad when you have to take some time to yourself. You come first, no matter how many deadlines!

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Vaidehi Bhatia

U Mass Amherst '23

Vaidehi is a writer for the University of Massachusetts Amherst chapter. She is a junior majoring in Data Science with a minor in Business. Outside of Her Campus, Vaidehi is involved on campus in Delta Kappa Delta Sorority, Inc. & BUILD UMass, and is a dance and fashion enthusiast. Be on the lookout for lots of articles about fashion, styling, relatable college experiences & wellbeing!
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